4 Best Sports to Burn the Most Calories
What are the best sports to burn the most calories? It’s not exactly a secret that exercise is one of the easiest ways to lose weight and keep it off, but you might be surprised at just how effective some activities can be compared to others. If you’re looking to maximize your calorie burning potential, here are 10 sports that will help you get there.
Cycling is a terrific way to burn calories. A 130-pound person can burn about 660 calories in an hour of cycling, according to Harvard Medical School, which means that you could lose up to 10 pounds in one year if you cycle for four hours a week. Additionally, cycling doesn't put much strain on your body—which means it won't be hard on your knees or back. And unlike running or walking, it doesn't require any special equipment besides a bike and helmet (and maybe cleats if you have them). Just make sure you're getting enough resistance so that your pedaling isn't easy—otherwise, it's easy to slack off! You'll also want your bike seat and handlebars adjusted correctly so that you can maintain good posture while biking.
Though most people probably don’t associate swimming with serious calorie-burning, it’s actually one of the best ways to keep your heart rate up. Water is like 1 million times denser than air, so you have to work a lot harder—and faster—to move through it. The easy backstroke burns about 500 calories an hour (for a 150-pound person), according to info from USA Swimming, while breaststroke and freestyle can burn nearly 900 calories per hour for that same person. During sprints or at top speed, water polo players can burn up to 1,500 calories per hour. If you want something low impact but still challenging, try treading water for two hours and see how many calories you burn!
Boxing is one of those sports that delivers both an aerobic and anaerobic workout. That means you'll be working on your cardio while you're also strengthening your muscles. You burn a ton of calories when you train with boxing, too: A 150-pound person burns approximately 860 calories in 30 minutes of boxing—that's roughly equivalent to running a six-minute mile for 60 minutes. If weight loss is one of your goals, consider adding boxing as a sport into your weekly routine. You'll not only lose weight but also build lean muscle mass while doing it!
Soccer (or football, depending on where you live) is often cited as one of the best sports for burning calories. According to Sports Illustrated, soccer players run an average of 7-8 miles during a game, with sprints around 15-20 per game. Combine those high-intensity sprints with longer runs that build endurance and you’ve got a sport that will burn a lot of calories. Depending on your body weight and playing position, you can expect anywhere from 536 to 1,106 calories burned in a match (with higher body weights resulting in more calories burned). Running an hour at 5 mph burns about 300 calories for men and 227 for women, so even if you run after practice your calorie burn may be pretty substantial compared to other sports.