Exercises That Burn The Most Calories

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Exercises That Burn The Most Calories

Spin classes burn a ton of calories.Courtesy of SoulCycleWhat’s the best way to burn the most calories? There’s a lot that goes into developing an exercise regimen — meeting your body’s needs, finding something you enjoy, and figuring out what will have enough impact to make a difference to your health. If you’re crunched for time, one of the ways to measure that is to figure out how much energy a particular exercise expends in the time you actually do it. In other words, how many calories does it burn? The big, important caveats here are that exercising on its own actually doesn’t do much to make you lose weight. If you want to slim down, we suggest talking to a doctor about what a healthy weight is for you and working on cutting sugar and large portions out of your diet. Still, calories burned per hour is a good measure of how intense a particular exercise is. The Mayo Clinic, drawing on research published by the National Institutes of Health, lists 36 popular forms of exercise by their caloric impacts. We’ve ordered them from least to most intense, with approximate calories burned per hour for a 200-pound person listed for each activity. (An average adult American weighs just under 200 pounds.) Of course exact figures will vary across body types, gender, age, and other factors. Keep in mind that the numbers here are approximate. Also, just because an exercise burns calories faster doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best option. The most important exercise is the one you enjoy enough to get up and do regularly. View As: One Page Slides
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Exercises That Burn The Most Calories

Whether you're biking or running, throw some resistance in the mix to significantly boost your calorie burn. “Running up a steep hill recruits more muscle fibers,” says ACSM spokesperson Jim White. “It's going to be taxing, and it's going to definitely burn more calories.” In fact, you'll burn about 10 percent more calories for each degree of incline versus running on a flat surface. That means a 155-pound person running at a five-mph pace will burn 373 calories every half hour at a five-percent grade versus 298 calories at the same speed on a flat surface. Get those glutes firing even more and up your calorie burn at the same time by incorporating more hills into your workout.
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Exercises That Burn The Most Calories

4. Vigorous swimmingSolis Images/shutterstock You’ve probably heard that swimming, though low-impact and relatively accessible for nearly all individuals regardless of age or injury, burns serious calories—and that’s no lie. Vigorous, or high-intensity, swimming can burn upwards of 892 calories an hour for a 200-pound person. In addition to its therapeutic benefits and fine balance between strength and cardio, one of swimming’s ancillary benefits is simply being in water. “Your body normally runs at 98.6 degrees, but the average pool temperature is usually around 80 degrees—so your body burns calories just by trying to keep you warm and make up for the near 20-degree difference,” explains Ryan. Want to burn even more calories? Try wearing resistance gloves or using a dead-leg stroke to essentially take your legs out of the mix. Also, finding a cooler-than-normal pool or body of water to swim in will really jack up your caloric burn as your body burns more calories to stay warm.
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Exercises That Burn The Most Calories

Winner: Interval Training Get bored on the elliptical? You can burn more calories — and still hop off the machine sooner — if you hit it hard. The key is interval training. By alternating between periods of all-out effort and rest, it lets you go harder, longer, to burn the same number of calories in about half the time as you would with steady-state exercise, Jordan says. For instance, an Australian study in the International Journal of Obesity found young women who alternated between 8 seconds of high-intensity and 12 seconds of low-intensity exercise for just 20 minutes three times a week burned more fat than did steady-state exercisers who logged twice as much time breaking a sweat. While higher intensities use more calories, period, the even bigger calorie-zapping effect might be in the calories you torch after you leave the gym, Jordan says. In fact, research from the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University suggests that completing high-intensity intervals can up your metabolic rate for 14 whole hours.
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Exercises That Burn The Most Calories

Slow and Steady vs. Interval Training Winner: Interval Training Get bored on the elliptical? You can burn more calories — and still hop off the machine sooner — if you hit it hard. The key is interval training. By alternating between periods of all-out effort and rest, it lets you go harder, longer, to burn the same number of calories in about half the time as you would with steady-state exercise, Jordan says. For instance, an Australian study in the International Journal of Obesity found young women who alternated between 8 seconds of high-intensity and 12 seconds of low-intensity exercise for just 20 minutes three times a week burned more fat than did steady-state exercisers who logged twice as much time breaking a sweat. While higher intensities use more calories, period, the even bigger calorie-zapping effect might be in the calories you torch after you leave the gym, Jordan says. In fact, research from the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University suggests that completing high-intensity intervals can up your metabolic rate for 14 whole hours. WIN a prize a day! Enter now!
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Exercises That Burn The Most Calories

Running, biking or swimming at a steady state is enough to burn some serious calories, especially if you’re just starting out. But if you up your pace for periods of time during your workout and you’ll increase the burn even more. “Sprinting burns a massive amount of calories, but it can only be kept up for a certain amount of time,” explains American College of Sports Medicine spokesperson Jim White. A 155-pound person who runs at a pace of 7.5 miles per hour can burn 465 calories in 30 minutes. Try alternating between two minutes at an all-out pace (or the fastest you can sustain for that long), and then recover with one minute of jogging, White recommends.

Exercises That Burn The Most Calories

6. Jogging lzf/Shutterstock Even at a relatively easy pace like 5 miles an hour, which is just above walking speed for most people, jogging is an excellent way to burn a high amount of calories. In fact, a 200-pound person can burn 755 calories per hour when running at this relaxed speed. Because it’s a full-body movement, running works a great deal of muscles at the same time and challenges your cardiovascular system. It’s also a fairly easy exercise to fit into people’s schedules because, most of the time, all it requires is some running shoes and pavement. “If you’re looking to add a little more caloric burn during your workout, try upping the incline a few percentages for short bouts of hills during your workout,” says Ryan. “This helps increase the intensity of the workout, but also shifts the position of the foot strike to mimic an undulating path or trail, which becomes a much more functional way to attack a workout.” Here’s what happens to your body when you start a running regimen.
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Exercises That Burn The Most Calories

Tabata training is a high-intensity exercise modality that burns a lot of calories in a short period of time. The protocol consists of doing 20 seconds of work at an all-out pace, followed by 10 seconds of recovery. You repeat this eight times. Almost any activity can be done in a Tabata-training style. A typical Tabata workout might include four exercises — for example, push-ups, squats, jumping rope and crunches. Although the first round might seem easy, just wait. By round eight, your muscles will be screaming! A study conducted by the American Council on Exercise determined that a typical Tabata workout can burn an average of 15 calories per minute, or 450 calories per half hour (workouts usually don't last longer than 20 to 30 minutes).
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Cardiovascular exercise — you know you need to do it to stay healthy and manage your weight, but you can never seem to find enough time between work, family and social obligations. The good news is you don’t need to spend hours plodding away on the treadmill — you just need to choose the right workout. Activities that use more muscle mass and that involve some sort of resistance will be more taxing and burn a greater amount of calories. In addition, the higher the intensity, the more calories you’ll burn. Take a look at our top 10 picks for cardiovascular exercises that give you the most bang for your buck.
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Winner: Switching Up Your Workouts When it comes to your workout, there’s a fine line between a routine and a rut. After all, it takes just three weeks for a fit body to adapt and become more efficient at a given exercise. And while adaptation might sound like a good thing, the more efficient your body is at a given move, the fewer calories it has to burn to complete it, says trainer Chase Karnes, CSCS, NSCA-CPT. Still, that doesn’t mean you should haphazardly perform different exercises each time you walk into the gym. Instead progress at a given workout and setup of sets and reps, and then after four to six weeks change things up, he suggests. Altering the exercises, angles, or even just the number of sets and reps can keep your body guessing and burning more calories during every workout.

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