By Lauren Denos: 2/24/2015 (Fitness)

Running tends to be what everyone thinks about when they think about leaning down. But is it the best option for losing body fat? How does it compare to other exercises? Contrary to popular thought, how many calories we burn is actually determined by how much oxygen we consume during any activity.

There are pros and cons to every exercise. Some may burn more calories, some may work to tone you up at the same time and some are just more fun. The good thing is that you can do something that encompasses all of these if you want. We are going to take a look at a variety of exercises, and how many calories on average they can burn. Plus, their pros and cons. The amount of calories on each exercise can vary wildly, but what we are showing will at least give you a rough idea. Since the amount of calories you will burn depends on your weight, we will give the example of a 35-year-old woman that weights 150 lbs., doing approximately 1 hr. of exercise a day.


5mph: 476- 576 calories

6mph: 612- 684 calories

7mph: 714-783 calories

8mph: 850-918 calories

9mph: 952 calories

10mph: 1020-1227 calories12mph: 1521 calories

The benefits of running is that it’s easy to scale the workout up or down on a moment-to-moment basis. The only thing you need is a pair of running shoes; although, in all fairness, some people even run barefoot. You can burn a lot of calories for the time you spend. The not so great side of running is that it can be bad if you have any sort of joint issues due to the pounding on the pavement or hard packed dirt roads.


2mph: 189 calories

3mph: 297 calories

4mph: 328 calories

Walking is a great way to get a mild workout in wile also getting some much needed relaxing and unwinding time in. It is also very easy on the joints. One the flip side, it takes a whole heck of a lot longer to burn the same amount of calories as many other workouts.


Hiking can burn around 405 calories, depending on the hills and speed. With a heavier load, it can take that up to 748 calories.

Hiking is also another low-impact exercise. The other great part about it is that you get to be out in nature, which many do not get to do enough of. With a heavier pack and some good hills, you can get a killer workout in without the high-impact of some other workouts.

The not as great part is that you either have to have trails very close by, or it can be more time consuming than other exercises. If you are doing longer hikes, like full weekend hikes, you need more equipment, which can get pricey.


12-14mph: 476-594 calories

14-16mph: 612-720 calories

Cycling can burn a nice chunk of calories while also being easier on the knees. Like running, it is very easy to scale up or scale down moment to moment. You can do indoor or outdoor cycling which makes it versatile for the weather changes in some parts of the country. They even have stands now so that you can turn your outdoor bike into an indoor bike for when the weather is bad.

The not as great part is that it can cost some money to get a good bike whether that be an indoor bike or an outdoor bike. For outdoor biking you should also learn how to maintenance your bike and know how to change a tire.


Approximately 774 calories

Elliptical is a very popular choice in the gym. Generally it’s easy on the knees, but is similar to running without all the impact. On the other hand, for some people it’s like the hamster wheel effect. They stay in one spot and never actually move anywhere. This can be mind-numbingly boring.

Mountain Biking

Between 510-576 calories

I think this estimate may be for a light to moderate mountain biking session. The more intense ones will burn much more than this.

Mountain biking can be a great intense workout, plus you get some amazing views when you hit the top of the trail. That is a great reward for beating the challenge of whatever hill you are conquering. A really good part about mountain biking is that not many people get bored with this sport, because there is always new trails to explore and more ways to challenge yourself. There is no end to how far you can go. The downside to this one is that if you are in a very hilly area it can be intense, too intense for someone just starting out. This does not mean that you cannot do it, just that it will be quite the challenge. You can start with a less expensive $200-300 bike, but most people want something better with a bit more suspension. Therefore, it can be an investment. Just like road biking, you will want to know how to maintenance a bike and how to change a tire.

Jump Rope

Between 476-748 calories

The great thing about jump roping is that all you need is a jump rope, which is not an expensive piece of equipment to get. You do not need a ton of space for jump roping, and it is a great exercise to do in between your weight sets. As a result, you can get your weight training and cardio done in one shot.

The downside is that sometimes overdoing it can be hard on the joints due to the impact. Also, most people will not do an hour straight of jump roping. Thus, it’s best to mix up with other activities to make more of an interval training session.

Cross-Country Skiing

Light: 408 calories

Moderate: 476 calories

Intense: 544-884 calories

Cross-country skiing can be intense and has many of the benefits of hiking. For instance, you get to see beautiful views and get some fresh air. This does tend to be a low-impact exercise. You do need to buy skis and poles, but not much else. In addition, you need to go somewhere to do your cross-country skiing, much like hiking so it can be more time intensive.

Snow Shoeing

Approximately 476 calories

I am assuming the calories estimated for this is for a hiking pace and on relatively flat ground. The more hills you do and the faster you go, the more calories you will burn.

For those who love to hike or run, but do not like sinking into the snow during the winter, this is a great option. All you really need to get is a pair of snow shoes and you are ready to go. This will have the same drawback of hiking and cross-country skiing where you need to go out to a trail, because of this it tends to be more of a weekend activity.


Moderate row machine: 408-477 calories

Canoeing 2 mph: 136-306calories

Canoeing 4mph: 408-630 calories

Canoeing 6mph: 748calories

Kayaking: 272-342 calories

Any of the rowing we are discussing is a great upper body workout and low impact. It is a great choice when your lower body needs a break or you have a broken leg, but want to keep your workouts rolling. Indoor rowing is obviously the easiest to do since you do not have to go find a river lake or get to the ocean. Although, the hamster wheel effect applies to this. You are indoors not actually moving anywhere. Canoeing and kayaking are great outdoor sports, especially in the summer. Buying equipment can be expensive, but many places rent boats by the hour. If you have a weak lower back, you may want to opt for kayaking rather than canoeing since the kayak seats tends to be a little more supportive of the back. Again, this tends to be a weekend activity for many since you need to get to the lake, stream or ocean.

Keep Reading:



Thank you for visiting our new site. We look forward to helping you reach your health potential. New articles go up almost daily!