What Are Some Good Gentle Exercises for Weight Loss?

In this article, Dr. Lara shares some of his favorite gentle exercises for weight loss and long-term wellness.

It’s important to move our bodies frequently. Even gentle movement does wonders for the body, mind, and spirit when performed consistently and with purpose. This article provides some of my favorite options for gentle exercise and frequent movement. I ask my patients to find a few activities like these that they enjoy, and incorporate them into their weekly routines. Regular movement improves circulation, stimulates endorphins, helps us connect with our breath, and allows us to release old habits as we transform ourselves.

Benefits of Exercise:

  • Exercise boosts your metabolism, so you burn more fat all day long.
  • Exercise builds muscle, and muscle burns a lot of fat. The more muscle you have, the larger your fat burning “engine”.
  • Exercise does wonders for your mood and your mindset. Success starts and ends with mindset.
  • Exercise delivers fresh blood and oxygen to your organs, supporting overall health and wellness.
  • When we exercise, we naturally start to enjoy making healthier eating choices.

9 Gentle Exercises for Weight Loss & Wellness:

  1. Walking - Walk for 30 minutes or more every day. If you can’t walk for 30 minutes at one time right now, start by breaking it up into 2 or 3 walks throughout the day.
  2. Stretching - Performing simple stretches that you enjoy each and every day will improve your life.
  3. Tai Chi or Qi Gong - Both of these traditional Asian martial arts are gentle practices that benefit the body and help clear the mind. Watch a beautiful sunrise or sunset on the beach, or practice at home anytime.
  4. Essentrics - This program combines dynamic strengthening and stretching exercises suitable for everyone. Workouts are available on public television and at essentrics.com.
  5. Four Minute Workout - The Four Minute Workout can be completed multiple times per day no matter where you are, who you’re with, or what you're wearing. See Zach Bush, MD Four Minute Workout on YouTube.
  6. Dancing - Salsa, tango, ballroom, jazz, hip hop, square dancing, ecstatic movement. Any form of dancing can be a fun way to get your body moving. Choose your favorite and get down.
  7. Yoga - Generally, yoga classes labeled gentle or restorative will involve gentle yoga practices. You can join a class online or in-person.
  8. Water Aerobics - Water aerobics is a fun, low-impact way to exercise. You can join a class at your favorite gym or practice at home if you have a pool.
  9. Swimming - Swimming is excellent for your cardiovascular health and low-impact on your joints.

Regular exercise is an essential part of your weight loss journey and your ongoing healthy lifestyle. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. Stick to your weight loss program. In time you’ll see exercise become its own reward.