If there’s one thing that you must understand about maintaining a healthy body weight or getting down to that ‘dream’ weight if you’re currently battling the bulge it’s that calories matter.
From a very basic standpoint, in order to lose weight, you must burn off more calories than you consume through your daily diet. Likewise, in order to maintain your body weight, you must eat the same amount of calories that you burn on a daily basis. And, if you happen to go the other direction, then you can likely guess what the end result will be.
So part of understanding how you’re going to succeed in meeting your desired body weight target is getting a firm understanding of the best way to burn calories.
When you know this, then you know precisely how to put together a program that’s going to rapidly have you burning up body fat.
Remember though, the single most effective way to burn calories is to actually increase your basal metabolic rate because then you’re essentially burning more calories 24/7. Who doesn’t want to burn fat while they lay on the couch and watch their favorite TV show?
That’s what boosting your metabolic rate will do and that is accomplished through the formation of new lean muscle mass tissue. This is precisely why long-term, weight lifting is the best way to burn calories.
While some of the activities we’ll be discussing below may burn off more calories minute per minute compared with weight training, over the long term scheme of things, weight training, provided muscle mass is built, will still come out ahead.
Let’s have a look at some of the top calorie burning activities so you know where to get started.
The very first variety of activities to assess are those that are cardio based. Cardio does tend to be what most people traditionally gravitate to when doing their workouts as they are well known for being the best ‘calorie burners.
But, is that really the case?
Let’s have a quick peek at how a few different activities stack up. Note that all of the numbers used in this article will be based around an average 150 pound person doing the activity for 30 minutes.
- Cycling – 246 calories
- Jogging – 289 calories
- Walking – 186 calories
- Swimming (breaststroke) – 357 calories
- Skipping – 312 calories
- Rowing – 247 calories
- Using the elliptical – 312 calories
- Step-Aerobics – 270 calories
As you can see from the above, activities that utilize the whole body are going to be better calorie burns than those that don’t. This does only make sense however as the more muscles working at once, the more energy it’s going to take to fuel that activity.
Likewise, the more intensive the exercise is by nature, the more calories it will burn as well. This is why jogging for instance comes in ahead of walking. Most people will already realize that however, but keep it in mind as you go about your workouts. How hard you push yourself will make a key difference in how many calories you burn.
Sport Based Activities
Now let’s turn our attention to some sports based activities. Keep in mind that you definitely are not just going to be burning calories when you’re working hard in the gym. Any activity that gets you up and moving will cause the body to expend plenty of energy so never overlook things you do for enjoyment purposes in terms of providing weight control either.
Here’s how some of the more popular sports stack up.
- Basketball – 265 calories
- Football – 286 calories
- Soccer – 250 calories
- Tennis – 249 calories
- Badminton – 161 calories
- Skating/Rollerblading = 255 calories
Now, what’s interesting is comparing these to some of the cardio based activities above, you can see that many of these are just as good at burning calories as they are.
So next time you are feeling less than enthused about heading to the gym for another cardio session, why not consider playing some sports instead? Getting out of thinking pattern that you must be in the gym to lose weight is vital to long-term enjoyment of physical activity.
Leisure Based Activities
Finally, the last type of exercise to take into account is leisure based activities. These are the ones that you may not think of as exercise at all but are actually burning off calories as well.
While you may not burn quite as many calories during these as you will during the above two forms of activity, remember that everything does add up. If you dislike regular workouts but love playing golf for instance, this love of golf could in fact help you maintain an ideal body weight.
- Rollerblading – 429 calories
- Frisbee – 107 calories
- Golf (without a cart) – 161 calories
- Gardening – 143 calories
- Cross Country Skiing – 345 calories
So there you have some of the top ways to burn calories. The key thing to remember is that you should always do an activity that you enjoy. Don’t just perform one activity over another based on how many calories it burns because if you hate it, chances are you won’t do it anyway and then you won’t be burning any calories at all because you’ll just be sitting on the couch likely consuming calories in the process as well.
By looking for all the various places you burn calories in your life however, you can focus on ones that you enjoy and that will help lead you to your goal weight.