Traditional Exercises Never Go Out of Style

Boy in ice hockey uniform skating on ice rink moving puck.

There are some tried-and-true exercises that have consistently proven themselves as effective methods of weight reduction. If you’re just beginning a fitness program or are looking for ways to lose weight, one of the best places to start is with physical activities that have withstood the test of time. Here’s some information on traditional exercises and sports that you need to know in order to start burning calories.

Exercises for Weight Loss

There’s a reason why walking and jogging are the bread and butter of most exercise programs: these activates have been proven to strengthen your heart and reduce your weight. And the great thing about them is they don’t dependent upon your skill level like sports. All you have to do is maintain an upright posture and keep a heel-to-toe footfall while exercising.

Just 30 minutes a day, five days a week of these cardio workouts will help prevent heart disease and maintain your health; and increasing the duration to 60 to 90 minutes will produce weight reduction. Studies have also shown that cardio exercise targets fat accumulation in the abdominal area, so if you want to get rid of that belly or go down a few pant sizes, start walking or jogging.1

If you’re looking for alternative endurance exercises, swimming is a great way to stay cool and get a great cardio workout at the same time. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is much easier on your knees than walking and jogging because the water supports your body. Swimming also does not require bending over, quick direction changes, and jarring movements like many sports. Plus you get a full body workout.

Biking or cycling is another traditional exercise that offers a low-impact workout, which improves cardiovascular health, increases weight loss, and develops leg strength, especially when traveling up hill. Also, many fitness centers offer indoor cycling, which allows you the added benefit of comfortable exercise during the winter. Biking is also an efficient means of transportation, so the next time you have an errand to run within a few miles of your house, travel on your bike to burn some additional calories. Or if you are looking for ways to help your kids exercise more, take them out for a bike ride around the neighborhood.

Aerobics is a form of exercise involving continuous rhythmic movement, stretching, and sometimes weights. In a common form of aerobics called step training, the participant does an extended series of steps onto a raised platform along with various arm movements in order increase heart rate and burn calories. This type of activity has been show to produce weight loss, enhance lower body strength, and improve body composition.2

Strength training is another tried-and-true exercise method. Whether standing by itself or supplementing a cardio workout, resistance training improves strength and produces weight loss. Circuit training is a popular form of resistance training that provides more weight loss and greater cardio benefit than regular weight training.3 It involves continuous exercise using light weight and high repetitions. You cycle through various weight lifting exercises with little to no rest in between sets, which increases your heart rate and maximizes calorie loss.

Sports as Exercise

Engaging in sports allows you to burn calories and have fun at the same time. So if you struggle to get motivated for exercise or have a negative view of physical activity, consider picking up a sport in order to satisfy your daily exercise needs.

Basketball is one of the most watched and widely played sports in the world. Due to the fast-paced nature of the game, it also serves as an effective cardio workout, involving sprinting, jogging, and jumping activity. A 160 pound individual can burn up to 584 calories in an hour of basketball, and even shooting baskets for 30 minutes can be considered light exercise.4

We also recommend tennis as a form of sport exercise. Tennis increases your heart rate, and improves core and arm strength, as well as cardiovascular fitness. The sport also develops flexibility because different swings require different ranges of motion. Two to three sets tennis involve 90 minutes of exercise, the recommended amount of activity for weight reduction.

Soccer can also satisfy your daily exercise requirements, because the sport mainly consists of continuous periods of jogging and sprinting. In fact, you can run up to six or seven miles in one game.5 The sport also develops leg strength and muscle tone, as well as improves hand-foot coordination and flexibility.

Sometimes golf is viewed as an “easy” sport. But if you’ve ever played 18 holes, you know how physically demanding it can be. Since one can walk three to five miles in an average game, golf can be an effective substitute for other forms of aerobic exercise. The sport also involves upper body twists which improve core strength. So next time you’re out on the golf course, skip the golf cart and walk the 18 holes.

Whether you’re looking for low-impact exercises, cardio workouts, sport exercise, or strength training, there are numerous traditional exercises and sports that will help you achieve your physical fitness goals. Any one of the above activities could form the foundation of an exercise program. The most important thing is that you pick an activity that you love to do and stick with it until it simply becomes a part of your life.


1 Dionne, I. (2000). The association between vigorous physical activities and fat deposition in male adolescents. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 392.

2 Kraemer, W. J., Keuning, M., & Ratamess, N. A. (2001). Resistance training combined with bench-step aerobics enhances women’s health profile. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 259-269.

3 McArdle, W. D., Katch, F. I., & Katch, V. L. (2007). Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance (6th ed.).Baltimore,MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

4 Bramovitz, M. (2004). Soccer Scores Big. Current Health, 24-25.

5 Ainsworth, B. e. (2000). Compendium of physical activities: An update of activity codes and MET intensities. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 498.


The content provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Our content is not medical advice and you should seek a licensed physician or health professional regarding all health issues. WEIGHTLOSS.US takes no responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, or application of medication which results from reading this site.