6 Most Popular Calorie Burning Exercises

(BeWellBuzz) The most popular exercises are usually easily accessible, don’t require specialized skills, and they’re proven effective. Some of the workouts listed here do require a special facility, whereas others can be done absolutely free of charge using your neighborhood streets and parks, the local high school track or even your own back yard.

Typically, if you’re overweight or out of shape, it’s best to start out gently and work your way up to more rigorous exercise. The good news is that more you weigh, the more you burn. Overdoing it will only set you back, so talk with your healthcare pro, set reasonable goals, amp your nutrition, and pay close attention to how you feel before, during and after workouts. If your immune system becomes at all depressed, then you’re probably overdoing it. A good workout regimen will improve your sleep and overall energy, strengthen your immune system, and deepen relaxation when at rest. It also helps to balance mood and combat depression.

Accuracy of Calculations

The following estimates assume a non-stop 60-minute workout, based on a male standing 5’5” in his mid-30s. Various weights are given. If you’re taller, you tend to burn more. If you’re female, you burn slightly less. If you’re older, you tend to burn slightly less, although this is highly subjective, also depending upon muscle mass and other health factors that affect actual “bodily” age. Use the estimates as a general gauge.

1. Bikram’s Yoga

Oh how I love this class. While American yogi instructors hash it out (and they do) over what “real” yoga is, or whether different schools are authentic, laypersons like you and I are increasing in strength, flexibility and muscle tone, all while losing weight. Bikram’s yoga is a 90 minute class conducted in a room of 105°F, where the same 26 postures are practiced in a sequence. It’s been a little controversial because of the high heat. It may not be for everyone, although I’ve worked out with people of all shapes, sizes, ages, male, female and even pregnant women who loved the class. If you’re a first-timer, let them know before class begins. Go in hydrated – this is crucial. Take your time. Once you’re in, you’re committed to the full 90 minutes, but you can rest as much and as often as you desire. The estimated calorie burn:

  • 1,225 calories…180 lbs
  • 1,021 calories…150 lbs
  • 885 calories…130 lbs

2. Cycling

Research shows that energy expenditure in most spinning classes can be from 400-600 calories in 40 minutes, depending on several factors including weight and average speed. An uphill, vigorous mountain biking extravaganza is not for the faint of heart. But if this is something you’re doing, or aspiring to, you can hope to burn calories in the vicinity of:

  • 1,050 calories…180 lbs
  • 941 calories…150 lbs
  • 868 calories…130 lbs

Most of us can and perhaps should do general biking, where the terrain is varied with ups and downs, but not constantly a steep uphill. Estimated calorie burn:

  • 638 calories…180 lbs
  • 571 calories…150 lbs
  • 527 calories…130 lbs

3. Running

The difference between running and jogging may seem subjective. Basically, running is faster than jogging. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re covering a mile in 9 minutes or less, you’re running. That means you’re averaging a rate of 6.7mph or faster. At this minimum speed of 6.7mph for running, the estimated calorie burn is:

  • 788 calories…180 lbs
  • 706 calories…150 lbs
  • 651 calories…130 lbs


4. Swimming

Even if you only enjoy a leisurely swim over the course of an hour, you’re likely to burn hundreds of calories. As a rigorous workout, swimming is top choice for battling the bulge. To swim continuously for an hour you need to be in shape. Calorie burn will vary as you take rests or switch between exercises. Either way, keep at it and you will see results.

Doing a front crawl, which is the most common stroke, averaging a light to moderate pace, here’s the estimated calorie burn:

  • 713 calories…180 lbs
  • 639 calories…150 lbs
  • 589 calories…130 lbs

To keep your workout moving, you might do intervals of moderate lap swimming with moderate tread exercises; or, to start getting in shape for swimming, start with less rigorous water workouts.  General treading water exercises, with a moderate effort, burn an estimated:

  • 263 calories…180 lbs
  • 235 calories…150 lbs
  • 217 calories…130 lbs

5. Jogging

Jogging can be less rigorous than running. A 12-minute mile averaging 5mph for 60 minutes will achieve an estimated calorie burn of:

  • 623 calories…180 lbs
  • 558 calories…150 lbs
  • 487  calories…130 lbs

If you go at a gentler pace, alternating a well-paced jog with walking, estimated burnage is:

  • 560 calories…250 lbs
  • 481 calories…200 lbs
  • 403 calories…150 lbs
  • 372 calories…130 lbs

6. Walking

Walking is such a joy and so healthy. Getting outside for your walk may add the benefits of sunshine, fresh air, and if there are trees, flowers, or any garden-life in the environment, you add rich oxygen and the nutrients specific to the foliage. When a rosebush wafts the fragrance of roses to your nose, you get a dose of healing aromatherapy, free of charge. One of the best and perhaps the most fun ways to get into a great walking workout is to hike. Calorie burn for a general hike with a daypack is not too shabby, estimated at:

  • 626 calories…200 lbs
  • 585 calories…180 lbs
  • 524 calories…150 lbs
  • 484 calories…130 lbs

Walking briskly through your neighborhood at about 5mph burns an estimated:

  • 401 calories…250 lbs
  • 345 calories…200 lbs
  • 323 calories…180 lbs
  • 289 calories…150 lbs
  • 267 calories…130 lbs

The best way to stay in shape and enjoy the process is to

  • discover the workouts and exercise you most enjoy;
  • cross train; ie, switch between different workouts, keeping it varied enough to be interesting, and consistent enough to be effective.

Exercise is like any other form of training. You learn best by doing, and you increase your capacity by doing it regularly and often. Little by little, you’ll increase strength, endurance and, as a result, fitness. Give yourself time to increase, expand and improve. No matter how impossible it seems, just believe and keep going. You’ll be amazed at the results over time!

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