Exercises That Burn the Most Calories

When it comes to exercising and controlling body fat, many people think they have to take it to the extremes. However, some exercises like long-distance running or weight lifting can be hard on the joints, although they can yield big results.

For some, high-impact is not an option due to physical issues, lack of time, or a variety of other factors. The good news is that you don’t have to be an athlete to boost your metabolism and get muscle tone. Here are seven relatively easy exercises that burn the most calories...

Walking with Weight

While walking itself is a great way to get outdoors for some fresh air and burn off some calories (around 150-per hour), various sources recommend that you can increase results by wearing a weighted vest that’s about 10-percent of your body mass.

For example (in case you don’t want to do the math), if you weigh 150-pounds, then the vest should be 15-pounds. If you get more ambitious and try a vest that’s 15-percent of your body mass, then you’ll burn 12-percent more calories during your walk, according to Prevention.

Walking with ankle weights

Using Pole Power

If the thought of wearing a weighted vest doesn’t work for you, there are other variations to walking that can positively impact your health. According to VeryWell.com, not only will using walking poles (sometimes called urban poles or trekking poles) decrease the amount of exertion you feel from a long walk or hike, it’ll also increase your calorie burning.

The poles help provide lift that takes strain off the lower legs, and the incorporation of the upper body helps boost the results. In fact, the source explains that The Cooper Institute of Dallas, Texas found using walking poles (Nordic Walking) burned 20-percent more calories compared to walking at the same pace without poles.

Man walking with poles

Walking with Lunges

PopSugar.com (don’t let the website name fool you) has a list of 10-exercises that will burn 200-calories in less than 3-minutes, which is great for when you’re on the go—and you don’t need any special equipment (other than perhaps an exercise mat).

One of these suggestions is walking lunges, which will help you develop better balance and strengthen your core while you shed calories, notes the source. If you’re confused about how to do walking lunges, there’s a handy illustrated guide from the same source. You can incorporate light weights once you’ve found your balance.

Woman walking and doing lunges

Dancing in Your Living Room

Move some furniture aside, grab a partner (or not), and get down to some of your favorite tunes. Dancing is a great low-impact way to burn off some calories while having fun, so you may forget that you’re exercising. Don’t worry about technique; moving around to the beat is key, and try to incorporate all parts of your body.

Health.com says your dance party should last 37-minutes. Seems like an arbitrary amount of time, but apparently this is how long you should dance to burn 200-calories. That’s really only the length of one album, so pick your fave and go for it!

Woman dancing to music

Burning in the Bedroom

Okay, as you might have expected, we had to fit this in here somewhere…so here it is. While you might not consider foreplay or intimate relations “exercise” in a traditional sense, it’s actually a very effective way to shed calories, according to Health.com.

The source recommends hitting the gym first for 30-minutes of weightlifting, which will burn 100-calories per hour or so, then head to the bedroom to burn another 100-calories per hour. We say skip the gym and go right for the good stuff (or, if you really want to hit the gym first, maybe some deodorant or a shower before the next step would be advisable).

Picture of feet

Cleaning Your House

This is something you need to do anyway, so why not look at it as a way to burn fat rather than just a mundane task? CalorieLab.com actually breaks down how many calories you’ll burn depending on which cleaning activity you’re performing.

For example, sweeping floors will apparently eat up 156-calories in an hour, and mopping accounts for 170-calories in the same time. Meanwhile, heavier-duty cleaning (like clearing out your garage or washing windows) will actually burn a bit less—only 136-calories, according to CalorieLab.com. So, let someone else do the latter chore.

Basket of cleaning supplies

Play a Light Sport

Sports don’t all have to be an all-or-nothing full-out battle of wits, endurance and strength. There are much more leisurely sports you can try your hand at that don’t require mouth guards or shoulder pads. CalorieLab has also conveniently broken down calories per hour by sport.

For example, throwing darts at a board will apparently burn 102-calories per hour (factor in any beers you have while at the pub), while bowling will use up 136-calories. Even throwing the Frisbee around for fun can also torch 136-calories in an hour. How about a friendly game of badminton? That’ll surprisingly erase 408-calories in just 60-minutes, notes the source.


Jeff Hayward

Jeff Hayward

Jeff has more than 15 years of experience writing professionally about health, travel and the arts among other subjects. He continuously looks to improve his own overall health through exercise, diet and mindfulness. He is also a proud stay-at-home dad that loves taking photographs both professionally and as a hobby.