The 10 Best Fitness Activities and Sports for Weight Loss

If you’re trying to lose weight, it makes sense to choose activities that burn the most calories. Why walk for 60 minutes when you could burn more than double the calories by running for 30 minutes? Activities that blast calories away are a great choice if you’re short on time and want to make the most of each workout.

Keep in mind that how many calories you burn during a workout depends partly on how much you weigh. For example, a 130-lb. person backpacking for one hour will burn 413 calories. A 205-lb. person doing the same thing will burn 651 calories. Just to keep things clear, all the numbers in this article are based on the 155-lb. person. If you weigh more or less, account for higher or lower numbers.

Boxing, Sorts

Friendly looking woman, winking and ready to punch someone.

Here’s a breakdown of 10 activities that burn 500 calories or more per hour.

  • Step aerobics: 598 calories

  • Boxing, sparring (even if just for fun): 633 calories

  • Canoeing or rowing (vigorous, non-stop): 844 calories

  • Climbing hills with a backpack: 563 or more calories (depending on how much weight you’re carrying)

  • Cross country skiing at a moderate pace: 563 calories

  • Playing handball: 844 calories

  • Kick boxing: 704 calories

  • Playing racquetball: 503 calories

  • In-line skating: 600 calories

  • Running at 5 mph (the equivalent to a 12 minute mile): 563 calories

The good news about these activities? Most of them are fun and don’t require you to be stuck inside a gym, running on a treadmill. In fact, many outdoor activities burn more calories than exercising inside, simply because working outdoors is more challenging –the ground surface is rougher, you have to deal with the elements (wind resistance, for example) and you don’t have the comfort of air conditioning, so you sweat more.

  • If your ultimate goal is to lose weight faster, aim for workouts that burn tons of calories per hour. In order to lose a pound, you need to burn at least 3500 calories. One hour of these activities every day would result in one pound of fat melting off every week. Add to that some changes in your diet and you could be losing 2-3 lbs. per week, which is the maximum recommended by experts.

It may seem like doing these activities every day is difficult, especially if you work full time and are tired after you come home from work.  Do your best, start with three times a week and try  to increase number of days you work out if possible.  Good luck!!!


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