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Best Exercises to Burn Calories

If you’re like most people, chances are you got less exercise than needed during the long, cold winter months. That makes spring the perfect time to get back into a regular exercise routine. Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control recommends 150 to 300 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a week? One of the best ways to accomplish that amount of exercise is to pick an activity you enjoy and stick with it. That way, getting your weekly exercise will be more fun and less of a chore.

If you are trying to lose weight and want to know how many calories you can burn doing different activities, the list below will show you what each exercise burns over the course of an hour. Remember that a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise is best for most people. Aim for approximately 30 minutes of overall physical activity every day to enjoy the biggest health benefits. The important thing is to get your body active and moving – no matter what kind of shape you may be in.

Note: Always consult with your doctor if you have any questions regarding whether you are healthy enough to start an exercise program.

Exercise/Activity                                      Calories Burned*

Aerobics (high impact)                             664

Backpacking                                               637

Playing basketball                                     728

Bicycling (10 mph)                                    364

Bowling                                                        273

Ballroom Dancing                                      273

Golfing (carrying clubs)                            391

Hiking                                                           546

Rollerblading                                               683

Running (5 mph)                                        755

Softball                                                         455

Stair Treadmill                                            819

Swimming laps (light to moderate)       528

Tae Kwon Do                                              937

Singles Tennis                                             728

Volleyball                                                     364

Walking (2 mph)                                        255

*Based on a 200-pound person. People who weigh less will burn fewer calories per hour. 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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