What Exercises Burn The Most Calories?

What Exercises Burn The Most Calories?

Staff Writer
6 minute read

What Exercises Burn The Most Calories?

A word we all become familiar with at the start of our fitness journey is ‘calorie,’ the energy unit our body consumes and burns. While we need calories to keep the engine running, we only need so much. After we go over our recommended intake, we begin to store it as fat. What exercises burn the most calories? Let’s take a look, but first how exactly does calorie burning work?

Fat is a scary word. It's true that we need it, but there is certainly such a thing as too much. Fortunately there is a solution to trimming fat off our body and it’s quite simple. It all relates to why our body stores fat in the first place. Consider fat as our energy reserves, the way we deplete our reserves is to cut off the intake of energy. In order to do that, we need to use up our calorific energy and then some, tapping into the energy stored in our fat.

We can all eat better and have a healthy diet, but you’ll still need to burn those calories. The best way to burn calories is (you guessed it) exercise! So without further ado let’s discuss what exercise burns the most calories. While we’re at it, we’ll also provide insightful tips on how to keep your fitness journey on track.

Exercises That Burn The Most Calories

There's so many programs out there, so many different workout routines and exercises; it may seem daunting for a beginner. You know in your head that not all exercises are created equal, you don’t want to waste your time doing the wrong ones. This is enough fear for some to quit all together! 

Fear not, we’ll make it easy for you.  Here's a list of some of the best calorie burning exercises:


We’ll start simple. It’s something we’ve been doing since before we even knew what calories were! For our hunting ancestors, running was a necessity in order to eat. Having high endurance meant we could tire out our prey enough to go in for the kill. It’s also a great way to run away from predators or rival tribes. 

These days, we don’t do as much running for survival. Most of us only run for fitness and there’s a very good reason why. Running, especially for long distances, is a great way to burn calories and tap into the fat we have stored. 

It’s also a great way to start your fitness journey. It increases endurance, improves cardiovascular health and is also incredibly simple; just run! You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a path ahead of you.


A personal favourite for many and it's easy to see why! Swimming is one of the best calorie burning activities you can do. Since your entire body is facing resistance, it's not only good for fat burning, but also for muscle toning. You might have noticed that some of the best looking athletes are swimmers. 

There’s also an increased fun-factor to this exercise, since many of us enjoy a dip in the pool recreationally. Just half an hour, three to four times a week will do wonders for your physique. 


Cycling is one of the most efficient and freeing ways to burn calories. Since cycling is mostly an aerobic sport, it works out your heart, blood vessels and lungs. Your general level of fitness will rise since you'll breathe more deeply and perspire more. 

An hour a day will burn the fat away. A common pastime for many and all you need is a bicycle! Just don’t forget your helmet.


Did you know that an hour on the punching bag can burn up to 500 calories? Boxing is an especially intense activity, which literally gets you into ‘fighting shape.’ It also offers one of the best post-workout highs you’ll ever get. 

Other benefits of choosing boxing as your sport of choice include increased hand-eye coordination and fight IQ (great for self defence). If you’re not interested in actually learning the sport, a punching bag and gloves is really all you need. 

The Best Foods To Eat Before And After A Workout 

While exercise is a very important aspect of health, diet is just as (if not more) important. What good is it trying to burn calories when all you’re eating is cake and pizza? Unless you want to stay at the gym for hours every day, you need to watch how many calories you consume

Your body is a machine and it needs the best fuel to keep running the best it can. One of the best ways to watch what you eat is to prepare your own meals (no more take out).

Eat lots of vegetables, nuts and lean meats like chicken breast. Many people will tell you to stay away from carbs, however your body will need carbs if it’s going to keep up with you! The real menace is sugar and saturated fat. If you want to eat something sweet, enjoy an apple or banana before a workout. 

Should You Be Working Out Every Day?

It's true the more you work out, the more progress you’ll see sooner. However, rest is just as important as exercise. Your body needs time to recover, not giving it time will lead to fatigue and injury. 

If you’re just starting out, aim for three days a week. Over time, many of us gain physical resilience and add a day or two. As long as your body has adapted, it’s a great choice; but you still need to give yourself at least one day of full rest. 

TLDR: What Exercises Burn The Most Calories?

For those of you who skipped to this part, hello! Let’s catch you up to speed. In this article, we brought up the importance of burning calories to lose weight. We provided a list of four exercises that burn the most calories. 

Those four being: 





Make sure to eat right and get plenty of rest!

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