Here’s the uncomplicated and unattractive truth about exercise – if you want to lose weight, you need to do quite a lot of it.
Actually, to lose one pound of fat, you need to burn around 3 500 calories.
I know that’s not what all the hyped-up marketers want you to hear (so you can buy one more product promising ‘instant weight loss’). However, the sooner you accept this universal truth, the sooner you will reach your goal.
But this doesn’t have to be a tragedy! There are many enjoyable ways to lose that extra belly fat without working out like a crazy fitness addict.
Let me present the top 19 weight loss exercises & sports you should definitely try!
MOST EFFECTIVE EXERCISES & SPORTS
|#||EXERCISE (1 HOUR)||
|6.||Running up stairs||
|14.||Running & jogging||
|16.||Light lap swimming||
|20.||Low impact aerobics||
|21.||A brisk walk||
#1. JUMPING ROPE
1 074 CALORIES / HOUR
Jumping rope is the ultimate fat burning exercise that will help boost your caloric output and lose weight. There is simply no other exercise that can match this one.
According to Science Daily, jumping rope is much more effective than running:
“This aerobic exercise can achieve a “burn rate” of up to 1300 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 calories consumed per jump.”
“Ten minutes of jumping rope can roughly be considered the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile. Since the impact of each jump or step is absorbed by both legs, jump rope may have lower risks for knee damage than running.”
Did you know that during this exercise, you build agility and quickness, increase bone density and even boost cognitive function of your brain? Also, you will significantly improve the coordination between your eyes, feet, and muscles.
For more on these benefits of jumping rope, check out: 6 Surprising Benefits of Jump Rope (+2 You Already Know)
937 CALORIES / HOUR
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. It is also used as part of South Korean military training for every soldier. It is famous for its employment of kicking techniques, which distinguishes it from martial arts such as karate or certain southern styles of Kung Fu.
Today, over 70 million people in 188 countries practice Taekwondo. 4 million of them are black belters. It’s not only focused on physical activity, but it also relies on concentration, combat philosophy and self-defense.
According to LiveStrong, there are many benefits:
“A typical Taekwondo class involves dynamic punching and kicking drills, blocks, core-strengthening exercises and stretches. You’ll build stamina and strength through such active movements.”
“For younger children, learning and practicing the poomsaes — specific patterns of defense and attack movements — leads to better motor skills and body control.”
“A 2014 study published in Sports Medicine noted that Taekwondo athletes demonstrate high peak anaerobic power, flexibility — especially in the legs and hips — high dynamic upper- and lower-body strength and good core endurance.”
For more on Taekwondo, check out this article: 38 Facts You Should Know About Taekwondo
#3. TABATA TRAINING
900 CALORIES / HOUR
For those that don’t know this exercise, Tabata is a high-intensity workout protocol and has many fitness and weight loss benefits. It’s a mix between CrossFit and circuit training.
The basic of Tabata is that you perform an exercise for 20 seconds, remember it has to be intense training and do it as hard as you can. Then you rest for 10 seconds. This has to be repeated 8 times.
Here is a great Tabata routine from SunWarrior.com:
Sprinting & Ropes Tabata
- Sprinting: sprint for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds x 8 times
- Battle rope: Rope for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds x 8 times
Body Weight Tabata
- Push-ups: 20 seconds push-ups, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
- Body Squats: 20 seconds Squatting, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
- Planks: 20 seconds planking, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
- Pull-Ups: 20 seconds pull-ups, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
- Bicep Curls: 20 seconds curling, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
- Chest Press: 20 seconds Chest press, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
- Walking lunges with dumbbell: 20 seconds lunging, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
- Overhead Tricep Extension: 20 seconds overhead, 10 seconds rest x 8 times
To learn more about Tabata training, make sure you read this guide on BreakingMuscle called The Tabata Revolution Explained: What, Why, And How To Tabata
#4. VIGOROUS SWIMMING
892 CALORIES / HOUR
For a low impact, high results sport look no further than swimming. This seemingly effortless activity burns hundreds of calories, literally, without you breaking a sweat.
The many swimming strokes will help you get different types of aerobic exercise and will provide a new challenge to master. One drawback is that you need access to a swimming pool.
According to LifeHack.org besides losing weight, swimming offers many health benefits like:
- Swimming improves muscle definition and strength
- Swimming builds up bone mass
- Swimming reduces inflammation
- Swimming can improve exercise-induced asthma
- Swimming lowers stress and depression
- Swimming can make you smarter
Just swim few laps in the pool every day, and you’ll see a noticeable difference in your fitness level and waistline without any damage to your knees or ankles.
Swimming will help you burn calories, count them in here.
#5. CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
850 CALORIES / HOUR
Did you know that cross-country skiing will help you lose weight, stay young and improve your mood? This is one of the top Nordic sports out there that will help you clear your mind and relieve stress as you will be breathing the freshest air possible.
According to HealthFitnessRevolution.com, Nordic skiing offers benefits such as:
- You get a full-body workout
- Burns lots of calories
- Improves cardiovascular endurance and health
- It helps relieve stress
- It improves endurance
- Allows you to connect with nature
Also, Dr. Graeme Close, a sports nutrition consultant who works with the British ski and snowboard team, says that:
“Nordic skiing would be preferable to alpine, but both can help: Any exercise that increases your heart rate has the ability to contribute to a drop in body fat.”
“Cross-country skiing is one of the most demanding of all sports and would certainly increase energy expenditure plenty and thus contribute to reduced body fat. Downhill skiing wouldn’t do this as much, but as part of a fitness regime, it’s a good thing if done in a balanced and controlled manner. The key thing is the balance, and getting the nutrition correct around the training.”
Source: Can Skiing Help You Lose Weight? – Telegraph.co.uk
#6. RUNNING UP STAIRS
819 CALORIES / HOUR
Running is good, we all know that. But what about running up stairs? According to experts, it’s much better and much more effective at burning calories and staying lean. If you are an amateur or a competitive runner, it is even more important for you to do this activity.
According to RunnersWorld experts, plyometric motion (running-up stairs) strengthens your muscles, heart, and lungs for better running. They state that:
“Stairs force you to work against gravity, and this helps build two essential needs for runners: strength and power,” says Anne Moore, M.S., an exercise physiologist and running coach in Charleston, South Carolina. You need both, whether you’re kicking to the finish of a 5K or trying to maintain pace during the later miles of a marathon.”
“Moore adds that stair-climbing “forces you to utilize muscle stabilizers, like the gluteus medius, that get neglected during regular runs,” because you’re balancing on and activating one leg, briefly, as the other moves to the next step. Strengthen these areas and you’ll reduce your risk of injury.”
Running up stairs is considered to be a form of cardio exercise that comes with various health benefits including weight loss and strengthening your heart as well as lungs.
Remember, you’ll only be able to lose weight if you consume fewer calories than you burn, so check how much calories you eat. Also, you should cut out salty or fatty foods, and maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
#7. VIGOROUS ROWING
810 CALORIES / HOUR
According to experts, rowers are possibly the most efficient exercise machines available out there. They give you a full body workout and help you burn a significant amount of calories.
The more intense rowing session, the bigger the number of calories burned. Besides helping you burn calories, it also offers various other benefits, such as an improvement of cardiovascular fitness, reduction of stress as well as toning of your muscles.
According to specialists from RowingReviews.com, rowing provides you with additional advantages such as:
- Rowing is low impact
- Rowing can be social
- Rowing machines are relatively low-cost
As you can see, there is no excuse not to include rowing in your weekly exercise routine.
769 CALORIES / HOUR
Kickboxing is truly awesome as it comes with many advantages. When you do this activity, you will learn self-defense you will increase your fitness levels, and engage your entire body while doing so.
The best part?
Kickboxing focuses on your whole body, including your core, your arms and shoulders, as well as your legs and glutes. It also helps you increase stamina and it is great cardio workout that boosts your cardiovascular health.
According to LifeHack.org, kickboxing offers numerous benefits:
- Increased flexibility
- HIIT (high-intensity-interval-training) improves VO2 max
- Increased muscular endurance
- Relieves stress & improves mental health
- High-calorie burn (saves time!)
- Improves coordination & muscular balance
- Whole body toning exercise
What is more, kickboxing boosts your energy levels:
“Performing a high-intensity kicking boxing routine might seem like something that would tire you out, but many people find that the opposite is true. Kickboxing often gives people an energy boost, not just because of the natural endorphins (though that, of course, plays a role!) but also due to the empowering nature of the workout.”
“This gives your physical and mental energy levels a boost. After your workout and rest period, your body will feel refreshed and full of energy.”
#9. BASKETBALL GAME
728 CALORIES / HOUR
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world that attracts more and more people each day. Not only that, this sport is an awesome team activity that will help you burn fat, relax, strengthen up your cardiovascular system and build a team spirit.
According to StyleCraze.com, basketball offers these fabulous benefits:
- Promotes cardiovascular health
- Burns calories
- Builds bone strength
- Boosts the immune system
- Provides strength training
- Boosts mental development
- Develops better coordination and motor skills
- Boosts confidence
Did you know that even former president Barack Obama plays the game on a daily basis as part of his fitness regimen?
683 CALORIES / HOUR
Rollerblading is a great activity that will keep you motivated, healthy, and fit. The best part? You will be working out outside so you will be able to catch some sunshine and produce some D vitamin.
According to expert Dr. Carl Foster, associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, inline skating offers benefits like:
- Inline skating was found to be a better aerobic workout than cycling, but not as good as running. This is because it is easier to coast while cycling than while skating, and impossible to coast while running.
- Inline skaters can increase their aerobic workout by skating harder or skating uphill. (NOTE: Skaters should master speed control for skating downhill prior to engaging in an uphill workout.)
- Anaerobically, inline skating was found to be more beneficial than both running and cycling, because it is intrinsically easier and more natural for building hip and thigh muscles that are not developed in the other two forms of exercise. Unlike cycling, inline skating develops hamstring muscles. And unlike running, inline skating is a low-impact activity.
- A separate study conducted at the Human Performance Laboratory at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota found that inline skating develops muscles in the entire upper leg, rear end and hip, as well as the lower back. Muscles in the upper arms and shoulders are also developed when arms are swung vigorously while skating.
Source: Inline Skating Resource Center
#11. HIGH-IMPACT AEROBICS
664 CALORIES / HOUR
High impact activity can be defined as any cardiovascular exercise routine where both feet are off the ground at the same time. Except being more intense (and more effective at burning calories) than regular exercises, it comes with many other benefits.
For example, this activity may be beneficial for your bones as it may increase its density as a bone matter can and will adapt to the stresses that affect it. Also, high-impact exercise can improve your joints.
Experts from USNews.com chime in on this topic:
“High-impact exercise strengthens the joints because it trains all the muscles around that joint to become functionally stronger. For example, when you hop up, you powerfully fire up a plethora of muscles to launch you off the ground. And when you land, those muscles need to contract eccentrically to brace for and soften that impact.”
“While you can do low-impact strength training, you won’t be able to replicate that exact powerful explosion or same eccentric contractions that come from higher impact exercise, Donavanik says.”
However, according to experts from LiveStrong.com, high-impact aerobics may not be for everyone. Just see for yourself:
“High-impact aerobics tend to burn more calories than low-impact, however, the chance for injury either during the session or over time is higher than with low-impact workouts. High impact aerobic activities are better suited for advanced exercisers and may be discouraging for beginners. To prevent overuse injuries from high-impact activities, cross train with low impact activities and take a day off between vigorous workouts.”
So, the next time you are working out, try to add some high-impact exercises to burn extra calories and improve your bones at the same time.
#12. RUNNING & JOGGING
555 CALORIES / HOUR
Running is one of the best full body workouts out there and the only ‘equipment’ you need is a pair of good shoes. Jogging a few kilometers a day will:
- Boost your metabolic rate
- Improves your respiratory system
- Improves your cardiovascular system
- Helps you to build & maintain muscle
- It’s great for your brain & psychological health
- It’s great for your immune system & bones
- It improves your energy levels & confidence
All this will happen faster than you ever thought possible. However, Jogging is hard on your knees, so it is best to make progress slowly, increasing your speed and distance as your fitness levels increase.
There is one rule you should follow in general. Never try to improve your speed and distance at the same time! It’s always best to first focus on increasing your distance.
To find out how many calories you burn during this activity, check out this calculator here.
508 CALORIES / HOUR
Riding a bike is one of the best cardiovascular exercises out there, and it’s also a whole lot of fun. Breezing past traffic as you feel the wind in your hair and burn massive amounts of calories!
According to experts from BikeRadar.com the benefits of cycling are enormous:
- You’ll get there faster
- You’ll sleep more deeply
- You’ll look younger
- Cycling will boost your bowels
- Cycling will increase your brain power
- Cycling improves your sex life
- Lose weight by riding your bike
Another great thing about cycling is that it’s a competitive sport so you can use a little competition to motivate you. Just choose one goal that challenges you but is still within your reach and create a game plan for finishing it.
Soon, you won’t feel like you’re exercising anymore. To check out calories burned, visit this website here.
#14. WEIGHT TRAINING
455 CALORIES / HOUR
How would you like to burn calories non-stop for up to 48 hours no matter what you’re doing? That’s the power of weight training and the effect of an after-burn.
Most people, who just want to lose some pounds, think that they don’t need to worry about going to lift some weights in the gym. This is especially true for women who worry about looking too ‘bulky’.
This misconception about weight training and fat loss could be holding back your progress because no dietary regime is complete without a little effort in the gym. Except for a potent after-burn effect, there are several other benefits of weightlifting according to LiveStrong.com:
- More muscle means more calories burned
- Resistance training fights depression
- Weightlifting fights osteoporosis
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Better heart health
- Better control of blood sugar
- You will look better
Building your muscle mass is one of the most efficient ways to burn fat, and the best part is that it continues to burn fat for up to 48 hours after you exercise. Talk about getting the most out of your workout!
#15. LOW-IMPACT AEROBICS
399 CALORIES / HOUR
Aerobic exercise is a great way to get your heart pumping and shed those stubborn pounds. A simple 20-minute session few times a week is all you will need in the beginning.
According to FitDay.com, low-intensity impact cardio offers several health benefits:
- Improved health of your cardiovascular system
- Decreased damage to your joints
- Effective weight loss
There are many different types of these aerobic workout programs you can choose from with a varying degree of success. However, to make sure that you’re using the most effective program, you’ll need to do a little research.
370 CALORIES / HOUR
If you’re looking for a fun way to tone up your body and lose weight, why don’t you try dancing? First, this is an excellent way to raise your heartbeat.
What is more, the constant challenges along with the changing rhythm and routines will make sure you never get bored. Luckily, there are many different types of dancing activities so you can be sure that you’ll find something that fits your personality and your lifestyle.
Not only that, according to experts from BerkeleyWellness.com, dancing offers additional health benefits:
- Better balance and improved mood
- Dancing is good for heart health and weight control
- Lowered stress response
- Opportunity to socialize
- Increased socialization leads to more happiness
Just don’t overlook the social benefits of dancing as this activity is a great way to spend quality time with your partner or meet new people if you don’t have a one.
#17. POWER JOGA
364 CALORIES / HOUR
Yoga is becoming the number one activity for self-improvement all around the globe. It is being used all over the world to improve overall health, heal aches and pains as well as lift the mood.
From the trusted authority on yoga – YogaJournal.com, the power yoga is defined as:
“[…] a fitness-based vinyasa practice. An offshoot of Ashtanga Yoga, it has many of the same qualities and benefits, including building internal heat, increased stamina, strength, and flexibility, as well as stress reduction. Teachers design their own sequences, while students synchronize their breath with their movement.”
Also, Yoga provides many health benefits like:
- Improves your flexibility
- Builds muscle strength
- Perfects your posture
- Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
- Betters your bone health
- Drains your lymphs and boosts immunity
- Regulates your adrenal glands
- Lowers blood sugar
To discover more benefits of yoga, check out: 38 Health Benefits of Yoga
292 CALORIES / HOUR
Before you brush it off – hear me out. Numerous clinical studies now prove sex is a great form of exercise as well as a natural part of your life.
Regular lovemaking can help you to burn calories, increase the strength of your heart and gain more confidence! So, have more (responsible) sex – doctor’s orders!
According to WebMD, sex offers these fabulous health benefits besides burning calories:
- Helps to keep your immune system humming
- Boosts your libido
- Improves women’s bladder control
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Lowers heart attack risk
- May make prostate cancer less likely
- Eases stress
Is there something more to say? Nope. SEX is awesome, simple as that.
167 CALORIES / HOUR
If jogging is a bit too intense for you or if you have joint problems, then walking is an excellent option for you. Many studies are indicating that walking can be even better for your weight loss than running, and it’s certainly safer and easier to get started with.
It’s also an excellent way to socialize when you get your friends to join you on your walk.
This way you don’t get bored with your weight loss regime, and you will have a group of people holding you accountable. According to experts from Arthritis.org, walking offers numerous benefits:
- Improves circulation
- Shores up your bones
- Lightens mood
- Can lead to weight loss
- Strengthens muscles
- Lowers Alzheimer’s risk
- Improves your breathing
The goal, when you’re walking, is to keep a comfortable pace where talking is a bit complicated but still doable, and you’ll see results in no time.
To check out calories burned during this activity, use this tool here.
MOST EFFECTIVE EXERCISES & SPORTS
- Jumping rope – (1 074 calories/hour)
- Taekwondo – (937 calories/hour)
- Tabata Training – (900 calories/hour)
- Vigorous swimming – (892 calories/hour)
- Cross-country skiing – (850 calories/hour)
- Running up stairs – (819 calories/hour)
- Vigorous rowing – (810 calories/hour)
- Kickboxing – (769 calories/hour)
- A game of basketball – (728 calories/hour)
- Elliptical trainer – (720 calories/hour)
- Rollerblading – (683 calories/hour)
- High-impact aerobics – (664 calories/hour)
- Ice skating – (637 calories/hour)
- Running & Jogging 5 mph – (555 calories/hour)
- Water skiing – (546 calories/hour)
- Light or moderate lap swimming – (528 calories/hour)
- Cycling – (508 calories/hour)
- Water aerobics – (501 calories/hour)
- Resistance training/weightlifting – (455 calories/hour)
- Low impact aerobics – (399 calories/hour)
- A brisk walk – (391 calories/hour)
- Dancing – (370 calories/hour)
- Power yoga – (364 calories/hour)
- Volleyball – (364 calories/hour)
- Sex – (292 calories/hour)
- Bowling – (273 calories/hour)
- Walking – (167 calories/hour)
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU WORK OUT?
Most respectable health professionals recommend that to get the optimum results you should follow these tips:
- Exercise, at least, three times a week.
- For around 20 minutes a session.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Have at least one rest day a week.
So there you have it – eight legitimate and fun ways to lose your flab and get the shape you of your dreams. I hope you found here the best exercise for weight loss and that you will share your results with us.
You can either choose one or two of these exercises or mix them all up to make sure you have a fun and challenging program for the whole week.