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Top 10 Calorie Burning Sports

Guest Post by Alicia Kate.

Previously in ‘12 Tips to Stay Fit with Modern Lifestyle’, one of our recommendations to get into great shape was to take up a new sport. Athletes are some of the fittest and healthiest people on the planet for a reason. In the context of fitness, playing sports is ideal for burning fat because it burns a lot of calories and you enjoy the activity so you strive harder and end up burning more than you would simply exercising. If you are looking for a new sport here are 10 calorie burning sports you should consider.

Many of the exercises below are ideal for Summer, but can also be done other times of the year.

1. Marathon

Running a marathon burns thousands of calories, with a 130 lbs runner burning 2,224 calories during a typical 26.2 mile course. A 165 lbs runner, on the other hand, will burn 2,822 calories, while 210 lbs runner will burn 3,593 calories. Marathons are the perfect way to get fit due to the training involved to be in good enough shape to be able to run one.

2. Basketball

A lot goes on when you play basketball. You run and sprint back and forth between the two hoops on the court frequently. You move constantly both to score and to block shots. For all that constant effort, you will burn upwards of 400 calories per hour depending on your body size. A fun session with friends is enough to get the heart racing and burn a lot of calories.

And there is no age limit for playing many sports. Some people keep playing well into their old age.


3. Soccer

Soccer is one of the best sports for getting into great shape, with some sources claiming that 900 to 1,400 calories per hour are burnt - although it really varies on how much they are running and the size of the individual player. Soccer players are some of the fittest athletes due to the intensity and pace of the game. A match typically lasts for around 96 minutes. While you most likely won’t be playing for that duration of time, a quick soccer game with friends can still provide a very good workout.

4. Football and Rugby

Concussion concerns in football are real, so we are recommending less physical versions of the sport—touch and flag football, and also rugby which requires a less violent method of tackling opponents. While physical contact may be prohibited in touch and flag football, you will still burn 600–900 calories an hour as you will be doing a lot of running, sprinting, pivoting, catching, and throwing.

5. Tennis

Tennis is akin to a full body workout, with your upper and lower body, along with your back and core, getting an intense burn. You will burn a lot of calories simply by moving around the court, and you will burn quite a few more swinging the racket. An hour of a singles tennis match will burn approximately 400–500 calories.

6. Swimming

Swimming, despite being low impact, is an aerobic exercise that is a full body workout. It is also one of the most accessible sports as you can swim in public pools, rivers, lakes and the ocean. The best part of swimming is that you are getting a great workout without stressing your joints. Swimming is perfect for those carrying recurring injuries and want to get back into shape.



7. Rowing

Rowing is a must try if you want to lose weight and get a great upper body workout to boot. Your shoulders, back, and biceps will be tested and that means you will burn 560 calories per hour. As mentioned, a strong back and shoulders is needed to excel in rowing, so before you try out this sport, you might want to fortify your back by performing the exercises Cardio Trek suggested in ‘6 Exercises for a Stronger Back’.

8. Boxing

To be a boxer is to be in the peak of physical condition. Going 12 rounds in the boxing ring is one of the biggest tests of endurance an athlete can go through. Boxers burn upwards of 600 calories an hour. While it may be a step too far to get into the ring in competition, boxing training is a highly effective way to burn calories and build serious strength.

Note - While Cardio Trek does provide boxing lessons for people in Toronto, it should be noted that we favour a more relaxed and jovial approach to teaching boxing wherein we focus on exercise and having fun. People who want to do boxing as a serious sport are recommended to go to a dedicated boxing gym and find a boxing coach who teaches competitive boxing.

9. Martial Arts

Learning a martial art like Tae Kwon Do or Karate can have the same intensity as boxing, but with a different focus. As kicks, elbows, knees, grappling, and even wrestling are all allowed in some martial arts (eg. Judo combines wrestling with throws), martial arts training is a true full-body workout. You will be burning between 400 to 600 calories an hour.

10. Lacrosse

The intensity and pace of Lacrosse, along with carrying and swinging a lacrosse stick, make it a highly effective sport for becoming physically fit. Upper strength along with good cardio levels are required to play this sport, which is why if you are looking to burn calories it is a good place to start.

Lacrosse is one of the potentially more violent sports on this list, and compares to say "ice hockey" and has a reputation of being pretty brutal.

Conclusions

There are many other sports worth trying and plenty of other reasons why you should play sports aside from that fact that doing so burns calories. Playing sports improves all aspects of health such as enhancing heart function, lowering cholesterol levels, improving blood circulation, and decreasing hypertension and stress levels. It also brings forth positive energy, promotes discipline, and builds self-esteem.

So, what are you waiting for? The time to play sports is now!

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