The Best Cardio to Torch Calories

Running is great for burning calories.

If you want to burn a lot of calories, you need the right workout. Try these six workouts to achieve the results you desire.

The number of calories you’ll burn during a workout can fluctuate greatly and is dependent on a variety of factors including your current weight, workout intensity, overall difficulty level, as well as your current fitness level. So, when looking at calories burned for each activity, the actual calories burned can vary greatly for each individual. (The numbers shown below are based on a 200lb individual).

1: Running: 755- 1074 per hour

Running is great for burning calories and requires no equipment so you can easily incorporate it into your fitness routine. Running at a pace of 8mph can burn 1,074 calories, and at slower pace of 5mph can burn 755 calories. You can increase your calorie burn by adding in hills (this is more muscle-building, especially for the butt and hamstrings.) Picking up the pace or extending your run past the one hour will increase the burn. Another way to make running more intense is to do bouts of sprinting with a little rest in between each 10-15 second burst. Training in this interval style can be a lot more fun.

2: Jumping rope: 1074 per hour

Jumping rope is a high impact activity that challenges your body in the same way running does. It’s cardiovascular in nature, but unlike running using a rope requires a little bit of coordination. If you’re lacking in that department you can do the jumping action without the rope, but for one hour that may seem a little crazy. The speed and intensity of the jumping will heavily impact the number of calories you burn, so going fast is the key to maximizing the burn. Also, finding a pace that you can sustain for one hour is tough, so jumping rope in an interval style may be the best approach.

3: Vigorous swimming- moderate paced swimming 892- 528 per hour

Swimming is an amazing, low-impact exercise that can burn a lot of calories. The higher calorie burning strokes are front crawl and butterfly. In order to achieve the higher calorie range with this exercise, you need to be proficient in the water and able to swim vigorously for the entire hour. The breast stroke is more gentle and less demanding on the body so if this is your stroke of choice, consider alternating in a front crawl or swim for a longer duration to maximize your burn.

4. Stair running: 819 per hour

Running stairs is an athletic favorite of mine. Running up and down the stairs is great for muscle building and improving your cardiovascular fitness level. Your speed, number of steps and the height of the steps will all factor in to determining your overall calorie burn. Keeping a faster pace up the stairs and walking down is the safest approach. You can vary your upward speed to increase the intensity level, or if you have the coordination, taking two steps at a time will make your muscles work harder and therefore increase your calorie burn. The more steps you climb overall, the harder your body is working.

5. High impact aerobics 664 per hour

High impact refers to activities where both feet leave the ground, such as jumping jacks, plyometric style hopping movements and some forms of dancing. This form of exercise is often fun and allows for a lot of variety. However, the impact on the joints is not for everyone. This type of exercise can be made more intense by adding in weighted equipment, keeping the intensity level high and doing exercise that specifically works the large muscle groups, such as the glutes, chest and back. This type of training done in a HIIT style, where you do timed work to rest intervals, can increase the overall calorie burn dramatically. However, when you’re working at a high intensity, a shorter, overall workout duration is important. A typical HIIT session will last only 20-30 minutes.

6. Backpacking 637 per hour

Carrying a backpack on a hike is a great form of outdoor exercise, and because you are carrying extra weight, it can help you to build muscular strength. The varied terrain is also great for improving coordination and working the small, stabilizing muscles in the legs and ankles. To burn more calories while backpacking, consider increasing the weight you are carrying, or choose a steeper terrain.

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