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30-Day Exercise Plan for Weight Loss

By Nina Makofsky ; Updated July 18, 2017

In 30 days, you can design and implement an exercise regimen that helps you lose weight. A one-month exercise plan should feature diverse types of exercise that raise your heart rate, lubricate your joints, improve your range of motion, build your stamina and strengthen your muscles. Depending on the intensity of your workouts, you can lose up to 8 lbs. in one month by exercising for one hour every day.

Aerobic Exercise

The most effective way to burn more calories in your workout is to elevate your heart rate for a prolonged time. Aerobic exercise accomplishes this task, pumping oxygen through your body and making you sweat. Moderate cardiovascular exercises -- such as walking briskly, bicycling at a leisurely rate or doing low-impact aerobics -- burn between 270 and 545 calories per hour, depending on your weight and fitness level. More vigorous aerobic exercise, such as climbing stairs, jumping rope, doing martial arts, rollerblading and running burns between 580 and 1,470 calories per hour. Try to do moderate to vigorous cardiovascular exercise for at least 30 minutes per day.

Strength Workouts

Building muscle boosts weight loss in a different way than aerobic exercise. When you lift weights, use resistance machines or do intense calisthenics, you increase your muscle mass. The body's recovery from these exercise sessions, and any added muscle, make your body's basal metabolism rise somewhat. A higher metabolism means you burn more calories around the clock. Do two or three 20-minute sessions of strengthening exercises such as bench presses, tricep dips, pushups, squats, lateral raises, pectoral presses and standing flies every week on nonconsecutive days. You might not see visible increases in muscle mass until after you lose excess body fat - especially if you simultaneously reducing calories as part of your weight loss program - but there are still benefits to cross-training.

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Combination Workouts

Combination workouts raise your heart rate and burn fat while building muscle. This two-pronged approach is ideal in a quick one-month weight loss program. Vigorous styles of yoga, such as hot yoga, Ashtanga yoga or sun salutations provide these benefits and also increase your range of motion. Circuit training, functional fitness and boot camp exercise regimens use a rapid-fire series of moves to help you lose weight. With circuit training, you switch between high-impact cardiovascular challenges -- such as dashing up stairs, running over hills, climbing ladders and doing jumping jacks -- and muscle-building challenges, such as hauling bags of sand, doing deep squats and lunges, and lifting weights.

Interval Training

As you lose weight over the course of 30 days, you will find your workouts get easier. This shift means your body has become more efficient at doing the exercises. However, it also means you burn fewer calories overall unless you change your workout. Doing speed intervals will dramatically boost your heart rate, resulting in your burning more calories. Exercise at a steady, vigorous pace. Every few minutes, do a burst of activity that you can only sustain for about 30 seconds. You might jump up and down from a platform, sprint, do deep-squat jumping jacks or skip rope. Allow yourself up to one minute to recover at a slower pace before resuming your vigorous workout. Repeat this cycle for about 30 minutes.

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