Calories provide the energy your body needs to walk, eat, sleep, go up the stairs, and do other day-to-day activities. If you want to lose weight, you have probably been told the goal is to burn more calories than you consume. So, you want to ensure you are burning the most calories during your workout, but what workouts burn the most calories?
Factors that Affect the Amount of Calories You Burn
Various factors affect the number of calories you burn when exercising. They include:
You burn more calories when you have more muscle mass than someone with less muscle mass. This is because muscle tissues burn more calories compared to fat tissue. Muscle tissue will burn seven to ten calories daily per pound, while fat only burns two to three daily per pound.
When a person with more muscle mass exercises, they burn more calories because their body will need additional energy to support the increased rate of muscle contraction. So, to burn more calories, consider taking up strength-training exercises.
Your birth sex could play a role in the calories you burn, as men burn more calories than women. Males burn between 5 and 10 % more calories than females, which increases when exercising. However, the reason is that men tend to have more muscle mass than women.
Although women can add muscle mass through strength training, they are genetically predisposed to more fat due to hormones. So, they cannot be lean as men are. According to the American Council on Exercise, men need 5% or less body fat to support their health, while women need a minimum of 10%. Body fat is essential for protecting internal organs, hormone production, reproduction, and metabolism.
If you have been working out for a few months now, you can admit that the workouts which were impossible to do at the start are getting easier, right? This is because the more you do a workout, the easier it gets. Your body adapts to the workout and with time, does it more easily. This is a good thing for the body to build strength and endurance for longer workouts. However, it does affect the way your body burns calories.
You burn more calories when struggling with a workout, than when performing workouts your body has already adapted to. Your brain increases efficiency as you become more fit, thus reducing the number of calories. Therefore, changing your workout routine as your fitness level increases is essential to enhance your calorie burn.
The heavier you weigh, the higher the number of calories you burn during exercise. Calories are a measure of energy, and the more you weigh, the more energy it will take to move your body, thus, burning more calories.
Besides, people with larger bodies have larger internal organs, influencing how many calories are burned. A study shows that as high as 43% variation in the number of calories people burn can be accounted for by the size difference of internal organs. When starting to work out for weight loss, it is easier to lose during the first months, but as your weight decreases, your body burns fewer calories, leading to a plateau in weight loss.
As the biological clock ticks, your body loses muscle mass. Once you turn 30, your body begins to lose an average of 4% of your muscle mass every decade. The loss is mainly because your body becomes resistant to hormones that promote protein synthesis that helps with muscle maintenance. So, losing muscle mass means a lower metabolic rate and, thus, a slower speed of burning calories.
Top 3 Workouts That Burn the Most Calories
These exercises use your body weight and are done with different levels of rhythm and intensity. Some calisthenics exercises use light handheld tools like wands, while others use rings. They are effective for burning calories because they involve a lot of movement, which needs more energy, thus, forcing your body to burn calories.
Some calisthenics exercises include:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides
- Lower into a squat position and place your hands on the floor
- Kick or strep your legs back into a plank position
- Jump or step your legs forward to return to a squat position’
- Return to the standing position
- Go to the dip bar
- Stand inside it
- Hold the bar sides using your arms
- Use your shoulders to lift you from the ground
- Bend your elbows using tricep muscles to move up and down
- Lay on the ground using your back
- Keep your back flat
- Place your feet flat and bend your knees at 90 degrees to your body
- Cross your hands on your chest
- Keep your core tight, and head at a distance from the chest
- Sit up until your elbows touch your knees
- Use your core muscles to pull you up
- Go to the exercise bar
- Stand facing the bar
- Get your shoulders apart, slightly more than shoulder-width
- Grasp the bar with the top of your arms
- Lift yourself to bring your head over the bar using your shoulder muscles
- Repeat ten times
Cardio exercises are efficient when it comes to burning calories, especially when done at high intensity, e.g., fast-paced running. Harvard health affirms that running can help burn 539 calories in half an hour when running 8.5 miles per hour. Some of the best cardio to help you burn calories are:
These are exercises done in intervals of hard work that drain you until you cannot do more. It is a form of cardio that lasts between seconds and a few minutes with some rest before repeating the intervals. HIIT includes between 5 and 8 exercises done for a minute at most, with 30 seconds or less to rest. The exercises can consist of different types of cardio, like sprinting, biking, or jumping. According to research, HIIT burns 25-30% or more compared to other forms of exercise.
You can burn a lot of calories running. Running is considered among the fastest calorie-burning exercises. However, you need to run faster to burn more calories. It is convenient and can be done anywhere. Running also improves flexibility and boosts endurance.
It is a top calorie-burning exercise where an average size person can burn 600 calories per hour. It requires work from the shoulder, back, and legs continuously. It needs the nine major muscle groups- biceps, triceps, hamstrings, shoulders, back, core, lats, glutes, and quads to work together. Rowing on a lake against the wind will burn more calories than rowing indoors.
Although underrated, swimming helps burn a lot of calories because it needs your arms, core, and legs to work out together. Thus, it is a total body workout that can help burn many calories per hour. However, the stroke you use when swimming makes a significant difference. For example, butterfly strokes will burn more calories than breaststrokes. Also, swimming in the ocean with currents is more intense than in a pool. So, if you have access to the beach, it could be more effective.
A common misconception is that cardio helps burn more fat than weight lifting. However, it is often best to combine cardio and weights to burn more calories. While cardio is excellent for burning calories, studies have found resistance training to have a higher impact during the day since your body continues to burn calories even after lifting. Lifting also helps increase endurance.
Besides, one of the factors affecting how many calories you burn is muscle. Weight training helps increase muscle mass, thus, helping you burn more calories. Resistance training forces your muscles to contract when lifting, which increases strength, power, and muscle build. Here are some lifts to help you burn more calories:
You can burn as high as 600 calories or more an hour from kettlebell circuits. They combine strength training with cardio as you lift weights to ensure your heart rate remains up, so you burn calories and build muscle. Add squats, pushups, and swings to work your entire body. You can exercise longer by switching upper and lower body movements to reduce fatigue.
Walking is an ideal cardio exercise; however, it needs to be more intense and might take longer to increase your heart rate and burn calories. That’s why you might want to consider weighted walks. You can walk with dumbbells or ankle weights to increase the calories your body burns from the additional resistance. Alternatively, you can use a weighted vest. A vest places the weight near your body’s center of gravity, thus, leading to less straining of joints. Nevertheless, a vest will need more stability and control since it can pressure the hips or knees. Find a weight that works for you and start your weighted walks.
Doing 15 to 20 deadlifts can burn more calories than running a mile if you are 130 lbs.
- Stance with a one-inch distance from your shins
- Maintain a 4- inches distance between your heels
- Keep your toe angle at 15 degrees
- Grip the bar with a narrow stance
- Bend forward and bend your knees until the bar is near your shins
- Set your back by squeezing your chest up
- Drag the barbell up until your body and the bar is relative to each other while maintaining lumbar extension
Does More Sweating Mean You Are Burning More Calories?
A common misconception is that the more you sweat, the more calories your body burns. Sweating is a body mechanism that protects your body from overheating. According to Thad E.Wilson, he believes exercise doesn’t stimulate sweating. You sweat because exercises increase your internal temperature, which the body needs to control, and do so through sweating. So, sweating doesn’t mean your body is burning more calories and doesn’t affect the calories you burn. However, your body will need to use up energy to transport water to glands that secrete sweat. The energy used during the sweating process is minimal and barely affects the number of calories you burn.
If you are working out to lose weight, you need to burn calories. It is essential to ensure you are focusing on exercises worth your time and yield results in the least time. The confusion on the best exercises to burn calories is real, with more people believing cardio is more effective. Our article above goes through the most effective workouts to burn more calories. Remember to combine cardio with strength training for the best results.
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