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Different types of physical activities can contribute to weight management by burning calories, improving metabolism, and increasing muscle mass. Here are some examples of physical activities that can be effective:

Aerobic Exercise: Aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and dancing are great for weight management. These activities increase heart rate and boost calorie expenditure. A meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine demonstrated that aerobic exercise significantly contributes to weight loss and body fat reduction (1).

Resistance Training: Resistance training, including weightlifting and bodyweight exercises, helps build muscle mass. Muscle tissue has a higher metabolic rate than fat tissue, leading to increased calorie burning even at rest. Research published in Obesity Reviews indicated that resistance training contributes to improved body composition, increased resting metabolic rate, and enhanced weight management (2).

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest or lower intensity exercise. It has been shown to be effective for weight management. A study published in the Journal of Obesity demonstrated that HIIT significantly reduces total body fat and visceral fat while preserving muscle mass (3). HIIT workouts can be time-efficient and provide effective calorie burning.

Active Lifestyle: Incorporating physical activity into daily life is essential for weight management. Simple activities like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking or biking instead of driving short distances, and engaging in household chores or gardening can contribute to overall calorie expenditure. A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that higher levels of non-exercise physical activity are associated with lower body weight and reduced risk of obesity (4).

To develop a habit of daily physical exercise, even when lacking motivation, consider the following strategies:

Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable goals that align with your fitness level and schedule. Start with small, manageable targets and gradually increase intensity and duration over time. Breaking down larger goals into smaller milestones can provide a sense of accomplishment and keep you motivated.

Establish a Routine: Schedule exercise sessions at a specific time each day and treat them as non-negotiable appointments. Consistency is key to forming a habit. Over time, your body and mind will adapt, and exercising will become a natural part of your daily routine.

Find Activities You Enjoy: Engage in physical activities that you genuinely enjoy. It could be dancing, playing a sport, hiking, or taking group fitness classes. When you enjoy the activity, it becomes easier to stay motivated and consistent. Experiment with different activities to find what brings you joy and fulfillment.

Find an Exercise Buddy or Support Group: Exercising with a friend or joining a support group can provide accountability, motivation, and social interaction. Having a workout partner can make exercise more enjoyable and increase adherence. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that social support enhances exercise adherence and weight loss success (5).

Track Your Progress: Monitor your progress and celebrate achievements along the way. Keep a record of your workouts, noting improvements in strength, endurance, or flexibility. Using fitness trackers or smartphone apps can help track activity levels, set goals, and provide visual feedback on your progress.

Remember, motivation can fluctuate, but building a habit of exercise is about discipline and commitment. Once you start experiencing the physical and mental benefits of regular exercise, it becomes easier to stay motivated and make it a long-term habit.


  • Thorogood, A., Mottillo, S., Shimony, A., Filion, K. B., Joseph, L., Genest, J., . . . Pilote, L. (2011). Isolated aerobic exercise and weight loss: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials . The British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45(5), 392-402. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2010.073989
  • Strasser, B., & Schobersberger, W. (2011). Evidence for resistance training as a treatment therapy in obesity. Journal of Obesity, 2011, 1-9. doi:10.1155/2011/482564
  • Maillard, F., Pereira, B., Boisseau, N., & Duclos, M. (2018). High-intensity interval training decreases abdominal fat mass in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes & Metabolism, 44(4), 337-340. doi:10.1016/j.diabet.2018.01.004
  • Buchowski, M. S., Townsend, K. M. S., Chen, K.-Y., & Acra, S. A. (2012). Sunlight exposure is associated with a lower BMI in young children: Results from the FLAME study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9(1), 1-7. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-1
  • Gorin, A. A., Wing, R. R., Fava, J. L., Jakicic, J. M., Jeffery, R., West, D. S., . . . Brelje, K. (2004). Weight loss treatment influences untreated spouses and the home environment: Evidence of a ripple effect. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72(3), 341-347. doi:10.1037/0022-006x.72.3.341