There are a lot of great reasons to exercise. But one of the most basic goals is to burn calories.
The best way to do that is by picking something you like enough to do regularly over time. If you are deciding between a few different activities, you may want to pick the one that burns the most energy.
The Mayo Clinic, drawing on research published by the National Institutes of Health, ranks 36 popular forms of exercise based on their caloric impacts, which we've ranked in another article. Here, we've listed the top ten, with approximate calories burned per hour.
Each graphic lists calories burned per hour for a 200-pound person, while the header above lists calories burned for a 160-pound person. (According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, American women weigh 168.5 pounds on average, compared with 195.7 pounds for the average American man.)
Exact figures will vary across body types, gender, age, and other factors. Additionally, exercise on its own 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 cutting down on sugar and large portions.
Rollerblading: 548 calories/hour for a 160-pound person, 683 calories/hour for a 200-pound person
This calculation is for "recreational" rollerblading, though athletes traveling at top speeds will burn even more calories.
Basketball: 584 calories/hour for a 160-pound person
Flag football: 584 calories/hour for a 160-pound person
Tennis: Like flag football or basketball, singles tennis will burn 584 calories/hour for a 160-pound person and 728 for a 200-pound person.
Running (5 mph): 606 calories/hour for a 160-pound person
At this pace, you'd be running 12-minute miles.
Running up stairs will do you even better: 657 calories/hour for a 160-pound person, 819 calories/hour for a 200-pound person
Vigorous lap-swimming: 715 calories/hour for a 160-pound person, 892 calories/hour for a 200-pound person
Taekwondo: 752 calories/hour for a 160-pound person
The same is true for Muay Thai, karate, and jujitsu.
Jump rope: 861 calories/hour for a 160-pound person
Running (8 mph): 861 calories/hour for a 160-pound person, 1,074 calories/hour for a 200-pound person
At this pace, you'd run a mile in 7 minutes, 30 seconds.
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