What's the best way to burn the most calories?
There's a lot that goes into developing an exercise regimen — meeting your body's needs, finding something you enjoy, and figuring out what will have enough impact to make a difference to your health.
If you're crunched for time, one of the ways to measure that is to figure out how much energy a particular exercise expends in the time you actually do it. In other words, how many calories does it burn?
The big, important caveats here are that exercising on its own actually doesn't do much to make you lose weight. If you want to slim down, we suggest talking to a doctor about what a healthy weight is for you and working on cutting sugar and large portions out of your diet.
Still, calories burned per hour is a good measure of how intense a particular exercise is. The Mayo Clinic, drawing on research published by the National Institutes of Health, lists 36 popular forms of exercise by their caloric impacts. We've ordered them from least to most intense, with approximate calories burned per hour for a 200-pound person listed for each activity. (An average adult American weighs just under 200 pounds.) Of course exact figures will vary across body types, gender, age, and other factors.
Keep in mind that the numbers here are approximate. Also, just because an exercise burns calories faster doesn't mean it's necessarily the best option. The most important exercise is the one you enjoy enough to get up and do regularly.
36. Hatha yoga | 228 calories/hour
Hatha yoga, a version of the exercise practice centered on holding specific poses, sits at the bottom of this list, burning an average of about 228 calories per hour in a 200-pound person.
35. A slow walk | 255 calories/hour
Next up: going for a stroll. For every hour walked at 2 mph, a 200-pound person burns 255 calories.
32. Bowling | 273 calories/hour
Bowling, along with the next two items on this list, ballroom dancing and Tai Chi, burns 273 calories per active hour.
32. Ballroom dancing | 273 calories/hour
32. Tai Chi | 273 calories/hour
Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art and form of exercise, often practiced with slow, deliberate movements.
31. Canoeing | 319 calories/hour
Next up: canoeing. A leisurely paddle down a river will burn 319 calories in an hour for a 200-pound person.
28. Slow, easy cycling | 364 calories/hour