While cardio exercise does help burn calories, strength training should also be an important part of any weight loss workout plan. Studies show that a pound of muscle burns anywhere between 25-50 calories per day. Now that may not sound like a lot, but if you add just five pounds of muscle, you can torch up to 250 extra calories a day (that’s about 26 pounds lost in just one year!). Since muscle burns more calories at rest than fat, developing lean muscle mass helps boost your metabolism, meaning you’ll be burning calories long after you’ve finished exercising.
Grab a set of hand weights (if you don’t have any, try using two, 16-ounce water bottles instead). Do this workout up to 3 non-consecutive days per week for best results. And be sure to increase your weight to keep your muscles challenged (and your body changing) every four to six weeks, or once the moves start to feel too easy.