Whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain an organized exercise schedule or are simply curious, knowing how to burn the most calories can be important for picking an activity.
It’s essential to remember your body needs calories for day-to-day functions. In fact, humans burn calories with every movement and activity.
The recommended caloric intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men, but this depends on several factors. Age, lifestyle, height and weight can affect the energy you need, and hormones and medication can affect how much energy you burn.
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According to Healthline, running burns the most calories. A tried and true exercise that requires little more than your legs and the open road, running burns just over 800 calories for a 155-pound adult per hour. While it depends on intensity and length of the workout as well as your weight, Healthline estimates a 125-pound adult would burn 652 calories in an hour and a 185-pound adult would burn about 965 calories.
Another running-esque workout that burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time is high-knee running, Healthline reports. You can perform this exercise by jogging in place while bringing your knees up toward your chest as high as you can.
You can also try jumping rope to engage your endurance in a different way. Jumping rope burns around 667-990 calories per hour, according to Women’s Health Magazine. This childhood game can make a comeback into your workout routine and strengthen your calves, ankles, core strength and endurance.
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Swimming is a leisure activity many enjoy, but it can also be turned into a primary form of exercise. According to Healthline, an hour-long pool session will burn about 400 calories or as much as 700 calories for a 150-pound adult. The freestyle stroke will burn the most calories because it’s the fastest, Healthline says.
Food gives your body the energy it needs to function. The body converts food into carbohydrates, fats and proteins and breaks them down to absorb. Those components create energy through complex processes, and is measured in calories. The number of calories the body uses is known as your metabolic rate. Metabolism is a natural process that can be affected by age, sex and body type.
Physical exercise, like any movement, burns calories. This means walking or even doing household work can burn calories, according to Mayo Clinic.
The science behind losing or maintaining weight is not as simple as burning the calories you intake. In fact, a study published in August 2021 found that metabolism is not constant throughout a human’s life and changes from newborn age to older adulthood. It also dispelled the myth that men have faster metabolisms than women. They actually burn more calories per day because of more muscle in the body.
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While it depends on factors like weight and age, humans burn about 50 calories per hour of sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, your body burns the most calories during rapid eye movement sleep when your heart rate increases.
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