Featured in: Fitness & Weight Management  |  June 30, 2020

The 12 Best Exercises for Calorie Burn

By Lyle Oliver

Life gets busy, which is why it’s important for you to find a workout that fits into your schedule while still challenging you. If you’re looking to get the most out of your workout, you may want to find an activity that burns the highest number of calories in a short period of time.

There are many forms of exercise that get your heart rate up quickly, helping you get an intense workout from the start. Get to know what burns the most calories.

How Does the Body Use Calories?

Your metabolism is responsible for taking what you eat and drink and turning it into energy. The calories in what you consume are combined with oxygen, releasing the energy your body uses.

Although calories make it possible to live your life, they also help your body carry out its most basic functions such as repairing cells, breathing and circulating blood. The number of calories your body requires for these basic functions is your basal metabolic rate, otherwise referred to as your metabolism.

Thermogenesis, or the production of body heat, also requires a certain number of calories, as does energy it takes to digest, absorb, transport and store food. Of course, another factor that determines how many calories you burn each day is your level of physical activity.

When choosing a workout program, an important thing to keep in mind is that everyone’s bodies burn calories differently.

Calorie burn depends on body size and composition, sex, age and other factors. People who weigh more or have a higher muscle mass tend to burn more calories. Since men tend to have more muscle mass and body weight than women, they typically burn more calories. As you age, your muscle mass tends to decrease, which can also slow down your burn rate.

 

That means the stated calorie burn for any particular activity represents an average. For example, a young man who weighs 200 pounds is likely to burn more calories than an older woman who weighs 125 pounds. Aiming for a range of calories to burn can help you account for variations.

Exercises That Burn the Most Calories

1. Running

Running  burns an average of 1,074 calories per hour. The American Council on Exercise found that running tends to burn more calories than other exercises. Of course, this number can vary greatly based on the length and intensity of the run, as well as the physique of the runner. It’s a great way to challenge your body since you can switch up what types of running you do.

If you want to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, try a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) running exercise. This is when you alternate between quick exercises that are at least over 70% of your aerobic capacity. Sprints and high knees are great examples of HIIT running exercises.

If you prefer less strenuous exercises over a longer period of time, try a LISS (low-intensity steady-state) cardio workout. While doing a LISS workout, you keep your heart rate to 50-65 percent of your maximum heart rate. Going on a slow jog for many miles is an example of a LISS running workout.

2. Jump Rope

Jumping rope burns an average of 1,074 calories per hour. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up in a short period of time. Jumping rope targets different muscle groups in your legs, making it an excellent workout. Try different jumping patterns to add some variety to your workout.

3. Taekwondo

Taekwondo burns around 937 calories per hour. This martial arts practice incorporates head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, and other intense kicks that can skyrocket your heart rate and help you burn major calories. Taekwondo requires a great amount of self-discipline and perseverance, helping you connect your mind and body.

4. Swimming

Vigorous swimming can burn around 892 calories per hour. This workout is a great combination of strength and cardio, helping you target muscle groups throughout your body. Swimming is one of the best ways to get a full-body workout without too much strain on your joints. By combining different strokes in your swimming session, you can work your arms, legs and core muscles.

5. Tennis

During a game of singles tennis, you can burn an average of 728 calories per hour. Tennis requires short bursts of running combined with swinging a racket, making for an awesome workout. You’re often moving forward and backward and side to side, giving your brain and muscles an extra challenge.

6. Basketball

You can burn around 728 calories per hour playing basketball. This classic sport requires running and jumping that can help you torch calories while having some fun.

7. Rollerblading

Rollerblading can burn an average of 683 calories per hour. During this exercise, you are using multiple muscles at once to gain speed while staying balanced. Rollerblading is a great way to have some fun while getting a solid workout.

8. High-impact aerobics

High-impact aerobics exercises can help you burn around 664 calories per hour. These fast-paced exercises can also help you build cardiovascular health and tone your muscles. Many aerobics classes incorporate upbeat music and fun moves for people of different workout levels.

9. Racquetball

The average person can burn around 637 calories per hour playing racquetball. Swinging your racket can work your upper body while running around the court can target your lower body. It’s a great way to stay social while getting a good workout.

10. Backpacking

Backpacking can burn around 637 calories per hour. People who backpack need to have a strong core in order to support the weight on their back during an intense hike or climb. Backpacking is a fun activity for people who enjoy the outdoors and the uneven terrain that comes with it.

11. Cross-country Skiing

Cross-country skiing can burn around 619 calories per hour. This rigorous sport is a great way to stay active in colder seasons. The movement of cross-country skiing quickly gets your heart rate up since you are using your arms, legs and core. Along with burning some serious calories, you can enjoy the beauty of nature while cross-country skiing.

12. Weight Training

Weight training can burn around 570 calories per hour. Although it doesn’t burn as many calories as aerobic exercises, weight training is an important part of staying fit. It can lead to decreased body fat, increased muscle mass and a boost in metabolism, which can help you burn more calories long term. The more intense your weight training workout is, the more calories you can burn. You can make your workout more intense by lifting heavier weights, limiting your rest periods, and targeting different muscles.

How to Burn 100, 500 and 1000 Calories per Hour

These different activities can help you get a quick burn. Remember, the number of calories burned depends on factors such as the level of intensity, duration, and your personal physique.

Burn 100 Calories

You can burn 100 calories in much less time than an hour. Climbing stairs for as little as 10 minutes can burn 100 calories and help you strengthen your legs. If you’re looking for something more relaxing, try stretching and doing yoga . 30 minutes of this can burn 100 calories and improve your range of motion. If your home is in desperate need of deep cleaning, you can burn 100 calories in 30 minutes by doing some vigorous cleaning like vacuuming and dusting. This way you’re getting a short workout in while also getting your chores done.

Burn 500 Calories

Cycling on a stationary bike is one way you can burn 500 calories in a little over 30 minutes. In order to burn this many calories in such a short period of time, you need to put in your full effort for the entire 30 minutes. Another way to torch 500 calories within an hour is a weight training circuit. For example, a kettlebell workout can burn around 20 calories per minute. Weight training is also beneficial because it helps you continue to burn calories even after your session is over.

Burn 1,000 Calories

If you’re really willing to work hard, it’s possible to burn 1,000 calories in an hour. One way to do this is through sprint interval training. During your intervals, alternate between 30-second sprints and five-minutes of jogging. You could also build your own circuit training workout. Choose exercises that target different muscle groups. For example, a combination of burpees, pushups, high knees, deadlifts and shoulder presses can give you a well-rounded circuit workout.

Living a more active lifestyle with lots of exercise can help you burn more calories and be healthier overall. The most important parts of exercising are that you find activities you enjoy and can do safely. Before starting a workout, you may want to first discuss your plans with a medical professional.

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