To lose just 1 pound of fat you need to burn off 3500 calories. Gentle exercise is not good for burning off calories. Take walking for instance – it uses just 150 calories per hour meaning that you’d need to walk for 23 hours to lose a pound of fat! Depressing hey? So, if you’re looking to lose weight there’s no escaping the fact that you need to push yourself a little harder. By incorporating more intensive exercise into your daily routine you can spend less time exercising and burn more calories. At the same time you’ll also be improving your cardiovascular fitness which has a huge range of health benefits. In the following pages we’ve put together details of 16 of the most calorie intensive exercises that you can realistically incorporate into your busy schedule. They’re great fun too! Just click on the “next” button below to see the first exercise.
(16) Water Aerobics (burns 400 calories per hour)
A great way to burn calories without getting hot, sweaty and smelly. Water aerobics classes, popularly known as aquafitness and waterobics, take place in swimming pools. Instructors lead class participants in various cardiovascular activities in the water. Activities include aqua jogging, aqua Zumba and aqua yoga. Some classes incorporate the use of flotation devices. Water aerobics also has an element of strength training due to the resistance provided by the water. Opposing muscles are worked in a balanced fashion. Water aerobics is an excellent exercise for all age groups and body sizes. It is especially beneficial if you are very overweight or suffer from joint problems. The buoyancy provided by the water makes water aerobics especially kind to joints. Naturally, you should be able to swim if you want to take water aerobic classes, but you do not have to be an Olympian swimmer.
(15) Rollerskating/Blading (burns 420 calories per hour)
Unlike many exercises it’s so much fun that it doesn’t feel like a punishment. Just make sure that you wear the necessary safety gear or it could all end in tears – helmet, knee pads and elbow pads recommended! The muscles of your lower body will get the most amazing workout, and abdominal muscles will become strengthened and defined. Rollerblading is superb for sculpting legs. Our quadriceps, hamstrings, calves outer and inner thighs — especially the upper part of our inner thighs that are prone to the jiggles as we age — and the gluteus maximus will become super toned. Regular rollerblading will give you thighs to crack nuts, no joke!
(14) Aerobic Dancing (burns 420 calories per hour)
Aerobic dancing is a high-energy form of exercise that is great for burning calories. Any type of dancing that raises your heart rate counts as aerobic dancing. You can elect to take group classes at a gym or health club. The instructor-led classes consist of various dance moves set to fast-paced music. Participants invariably dance up a sweat, and experience feelings of euphoria for hours afterwards. As an alternative, you can dance in the privacy of your home. There are countless videos, apps and discs that are marketed for in-home aerobic dancing. You do not even have to use those, however. Put on your favorite fast-paced music, preferably one with a pulsating beat, and just go for it. You can dress up or dress down at home. Just give yourself plenty of space and let the music take you wherever you want to go. Find your inner wild thing!
(13) Moderate Bicycling (burns 450 calories per hour)
Here is a form of exercise that you can enjoy as a family activity while keeping everyone fit, healthy and happy. Bicycling gets you out into the fresh air and allows you to enjoy the changing scenery. If the weather permits, it is an activity that can be enjoyed year-round. Of course, if your normal winter weather includes sub-zero temperatures, you might want to invest in a stationary bike for a more amenable winter bicycling experience. Apart from the bike, you will also need a good protective helmet. Regular cyclists will also want to procure proper cycling gear, especially shorts or pants that provide cushioning for the posterior. Anecdotal evidence suggests that failing to do so could result in a pile of woes: Namely — Hemorrhoids! Perish the thought: Get the cycling shorts! Get the extra seat padding!
(12) Jogging at a Moderate Pace – 5 mph (burns 500 calories per hour)
Jogging is like running, but at a much slower or leisurely pace. A moderate jogging pace is five miles per hour, or 12 minute miles. It is less stressful on the body than running. Jogging is a terrific way to get into shape and to maintain fitness. It is a simple and relatively cheap activity that can be undertaken almost anywhere. You don’t need an expensive health club membership for this and by varying your routes you can keep it interesting. You can even jog on the spot in your home. I know someone who lost a fair bit of weight and regained his shape that way. As with regular running, it is always advisable to invest in a well-made and supportive pair of jogging/running shoes.
(11) Gardening Including Heavy Digging (burns 500 calories per hour)
Outside, sunshine, fresh air and surrounded by green…ahhhh! It doesn’t get much better. But it does! Gardening is a great way of burning off calories, and it’s so calming and relaxing you’ll barely notice that you’re breaking into a sweat. And you’ll create something amazing that you can be proud of in the process. If you really want to fire up the furnace heavy digging can increase your burn count to up to 800 calories per hour. Get the spade and fork and start enjoying your garden.
(10) Vigorous Swimming (burns 500 calories per hour)
Swimming laps is an intense form of cardiovascular exercise. While it is easy on your joints, it will give your lungs and heart an excellent workout. There is no danger of building big muscles from swimming, but your shoulders and arms in particular will become stronger and well toned. So saying, swimming does provide full body toning. Freestyle swimming can be deceptive. It might seem so effortless while you are doing it, but you could easily find yourself over-training. You might not notice it, but the exertion from swimming does cause you to breathe heavily. Monitor the length of time you spend swimming, and do not overdo it. As with water aerobics, swimming is especially beneficial to people who are overweight or who have mobility issues. Regular swimming leads to improved fitness and endurance. It strengthens the heart against strokes and cardiovascular diseases.
(9) Cross Trainers (burns 500 calories per hour)
These provide powerful aerobic workouts. As the name suggests, the machines are designed to simulate the action of cross-country skiing, long considered one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise, ever! When using the machine, your body will closely mirror the motions of real-life cross-country skiers, but only up to a point. It definitely burns a lot of calories, though. Many different versions of cross-country ski machines are among the standard equipments in gyms, but they are also popular purchases for in-home exercising.
(8) Hiking (burns 500 calories per hour)
There is a book, published by the National Geographic Society and entitled The Incredible Machine, which rests on the premise that our bodies were made for motion. Our ancestors roamed, and we are evolved for movement. Aside from the calories burned, a day spent hiking has a certain primordial aspect to it. It feels natural, our steps are easy and it is so enjoyable that we forget to think of it as exercise. The benefits of hiking are many, and include improved circulation from the fresh air and the aerobic nature of the activity, strengthened heart and blood vessels which lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, improved mood (walking combats stresses and anxieties), improvement in blood pressure, strengthened core muscles and improved balance, strengthened lower body muscles and boost in bone density due to the weight-bearing nature of the activity.
(7) Step Aerobics (burns 550 calories per hour)
Step aerobics is distinguished from regular aerobic dance in that the movements are done on an elevated platform, otherwise known as the step. Risers are used to increase the height of the step so as to increase the intensity and difficulty of the movements/workout. The step routines range from the most basic of stepping actions to highly choreographed and complex movements. The movements are generally powerful and explosive. Step aerobics is great for cardiovascular endurance, and it burns calories and fat at a fast rate. It is superb for toning the legs and tightening our bottoms. If hand weights are used during the routines, step aerobics will also provide good upper body toning. You usually need to have gym membership to participate in a step aerobics class, but you can purchase equipment for home use, along with instructional videos.
(6) Rowing (burns 550 calories per hour)
Have you ever looked at the bodies of Olympian rowers? Their bodies are absolutely superb. If you do not have the option of getting outside and rowing down a river or lake, a rowing machine is the next best thing. Rowing is the absolute best total-body workout. Multi-taskers will love the fact that rowing provides both cardiovascular and strengthening benefits at the same time. In addition, it burns calories super fast. Rowing has grown in popularity, and the once under-rated piece of equipment that sat in a corner of the gym is now a hot item with exercisers looking for the ultimate workout. For those who prefer to exercise at home, if there is one piece of equipment that every home gym should have, it is a rowing machine. It produces results!
(5) Power Walking (burns 600 calories per hour)
So walkings not bad, but power walking is even better. You’ll burn off a monster 600 calories per hour power walking. And the view’s and lot nicer than the treadmill at the gym. It’s also much more gentle on your body than running – not such much train on your joints. Give it a try this weekend!
(4) Squash (burns 650 calories per hour)
If you have an eye for the ball squash is one of the most calorie intense spots. It’s a high-impact game with rapid acceleration and deep knee bends. The sport is fast-moving and is excellent for increasing hand-eye co-ordination. This high-intensity cardiovascular workout is a terrific stress buster and mood enhancer. It’s a really competitive game and it doesn’t feel that exercise just for the sake of doing exercise – it’s brilliant fun. Buy a racket, find a playing partner and get playing!
(3) Spinning (burns 650 calories per hour)
Spin cycling classes provide one of the best indoor cardiovascular workouts. Not only is it fun, it is also rewarding. It will leave you sweaty, but with a heightened sense of euphoria. Spinning classes offer a variety of routines that keep the experience fresh. The music is upbeat, and classes are great for all cycling levels and abilities. Each participant is encouraged to go at his or her own pace. Spin cycling is a popular form an aerobic exercise, and spinning classes are always well attended.
(2) Rope Skipping (burns 650 calories per hour)
It’s no wonder that skipping is one of the favourite workouts of professional boxers. It turns your body into a calorie burning furnace! It’s also great if you have to travel frequently – just pack a skipping rope in your suitcase and you can even do it in your hotel room. It is safer than running outside in unfamiliar locations. It might be somewhat challenging for skip continuously for 30 minutes, but you can reap the same benefits breaking up the routine into five or ten minute segments for an overall total of 30 minutes.
(1) Intense Running (burns 700 calories per hour)
Running is a high-intensity and a high-impact form of exercise. New runners tend to see the most dramatic results in weight loss and fat reduction. Running can be hard on the knees, but careful attention to proper warming-up before a run, and immediate cool-down when you are finished running, will help to minimize the risks. Running is said to benefit cognitive function, too. It must be all that richly oxygenated blood that gets circulated round the body and brain when you run. So, running will keep our bodies and our minds in tip-top condition. I’ll take that.
To sum up, the choice is wide. You can choose to do just one exercise on a regular basis, or you can incorporate a number of the exercises into your fitness regimen. Cross training is highly recommended as a means to prevent fatigue of any particular muscle groups. Cross training is also great for keeping your exercise sessions fresh and interesting, and for preventing boredom. In addition, you can select different types of exercises to fit in with family time or social interests. You could cycle or roller blade with the children or with your friends, walk with the dog, take spin cycling classes with like-minded groups, garden or hike with your husband or significant other or watch your favorite television show while using an indoor cross-country ski machine. The possibilities are great and the choices are yours. It’s your time: Enjoy it, be fit and have fun!