What Sport Burns The Most Calories?

Are you trying to get yourself a little bit fitter and a little bit healthier? Good for you.

Starting a journey to lose some weight can feel really daunting at first.

What Sport Burns The Most Calories?

I don’t know about you, but I only have to look at a slice of cake to feel the extra weight, but when it comes to burning the calories of that cake…that’s a little harder. 

So if I’m going to spend the time doing some physical activity to burn through some extra calories, I want to at least be doing a sport that is going to work.

And by that, I mean something that burns a fair few calories. 

If you’re wanting to lose weight, you need to be burning more calories than you are consuming.

So if you’re not quite ready to give up some of the tastier items of food (I can’t quite get myself to say goodbye either) then you need to be picking physical activities that are going to give you the best results. 

But which sports burn the most calories? Running and cycling are definitely the top contenders, with sports such as swimming and boxing following shortly behind.

Throughout this article, we’ll take a closer look at these top calorie-burners as well as just how many calories they burn. 

Guidelines To Consider

So before we begin, let’s talk about how much exercise we should be participating in.

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, we should all be aiming for approximately 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of moderately intense exercise a week.

However, if we up the intensity to fairly vigorous, then you’re looking at 75 minutes (one hour and fifteen minutes) of exercise per week. 

Now, what is moderately intense exercise? It’s an exercise where you’re heart rate and breathing noticeably increases.

When in this zone you should still be comfortably able to hold a conversation though, so it’s not overly strenuous.

We move over to vigorous exercise when it becomes difficult to talk throughout it. 

The following sports are all really good options that can be done at either moderate or vigorous levels, depending on your current fitness level.

And personally, I think that they are all also relatively fun and enjoyable sports, so it shouldn’t feel like too much of a struggle to partake in them. 

Top Calorie-Burning Sports

What Sport Burns The Most Calories?

1. Running & Cycling 

Both running and cycling are great sports that will burn up tons of calories.

If you can set a pace of 10 miles per hour while running, you are in the optimum zone to be burning away the calories.

Similarly, riding your bike at around 20 miles per hour is the best way to gain the maximum benefit of cycling. 

Statistics show that an individual weighing in at around 185 pounds running at 10 miles an hour or cycling at 20, can burn a whopping 1466 calories within an hour.

And an individual at 125 pounds has the potential to lose upwards of 990 calories in just sixty minutes. 

And don’t fret if you can’t work your way up to 10 or 20 miles per hour yet, as even running or cycling at half this pace can still burn between 500-700 calories within an hour. 

I’ll be right back, I’m just on my way to buy some running shoes and cycling shorts!

Just think how many calories will add up if you take the time every other day to go for an hour or two long run or cycle! 

2. Swimming

Sometimes I forget that swimming is actually a pretty physical activity.

I’m too busy having fun to realize, and isn’t that exactly what you want from your exercise?

Well, while you’re busy enjoying yourself doing the butterfly stroke, your body is burning away around 650-970 calories an hour, taking into account your physical capabilities and weight. 

There are quite a few different types of swimming strokes and each one will have its own set of stats and figures for just how many calories you are burning.

But statistics show that backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly stroke are your best options for calorie burning. 

3. Boxing 

Boxing is a sport that requires patience and lots of practice to truly master, however, these intense workouts are great for burning calories.

This probably comes from the consistent motion and quick rounds of energy that are needed to spar and dodge opponents. 

Of course, the number of calories you burn will depend on your physical condition, and how much you currently weigh, but you’ll likely be burning anywhere between 550-800 calories in an hour-long session.

And if you weigh more than 185 pounds, the amount you burn can increase significantly. 

4. Team Sports

Team sports such as football and basketball are likely to cause you to burn 480-710 calories within an hour.

Throughout an intense soccer match, you can look at burning anywhere between 420-620 calories.

Less vigorous team sports such as softball, or tennis will burn around 300 calories within an hour. 

5. Winter Sports

If you want a way to burn calories without even realizing that you’ve been participating in a sport, is to partake in winter sports.

They are so much fun that people dedicate whole holidays to them! And just an hour on the slopes can burn up to 600 calories depending on your intensity levels. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are plenty of activities that can help you burn a significant amount of calories in just as little as an hour.

Running and cycling definitely stand crowned winners for the most that you’ll burn, but all of these activities burn a decent amount of calories and will help you towards your goal of looking slimmer and healthier in no time at all. 

So which will it be for you? Will you be picking up your running shoes or snow boots?

Jenna Priestly
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