If getting fit is on your to-do list for 2018, the forms of exercise you choose can have a big impact on your results. Most people know that not all activities are created equal when it comes to burning calories, so selecting those that require the most energy allows you to potentially make more progress in the allotted time.
While calorie burn should be a factor, it’s also important to choose activities you’ll enjoy, as this makes it easier to stick with an exercise routine over the long-term. However, if you’re torn between two activities or want to mix it up on occasion, understanding which exercises require the most energy is a boon.
Business Insider analyzed 36 popular exercises to determine which ones win out based on their intensity, and we’ve included a list of the top calorie-burners here. The “calories burned in an hour” calculations are based on a 160- and a 200-pound person, respectively.
Running (8 mph) or Jumping Rope
Two activities that tied for the most calories burned are running and jumping rope, with the running calculations based on maintaining a speed of 8 mph during a run, which translates to a 7 minute, 30-second mile.
Both resulted in a calorie burn of 861/1,074 calories per hour.
Soccer or Taekwondo
The next two activities on the list also tied.
Participants in a soccer game or practitioners of Taekwondo can burn 752/937 calories in an hour.
And getting the full benefit from Taekwondo doesn’t necessarily require sparring another person, as practicing the moves and using punching bags or strike dummies can be rigorous in their own right.
While the calculations focused on Taekwondo, other martial arts like Jujitsu, Karate, and Muay Thai likely yield similar results.
Swimming laps in the pool can burn 715/892 calories per hour, as long as you keep up the intensity.
Running Up Stairs
Whether you prefer to use an actual staircase or simply jumping on a StairMaster, running up stairs can burn 657/819 calories per hour. The key here is running the stairs and not just climbing them, as a slower pace will decrease the total calories expended.
Running (5 mph)
If an 8 mph pace is too intense, a running at 5 mph still burns 606/755 calories per hour. At that speed, you should finish a mile in 12 minutes.
There are a plethora of other activities you could participate in that were not part of the analysis. So, if there is something else you’d prefer to do, consider doing some research to determine how it measures up in regards to calories burned.
It is important to note that everyone’s body will react to an exercise differently. Your age, gender, body type, how intensely you exercise, and a range of other factors also affect calorie burn, meaning your results may vary. Additionally, exercise alone may not be enough to reach any weight loss goals a person may have.
Before starting any new exercise routine, it is wise to speak with a medical professional to determine which activities are right for you, as well as the safety of any diet changes you may be considering.