Post 39: Best Exercises To Torch Calories

The M Factor Fitness motto is ” Serious Training….Serious Results”, which sounds really cool but a lot of people have no idea what this means. So I wanted to take a few minutes and explain what hard training is in terms of burning calories. The harder the exercise, the more calories you burn. Pretty simple concept. If your nutrition and sleeping habits are good, then it stands to reason that choosing higher intensity exercises will give you faster results.

So what exercise to choose? Here is a list of exercises and calories burned in an hour. This is important because a number of these activities most people can’t do for an hour. I can’t jump rope for an hour. So look at the exercise and honestly consider how long you could do it for. This info is taken form the Mayo Clinic website,

Hey Mike, what about an hour of training with you? How many calories will I burn? What an intelligent question! We have actually measured this. I have a client who is a female, mid 30’s and about 150 pounds. She will burn between 550-650 calories per hour. Someone heavier will burn more calories.

One thing to consider in comparing which exercises you should do is look at the benefits outside of burning calories. Working out for an hour with me hits cardio, strength training and shaping, core stability, flexibility and burns a bunch of calories. This is not the training you see at the gym. we don’t do a set then make a phone call or wander over to a water fountain. This is an hour of solid training.

For example, running really isn’t going to do anything for muscle toning or core strength. If anything, it is an exercise that breaks down the body more than build it up. So please use running as means of building up cardio and burning calories, not toning or strengthening.

Bowling??? Well other than giving you a reason to make Big Lebowski references, I really can count it as exercise.

 I have actually seen charts that tell you how many calories you burn while washing your dog! No, I am serious.

p.s. If you go around counting how many calories you burn sleeping, brushing your teeth, washing your dog, checking your email, you have way too much time on your hands.

Activity (1-hour duration) Weight of person and calories burned
  160 pounds (73 kilograms) 200 pounds (91 kilograms) 240 pounds (109 kilograms)
Aerobics, high impact 533 664 796
Aerobics, low impact 365 455 545
Aerobics, water 402 501 600
Backpacking 511 637 763
Basketball game 584 728 872
Bicycling, < 10 mph, leisure 292 364 436
Bowling 219 273 327
Canoeing 256 319 382
Dancing, ballroom 219 273 327
Football, touch or flag 584 728 872
Golfing, carrying clubs 314 391 469
Hiking 438 546 654
Ice skating 511 637 763
Racquetball 511 637 763
Resistance (weight) training 365 455 545
Rollerblading 548 683 818
Rope jumping 861 1,074 1,286
Rowing, stationary 438 546 654
Running, 5 mph 606 755 905
Running, 8 mph 861 1,074 1,286
Skiing, cross-country 496 619 741
Skiing, downhill 314 391 469
Skiing, water 438 546 654
Softball or baseball 365 455 545
Stair treadmill 657 819 981
Swimming, laps 423 528 632
Tae kwon do 752 937 1,123
Tai chi 219 273 327
Tennis, singles 584 728 872
Volleyball 292 364 436
Walking, 2 mph 204 255 305
Walking, 3.5 mph 314 391 469

Adapted from: Ainsworth BE, et al. 2011 compendium of physical activities: A second update of codes and MET values. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2011;43:1575.

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