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Best exercises that burn calories

  • Best exercises for burning calories

    People choose their workouts for any number of reasons. Fitness regimens target different muscle groups, utilize diverse kinds of equipment (or none at all), help individuals reach specific and varied goals, and can be modified for indoor or outdoor activity according to the season, skill level, or personal preference. No matter one's motivations or the necessary factors considered, one result is always the same: Exercise burns calories. The actual amount can vary greatly, though, depending on the rigor of the activity, the length of time involved, and the size and form of the athlete.

    Since the number of calories burned can ultimately influence a variety of choices when it comes to health, diet, and physical activity, Stacker set out to discover which common exercises burn the most calories per hour. To do so, we consulted Washburn University's adaptation of the 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities, which compares and calculates calories burned for hundreds of activities and exercises. Washburn worked with the complex research data of the Compendium of Physical Activities and translated the results into layperson's terms by calculating calories burned for each physical activity represented based on “exercise, intensity level, and individual characteristics such as weight.”

    The following slides are ranked by calories burned per hour, which were calculated for 160-, 200-, and 240-pound subjects. Read on to see just how fast one needs to run to burn more 1,000 calories in 60 minutes, which of the highest-burning exercises can actually be done from a seated position, and which require little to no equipment at all. Readers may want to fill a water bottle and get their tennis shoes ready since this list gives plenty of options. Just be sure to consult with your physician before pursuing a new exercise routine and take all proper safety precautions before, during, and after a workout.

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  • #18. Walking 2 mph

    - Calories burned (160 lbs.): 204
    - Calories burned (200 lbs.): 255
    - Calories burned (240 lbs.): 305

    A relaxed stroll can serve as a starting point for those who want to introduce light exercise into their routine. Walking, even at a slow pace, uses muscles in the legs, hips, and lower back side, and offers a number of benefits that include a boost to immune function and easing of joint pain.

  • #17. Canoeing

    - Calories burned (160 lbs.): 256
    - Calories burned (200 lbs.): 319
    - Calories burned (240 lbs.): 382

    Canoeing, which involves rowing from a seated position, requires upper body and core strength. Aspiring paddlers should keep in mind that trekking to a suitable body of water with a canoe can take extra time and energy and burn additional calories.

  • #16. Leisure bicycling

    - Calories burned (160 lbs.): 292
    - Calories burned (200 lbs.): 364
    - Calories burned (240 lbs.): 436

    Cycling does more than just work muscles like glutes, quads, calves, hamstrings and hip flexors. Riders may be interested to know that studies have found that cyclists live longer than those who never hop on a bike. Cycling to work, or to run occasional errands, can be an effective way to introduce the activity into a regular routine.

  • #15. Walking 3.5 mph

    - Calories burned (160 lbs.): 314
    - Calories burned (200 lbs.): 391
    - Calories burned (240 lbs.): 469

    The faster we walk, the more calories burned. Walking at a moderate pace, just higher than the average walking pace of 2–2.9 mph, provides a number of benefits, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine's National Center for Biotechnology Information. A recent study found that those who walk at a regular or above-average pace also have a lower mortality risk by approximately 20%.

  • #12. Low-impact aerobics (tie)

    - Calories burned (160 lbs.): 365
    - Calories burned (200 lbs.): 455
    - Calories burned (240 lbs.): 545

    Aerobic exercise, or cardio, stimulates the heart and lungs and can be performed in a variety of ways including classes, with gym equipment, and through solo efforts. Experts advise participants to keep an eye on their pulse to ensure that they are making the best of their workout and not overdoing it.

  • #12. Resistance (weight) training (tie)

    - Calories burned (160 lbs.): 365
    - Calories burned (200 lbs.): 455
    - Calories burned (240 lbs.): 545

    Resistance training builds desired muscles and muscle groups, by requiring the body to work against weight or force. Equipment and machines can be used, but exercisers may also utilize their own body weight for desired results. Experts recommend resistance training at least twice a week.

  • #12. Softball or baseball (tie)

    - Calories burned (160 lbs.): 365
    - Calories burned (200 lbs.): 455
    - Calories burned (240 lbs.): 545

    Despite the stigma of being a slow sport, baseball and its cousin softball still give players plenty of opportunities to burn calories. Different muscle groups are used at different parts of the game, with the entire body needed to throw overhand, shoulders and core used for batting, and legs for running bases and making catches.

  • #11. Water aerobics

    - Calories burned (160 lbs.): 402
    - Calories burned (200 lbs.): 501
    - Calories burned (240 lbs.): 600

    Water aerobics, typically available in class settings, is easy on the joints. It's a popular choice for elderly exercisers and pregnant women, and it's a great option for beginners. Movements may vary depending on the class, but participants can expect to target core, arms, legs, glutes, and back muscles.

  • #10. Swimming laps

    - Calories burned (160 lbs.): 423
    - Calories burned (200 lbs.): 528
    - Calories burned (240 lbs.): 632

    Depending on which stroke is used, swimming laps can provide a thorough workout for a variety of muscle groups. Like water aerobics, it's also easy on the joints thanks to the water's buoyancy.

  • #8. Hiking (tie)

    - Calories burned (160 lbs.): 438
    - Calories burned (200 lbs.): 546
    - Calories burned (240 lbs.): 654

    Hiking is much more than a long walk in the woods. When there's varied terrain, inclines, and even gear to carry, the benefits for one's body start to add up. A recent study by the University of Innsbruck at Austria even noted that participants reported simply feeling better after hiking outside, compared to those who performed similar exercise indoors.

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