To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. So, which sports burn the most calories? What are the best types of exercise for staying in shape?

The number of calories you burn exercising mostly depends on your weight but is also influenced by your height and age.

People often find it difficult to schedule exercise in due to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you only had an hour to exercise, which sports would provide the biggest calorie burn?

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For the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume the person exercising weighs 185 pounds (83 kilograms). If you weigh less than 83 kilograms you’ll burn fewer calories than the numbers featured and if you weigh more, you’ll burn more.

These sports burn the most calories

Running or jogging

Running is probably the most classic way to burn calories. The faster you run, the more calories you burn. Someone who weighed 83 kilograms running at 8mph would burn 979 calories in an hour, while someone of the same weight jogging at 6mph would burn 813 calories.


Whether hitting a punchbag, pads or sparring, boxing is an intense workout. Hitting a punchbag for an hour will burn 457 calories for someone who weighs 83 kilos, while sparring in the ring burns a whopping 1,062 calories!

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Although not as intense as boxing or running, swimming is a great sport for burning calories because you can do it for much longer! Swimming works the entire body and is a lot easier on your joints. A 185-pound person would burn 481 calories swimming front crawl for an hour and 440 calories swimming breast stroke.


It’s no surprise football is the most popular sport in the world, especially when you consider how good a workout a competitive game or training session is. Playing football for an hour burns an impressive 664 calories.

Rugby Union

Rugby is another popular team sport that demands good cardio and physical strength. A competitive game of rugby burns 689 calories.

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Another team sport demanding a lot of energy is basketball. You can expect to burn 664 calories shooting hoops.

Canoeing or rowing

The act of rowing through water is great exercise, both cardio and for your muscles. You burn about 481 calories rowing or canoeing for an hour.


Although a game of doubles played for an hour would burn 374 calories if you weighed 83 kilos, aim for a game of singles if you really want a better calorie burn – 664 calories.


If you’re after an indoor workout, no problem – badminton burns 581 calories in an hour!


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One of the biggest calorie burners on this list, similar to running. How much you burn depends on how fast you go. Someone weighing 83 kilograms burns 564 calories peddling at a slow pace for an hour, 664 calories at moderate pace and 830 calories at a fast pace.

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