If you are trying to lose weight then you will likely already know that diet and exercise is the best approach.
While there is plenty of information available on which diet you should choose, there is less information available on which exercise or activity is best.
Of course, any exercise is better than no exercise at all, but there are certainly activities that are more effective at burning calories than others.
According to Forza Supplements, who measured the calorie burning effectiveness of 50 of our most popular sports and activities, the following are your best option if weight loss is your goal.
Top Calorie Burning Activities
The top calorie burning activity was boxing, which burns 800 calories per hour. Second was squash, and third was rowing.
Boxing was the number one choice as it is not only an intense form of interval training, but it also engages multiple muscle groups.
Squash is a better option than other racquet sports, as the rallies tend to last longer and there is less break between points too.
The research found that running on a road was more effective than running on a treadmill, with 614 calories burnt running on a road compared to just 580 on a treadmill.
Your choice of stroke when swimming can impact the number of calories burnt, with the front crawl burning 680 calories, with the breast stroke burning just 408 calories.
Team sports like rugby and football are good options, but the increased physicality of rugby meant that you can burn slightly more calories, 614 compared to 612. Other team sports like hockey (478), basketball (475) and tennis (470), were less effective.
At the gym, for those who performed various exercises, such as cardio alongside weights were able to burn 590 calories per hour. Those who stuck to a weights-only workout were only able to burn off 380 calories.
Finally, cricket (272), golf (236), and table tennis (204) were some of the least effective for calorie burning, but are still a much better option than doing no exercise at all.
Remember the health benefits of exercise are proven, so even if weight loss is not your goal you should still perform regular exercise.
The Top 50 Calorie Burning Activities (in Full)
This list looks at the number of calories burnt per hour by a person who weighed 11 stone or 70 kg.
- Boxing – 800 calories burned in an hour
- Squash – 748
- Rowing (on a lake or river) – 740
- Road running at a fast or medium past – 700
- Swimming – front crawl or butterfly – 680
- Rugby – 614
- Football – 612
- Road cycling fast – 604
- Gym exercise (weights and cardio) – 590
- Running on a treadmill – 580
- Hockey – 478
- Basketball – 475
- Tennis – 470
- Rowing machine – 440
- Breaststroke or backstroke – 408
- Vigorous walking with a backpack – 406
- Weights at gym – 340
- Pilates – 320
- Ballroom dancing fast; quick-step, Charleston – 306
- Snorkelling – 274
- Cricket – 272
- Skateboarding – 270
- On piste downhill skiing – 270
- Trampolining – 252
- Volleyball – 240
- Badminton – 238
- Golf – 236
- DIY; sanding, painting, sawing – 235
- Walking to work – 207
- Gardening – 206
- Table tennis – 204
- Horse riding – 202
- Sex for a man – 200
- Yoga – 200
- Fishing from a riverbank (standing) – 200
- Volleyball – 198
- Sex for a woman – 138
- Walking the dog – 136
- Ballroom dancing slow; waltz – 135
- Household chores; dusting, vacuuming, ironing – 102
- Bird watching – 101
- Playing the piano – 100
- Washing dishes – 88
- Shopping – 86
- Cooking – 69
- Driving a car – 68
- Having a bath – 35
- Typing – 34
- Watching TV standing up – 20
- Watching TV on the sofa – 0
So, which activity do you fancy? Will it help you to achieve your weight loss goals?