We’ve all been told how impressive both running and jogging are when it comes to burning calories. And, when we’re trying to figure out the fastest way to get in shape, we’re bound to consider and try them both out. But, sweating it out on a treadmill, fretting over running shoes, and hitting the pavement each morning might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Don’t feel disheartened if that’s so. Here are 10 exercises that burn so many calories, you won’t miss jogging or running again.
Who knew a childhood favorite would make it to this list? Skipping rope might take some time getting used to, but it can be fun and challenging. You might have seen fitness enthusiasts, boxers, and martial artists skip rope before their workouts. Skipping is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and burns approximately 720 calories an hour depending on your body weight and the intensity of the exercise.1 It also tones your legs, improves coordination, balance, and cognitive functioning.2 3 Not to mention, it’s portability makes a comfortable option when you’re traveling.
Burpees are considered a full-body exercise that features in most body weight and anaerobic conditioning exercise routines.4 They are challenging and if done in accordance to high-intensity calisthenics, they burn up to 350 calories in 30 minutes depending on your body weight.5 Here is how you can do a burpee.
- Jump as high as you can from a standing position.
- Land on your feet with your hands on the ground.
- Kick your feet back into a plank position.
- Kick them back in between your hands and repeat.
Burpees are not simple to do, but you can build your strength and endurance by incorporating it into your everyday exercise routine.
3. Battle Ropes
Battle ropes are relatively new when it comes to most other exercises on this list, but they are all the rage at the moment. This is because they work on your upper body, abs, and glutes. They’re also open to customization and can be done along with squats, lunges, and jumps.
A recent study compared resistance training exercises (like bench press, squats, curls, lunges, and deadlifts) as well as body weight exercises (push ups, burpees, planks, and squats) with battle ropes exercises. It found that battle ropes had a higher energy expenditure and heart rate. Battle ropes burn about 618 calories in an hour.6 Head to a gym with battle ropes and find a trainer that can show you how to incorporate this exercise into your regular regime.
Cycling comes with a lot of options. You could head to the gym for a stationary exercise. Or, you could get yourself a bicycle to do some sightseeing while you exercise. There are also spin classes that are fun and challenging.
Cycling is good for strength, stamina, and toning muscles. It could also protect you from diseases like stroke, heart attack, cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.7 And vigorous cycling could burn up to 466 calories per hour.8 It’s also eco-friendly and economical.
Rowing’s another exercise that offers you the option of staying indoors or heading outside. Granted, it depends entirely on where you live and what your options are. Rowing might look simple but engages your entire body. Rigorous rowing could burn up to 377 calories per hour.9 Benefits of rowing, beyond the calorie burn, include core strength, upper body strength, and back strength.10
If heading to a gym and going about fitness the traditional way isn’t your thing, then you should definitely try joining a dance class. It’s a fun way to burn some calories and offers a lot of versatility when it comes to style. Dancing helps you improve your endurance, flexibility, and muscle tone.11 When it comes to calorie burn, dance can torch up to 518 calories per hour.12
This one is a huge hit with a lot of celebrities. Boxing helps you burn calories while learning how to defend yourself. Added benefits of boxing include reduced risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke and it also builds stronger muscles and bones. You might even improve your posture, hand-eye coordination, balance, and cognitive functions.13 Boxing burns up to 400 calories an hour.14
8. Stair Climbing
We often only ever resort to taking the stairs if the lift is out of service. But, if you’re looking for easy alternatives to running, then stairs are a good option. Alternatively, you could opt for gym equipment that mimics the action of climbing stairs. Benefits of this exercise include better heart health, toned leg muscles, stronger immune system, and better mental health.15 When it comes to calorie burn, choosing the stairs torches up to 690 calories per hour.16
Swimming makes for a great full body workout. It’s also a fun way to sneak in some exercise on vacations. Benefits of swimming include muscle strength, better cardiovascular health, and endurance.17 If you don’t know how to swim, find the time to because it’s also an essential life skill. Most public pools and educational institutions offer classes that you could take. Vigorous swimming laps burn up to 444 calories per hour.18
This one’s a great option for those who dislike heading to the gym. Skating makes for a fun sport and is great for heart health. It is also great for improving your balance and overall fitness.19 Skating burns around 311 calories per hour.20 You could opt for ice skating, rollerblading, skateboarding, or even in-line skating depending on your interests and what’s most accessible to you.
There isn’t any reason for you to have to stick to either running or jogging, especially if you don’t enjoy it. There are a lot of other exercises out there that can help you burn the same amount of calories or more. However, before you start a new exercise routine, be sure to check with your trainer and your medical practitioner to eliminate the chances of any physical complications.
|↑1||Ensle, Karen. “Eat Healthy–Be Active Community Workshops.” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 48, no. 4 (2016): 295-e5.|
|↑2||Trecroci, Athos, Luca Cavaggioni, Riccardo Caccia, and Giampietro Alberti. “Jump rope training: Balance and motor coordination in preadolescent soccer players.” Journal of sports science & medicine 14, no. 4 (2015): 792.|
|↑3||Davis, Catherine L., Phillip D. Tomporowski, Jennifer E. McDowell, Benjamin P. Austin, Patricia H. Miller, Nathan E. Yanasak, Jerry D. Allison, and Jack A. Naglieri. “Exercise improves executive function and achievement and alters brain activation in overweight children: a randomized, controlled trial.” Health Psychology 30, no. 1 (2011): 91.|
|↑4||Drill, High Knee. “Aerobic/Anaerobic Conditioning.”|
|↑5||Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights. Harvard Health Publishing,|
|↑6||Climstein, Michael, and Joe Walsh. “Research Review: Exercise can be so demanding.” Network (2014): 49.|
|↑7||Cycling – health benefits. Victoria State Government.|
|↑8, ↑14, ↑18, ↑20||Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights. Harvard Health Publishing.|
|↑9||Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights. Harvard Health Publishing.|
|↑10||Shin, Ka-Young, Eun-Hi Choi, Jong-Youb Lim, Ah-Ra Cho, and Young-Ho Lim. “Effects of indoor rowing exercise on the body composition and the scoliosis of visually impaired people: a preliminary study.” Annals of rehabilitation medicine 39, no. 4 (2015): 592-598.|
|↑11||Dance – health benefits. Victoria State Government.|
|↑12||Calories Burned Per Hour. Department Of Health And Family Services.|
|↑13||Punch up your exercise routine with fitness boxing. Harvard Health Publishing.|
|↑15||Health Advantages: Benefits of Stair Climbing. County Of Santa Clara.|
|↑16||Calories Burned Per Hour. Department Of Health And Family Services.|
|↑17||Swimming – health benefits. Victoria State Government.|
|↑19||Howard-Shaughnessy, Candice, and J. Brandon Sluder. “Roller skating and interdisciplinary physical education.” Strategies 28, no. 4 (2015): 26-32.|