Is Your Workout Worth It? See How Many Calories You’re Actually Burning

In order to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle, it’s recommended that people do some sort of physical activity on a regular basis. Whether someone loves to run, bike, or swim, getting the heart rate up can burn some serious calories. But not all exercises are created equal when it comes to burning calories. Continue reading to see which exercises can burn the most (and least) calories in an hour.

Golfing (Skip the Cart): 391 Calories

Tiger Woods celebrating after winning a golf tournament

Golf is one of the top sports for retirees and it can actually burn a hefty amount of calories in an hour.

On average, a 200-pound person can burn about 391 calories by playing one hour of golf. They would need to be carrying their own clubs and not using the golf cart.

Gardening: 460 Calories

three women gardening in london

Gardening isn’t usually considered a type of exercise, but all the bending, raking, digging, and more can quickly burn up some calories.

On average, a man will burn about 460 calories after an hour of gardening and a woman will burn about 370. Not only is gardening a good workout, but it’s great for the planet.

Baseball: 455 Calories

USA's starting pitcher Nicholas Martinez hurls the ball

America’s pastime of baseball is not only a competitive sport, but it’s also an intense workout. Typically, a game of baseball or softball will burn about 455 calories in an hour.

Players have to swing bats, throw fast pitches, jump to catch balls, run around the bases, and much more.

Hiking: 546 Calories

a woman hiking up a mountain

There are several benefits to hiking. It’s a great way to exercise, get fresh air, see the outdoors, and get in touch with wildlife.

A 200-pound person will likely burn about 546 calories after one hour of hiking. That amount drops to 438 for a 160-pound person and 340 calories for someone who’s 125 pounds.

Ice Skating: 637 Calories

Adam Rippon competes in the men's single ice skating

One of the best workouts that may not be as popular is ice skating. A person will usually burn about 637 calories after one hour on the ice.

Skaters have to keep their momentum going by using muscles from all over their body. There are also several tricks that require immense skill and focus.

Water Polo: 839 Calories

women competing in a water polo game

Swimming is already a workout on its own, but adding a game of water polo can make it one of the best ways to burn calories.

Someone who’s 185 pounds would burn about 839 calories after playing an hour of water polo. That drops to 703 for a 155-pound person and a 125-pound person would burn about 566 calories.

Tennis: 728 Calories

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While tennis may seem like a simple game of a ball being hit over a net, it can really get people to work up a sweat.

On average a person will burn 728 calories after playing an hour of tennis. Swinging the racket and chasing after the ball is no easy feat.

Dancing: 460 Calories

two old women dancing with a statue

Dancing can be a fun way to relieve stress and let loose, but it’s also a great way to burn some calories.

A man will typically burn about 460 calories after dancing for one hour and a woman will burn about 370. It probably helps to dance to faster music to get the heart rate going.

Basketball: 728 Calories

KJ Feagan #10 of the San Diego State Aztecs shoots the ball in the first half against the Boise State Broncos

A lot of basketball is running back and forth, so that’s bound to help people burn a ton of calories.

A 200-pound person will likely burn about 728 calories after playing an hour of basketball. Aside from the running, there’s dribbling the ball, jumping to make a shot, blocking other players, and more.

Football: 730 Calories

Tyreek Hill #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs leaps to the goal line on a 40-yard touchdown pass behind the defense of Trae Waynes #26 of the Minnesota Vikings

While football isn’t the safest sport, there are many benefits when it comes to getting some exercise. On average, a man will burn 730 calories after playing an hour of football.

That number drops to 580 for women. Players do a lot of running, diving, blocking, and throwing, which really adds up after an hour.

Cycling: 710 Calories

Rohan Dennis of Australia competes in the Cycling Road Men's Individual Time Trial

Cycling requires a lot of strength throughout the body. The legs must pedal along, while the arms are used to steer.

A person who is 185 pounds will burn 710 calories after an hour of cycling. Someone who is 155 pounds will burn 596 calories and someone who is 125 pounds will burn 480 calories.

Elliptical: 455 Calories

woman working out on an elliptical

A lot of what makes burning calories on an elliptical effective is how fast someone goes. Typically, people will burn 455 calories at running speed on an elliptical after one hour.

Not only do people have to use their leg muscles to gain momentum, but they also have to swing their arms at the same time.

Stationary Bicycling: 622 Calories

woman riding a stationary bike

There’s a reason why things such as Soul Cycle and Peloton have become top brands in fitness. They help people burn a lot of calories.

On average, a 185-pound person will burn 622 calories after an hour on a stationary bike. A 155-pound person will burn 520 calories and a 125-pound person will burn 420 calories.

Weightlifting: 455 Calories

Rostami Kianoushof Iran lifting weights

A common way people stay in shape is by weightlifting. Lifting weights is a good way to build muscle and tone other parts of the body.

A person will most likely burn about 455 calories after an hour of weightlifting. This number will likely increase as the weights get heavier.

Racquetball: 637 Calories

two men playing racquetball

Racquetball was a fitness craze of the 1980s and is still a fun and competitive way to burn lots of calories.

After playing an hour of racquetball, a person will burn about 637 calories. Racquetball takes a lot of concentration, quick movement, coordination, and people need to throw a powerful serve.

Rowing Machine: 622 Calories

woman exercising on a rowing machine

One of the most popular machines people use at the gym are the rowing machines. These provide intense workouts that are hard to replicate anywhere else.

Someone who is 185 pounds will burn 622 calories after an hour on a rowing machine. That number drops to 520 for a 155-pound person and 420 for a 125-pound person.

Skiing: 920 Calories

man skiing down a hill

Skiing can be a daring and adventurous winter sport, but it also helps people work up a sweat. A man will burn about 920 calories after an hour of skiing and a woman will burn 740 calories.

Downhill skiing is an aerobic workout, which blends both endurance and resistance training.

Taekwondo: 937 Calories

two men competing in a taekwondo competition

Taekwondo is a Korean form of martial arts, which uses punching and kicking techniques. Most of the kicks are meant to be towards the head.

This is quite a fast-paced sport that would burn 937 calories in an hour if the person weighed 200 pounds. Also, Taekwondo was originally developed for self-defense.

Jumping Rope: 1,074 Calories

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Some may not have jumped rope since they were children, but it’s actually one of the greatest ways to stay in shape. Even top athletes do it as part of their workout.

A 200-pound person will burn about 1,074 calories after an hour of jumping rope. There aren’t too many other physical activities that are as efficient.

Running: 1,074 Calories

a runner traverses the route during the Mount Everest Challenge Marathon

A common workout for burning calories, getting the heart racing, and staying in shape is running. It requires almost no special training, it’s free to do, and can give people wonderous views of the outside world.

On average, a 200-pound person who runs for an hour will burn about 1,074 calories.

Yoga: 180 Calories

a person practicing yoga as the sun rises

There are some exercises that can be good both mentally and spiritually but don’t do too much physically. Yoga is a great way to stretch out your muscles but it doesn’t burn too many calories.

One hour of yoga will typically burn between 180 and 640 calories. Various factors determine how many calories are burned such as the speed and types of poses.

Stretching: 162 Calories

a woman stretching her leg

Stretching is a great thing to do before and after a workout, but it isn’t really a workout on its own.

About one hour of stretching burns 162 calories, which is approximately 2.7 calories per minute of stretching. However, stretching is perfect for toning your body and strengthening your muscles.

Pilates: 200 Calories

women taking a pilates class

In order to lose weight, people must burn more calories than they take in. While Pilates may seem like a good workout, it won’t burn too many calories.

Someone who does one hour of Pilates will burn only about 200 to 400 calories. This number drops to less than 200 if the person weighs under 150 pounds.

Walking: 210 Calories

couple walking their dogs

Going for a walk is a great way to get some fresh air and take in the outdoors. However, it isn’t the best exercise for those looking to burn a ton of calories.

About one hour of walking will burn between 210 and 360 calories. This variation depends on the pace.

Sit-Ups: 180 Calories

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A typical full-body workout will contain sit-ups, which are a perfect way to help tone the abdominal muscles.

While sit-ups can be great to include in a workout, they shouldn’t be the only exercise that’s done. About one hour of sit-ups will burn 180 calories, which is equivalent to three calories per minute.

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