Which Exercise Burns More Calories? Let’s Find Out

Parul Dube

November 25, 2022

Regular exercise is the ultimate calorie burner. Whether you like to go for an early morning walk or hit the gym hard, exercise plays a role in weight management and weight loss. But have you ever wondered which exercise burns the most calories?

Some say more intense workouts that use different muscle groups will ultimately burn more calories. However, the type of exercise, intensity, duration, age, height, and weight all play a role.

Here’s what to know about the exercises with the highest calorie-burning rate. 

Factors Impacting Calorie Burn


Your age significantly influences the number of calories you burn. For example, if you’re 40 and less agile, you’ll find it more challenging to finish a high-intensity workout than an 18-year-old.

In addition, research shows that the likelihood of initiating at least weekly physical activity declines with age.


How quickly you transition between sets affects your heart rate, which impacts how many calories your body burns. The more vigorous the exercise intensity, the more calories you will burn.

However, your fitness mainly limits how many calories you can burn. For example, people who can burn the most calories per minute are elite endurance athletes, not average adults.

Exercise Duration and Speed

The number of calories you burn might also depend on duration and speed. For instance, running will burn more calories than walking for the same course. Longer walks will also result in more significant calorie burn.

Exercises to Effectively Burn Calories


If you are looking to lose weight, running is a great option. You can burn anywhere from 566-839 calories per hour, and it is a high-impact workout that also trains your leg muscles.

In addition, when running, you constantly lift your body weight off the ground, which results in your whole body getting exercised. If you are new to running, consider starting with intervals of running alternated with gentle jogging or walking.

You can also try a 1:2 work-to-rest ratio. If you are looking for a long-term goal, consider setting a half-marathon or full-marathon as your goal.

Indoor Cycling

Indoor cycling can help you burn around 568-841 calories per hour. Additionally, it is a no-impact cardio workout that can help strengthen your knees and hamstrings. Indoor cycling is also an effective workout for reducing body fat. 

Skipping Rope

Skipping rope is an excellent way to burn calories in a short duration by engaging the whole body in muscle movement. Additionally, it promotes bone density, which protects against osteoporosis, and bone loss.

It is best to start skipping slowly, in bursts of 20 to 30 seconds. Then, once you have perfected the wrist flip and timing, you can increase your speed and length to burn more calories.


You can burn between 452 and 670 calories per hour by taking the stairs at 77 steps per minute. Stairs are a great way to work your legs and hips and can help you lose weight.


If you can’t jump or have knee pain when jumping, kickboxing is a good option because it doesn’t stress your legs much. According to studies, kickboxing also increases upper body fitness.

Learn basic boxing techniques (such as jabs, crosses, uppercuts, and hooks) to get started. Be prepared to integrate squats, lunges, and ducks. Master the arm and handwork before moving on to the footwork. Shorten rest periods between sessions.

High-Intensity Interval Training

HIIT is a highly effective style of workout. It quickly exhausts your body and can burn up to 450 calories in only 30 minutes. Your workout routine should be diverse to target all muscle groups and prevent overuse injuries.

HIIT can also be advantageous for runners because it strengthens muscles and allows you to engage more muscle groups. It also addresses all planes of motion.

HIIT is also beneficial for increasing stamina and general fitness. You can improve your fitness level by increasing your heart rate through intense activity bursts followed by brief rest periods.

Body Weight Workout

Exercises using your body weight are similar to lifting weights without the additional weight! In just 30 minutes, you can burn 500 calories by doing things like jump squats, plank toe taps, crawling, push-ups, mountain climbers, spider climbers, burpees, high knees, leg drops, crunches, and jumping lunges. 

The HealthifyMe Note

Some tips to help you burn more calories are to mix up your exercises and to be committed to your schedule. Activities that make your whole body out of breath, like running and weight-bearing, typically burn the most calories. You can also try indoor cycling, kickboxing, and jumping rope.  


The most efficient calorie-burning exercise for someone looking to lose weight depends on several factors, such as diet, gender, age, and activity levels outside the gym.

First, it’s crucial to find the proper exercise for oneself, after which you can work out the amount of exercise required to create a calorie deficit.

About the Author

Parul holds a Masters of Medical Science in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and has worked across the globe from the U.K to New Zealand (NZ) gaining her License with the Health Professionals Council (HPC, UK) and the NZ Nutrition Council. From being a Gold medalist in Clinical Nutrition to being awarded an internship with World Health Organisation (WHO, Cairo, Egypt) and Contracts with CDC Parul has had a wide spectrum of work experiences. She is very passionate about Nutrition and Fitness and holds strong to her guiding mantras ‘ Move more’ and ‘Eat Food that your grandmother can recognize’!

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3 responses to “Which Exercise Burns More Calories? Let’s Find Out”

  1. I downloaded the HealthifyMe me app. I am keen on losing weight and toning up. I have a lot of loose fat on arms and back. Which exercises will be suitable ?

    • This depends entirely on your bone and muscle strength and your medical history with respect to thigh, hip bone/knee/ankle/ foot fractures./ If you have been climbing stairs the majority of your life and your muscles are used to it, then there shouldn’t be issues with you climbing at least 10-12 steps daily at a moderate pace, however, if you are not used to climbing stairs, or have had some hip, thigh, bone fractures which have not healed well, then your stair climbing will be limited to 5-6 stairs.

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