6 Exercises That Burn the Most Calories

There are 3,500 calories in a pound. To lose weight, you must create a deficit equal to or greater than that number. It may feel like a daunting task but there are plenty of fun, engaging activities to help you meet that requirement. The goal is to exert more energy and elevate your heart rate, which in turn, burns more calories.

Here are six exercises with the most calorie-blazing potential:

  • Biking, whether stationary or outdoors, has many physical benefits. Making moderate strides can improve cardiovascular and joint health, while building the hamstrings, quads, and calf muscles. Depending on weight and intensity, an hour of biking can burn well over 500 calories per hour.
  • Rowing machines have had a recent resurgence due to their popularity with CrossFit. They provide a combination of cardio and resistance training that, like biking, targets the lower body. At 150 watts, rowing can burn up to 713 calories per hour.
  • Swimming is a full-body workout that elevates your heart rate, builds strength and endurance. It’s a naturally low-impact exercise that can burn a lot of calories without excessive strain. An hour of the breaststroke burns 734 calories, while a leisurely swim offers a respectable 440.
  • Jumping Rope is a hardcore workout disguised as a recreational activity. The steady bursts of movement will get your heart pumping, while engaging your arms, legs, and core. A 140-pound person doing 100-120 skips per minute can burn 787 calories in an hour.
  • Running is a convenient exercise that can be done anywhere at any time. It’s a go-to workout for those interested in losing weight or improving their stamina. Like most exercises, the number of calories burned depends on individual weight and pace. A 140-pound person burns around 13.2 calories per minute—that’s 792 per hour.
  • HIIT or High-intensity Interval Training is a form of exercise that alternates between periods of rest and intense movement. It’s a popular cardio workout that can increase your calorie-burning potential during and up to 24 hours after a session (i.e. afterburn). The HIIT technique boosts energy expenditure  by 25-30 percent.

What are some of your favorite calorie-burning activities? Share tips or examples in the comments.

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Photo credit: skynesher

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