If you're not the kind of person who loves exercising, with your gym membership being more of a means to an end than anything else, you'll be all about efficiency. You want to give your body the best workout you can in the shortest amount of time possible.
And if your primary goal is to shift some excess fat, your main focus will be to burn calories. The obvious way to do that is to jump on the treadmill, or put on your trainers and go for a jog around your local park. But you know, running isn't necessarily the most effective form of cardio when it comes to burning calories, according to one personal trainer. Below are five forms of cardio that could burn more calories than running.
“Rowing is a great calorie burner and all over body workout as it uses nine major muscles groups, including the hamstrings, quads, glutes, core, lats, shoulders, back, triceps and biceps,” says Danny. “Rowing is one of the most intense exercises you can add to your workout routine, can burn around 700 calories an hour and is great for helping with back definition.”
“Whether it's speed cycling or moderate intensity slow cycling, this calorie burning exercise provides a workout for your heart, lungs and blood vessels,” explains the personal trainer. “A gentle bike ride can burn around 364 calories per hour, but if you take part in intense cycling, you'll see the calorie burn go through the roof.” Spin class it is, then.
You might not have bounced on a trampoline since you had one in your back garden, but the PT suggests trampolining as “a brilliant low-impact form of exercise” you should try. “Whether you are using a big trampoline in the garden, a small rebounder or taking part in a class, jumping burns a significant number of calories (around 300 per 30 minutes),” notes the personal trainer. “Trampolining gives a great cardio workout and will help improve overall muscle tone,” the personal trainer adds.
Swimming has psychological benefits as well as physical, allowing you to switch off from the world while you work your body all-over, gliding through the water. Personal Trainer says swimming is an exercise known for “torching calories” as well as “building up endurance” to enhance future performance. “It is also a great option for those who can't run or take part in some other forms of aerobic exercises as it puts no pressure on the joints. Swimming vigorously for an hour can burn nearly 1000 calories,” says the expert.
“Skipping isn't just an exercise for kids in the playground, it is a great workout for all,” suggests the personal trainer. According to experts, skipping can burn up to 1000 calories per hour depending on the speed at which you complete the jumps, and your body weight (people with a heavier body weight tend to burn more calories). As our personal trainer points out, if you can't quite manage a full hour of skipping, “even jumping rope for a couple of minutes can be enough to get your heart racing.” For the best results, the personal trainer recommends doing skipping as interval training, meaning you should jump the rope for a set number of reps (however many you think you can manage), and then walk round for 30 to 60 seconds afterwards, repeating the cycles as many times as you can.
While, sure, calorie burn can be a useful way of measuring your workout, the personal trainer wants to remind you it's not the be all and end all. “It is important to note that there are many, many great reasons to exercise that have nothing to do with weight loss or calorie burn,” says the personal trainer. “Exercise releases endorphins which help us feel good and can also be a great way to get out and meet new people.” Couldn't have said it better ourselves.