There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of weight gain. Whether it’s due to your genetics, lifestyle, diet, or hormones, putting on weight isn’t something you should feel guilty about. We gain weight when there exists an imbalance in the calories we eat and burn. If you eat more than you burn or burn less than you eat, it’s only natural to gain weight over time.

If your weight gain truly bothers you or you’ve been medically advised to shed a few pounds, all you need to do is focus on eating fewer calories, burning more calories, or both! When you exercise, your body burns glycogen, fat, and other energy sources depending on how intense and how long you work out. Doctors recommend spending at least 45 minutes exercising at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate to burn body fat.

However, you have to remember that some exercises burn calories better than others. Assuming you weigh around 185 pounds, here’s how many calories you’ll burn by doing each of the following exercises for an hour.

  1. Jumping Rope

Calories burnt per hour: 888

Aside from the fact that you can jump rope almost anywhere, jumping rope is great in terms of fun and health. If you make a goal of perfecting jump rope tricks such as crisscrosses, you’ll never get tired of this exercise tool as a toy. It’s even more fun if you jump rope with a friend. When you jump rope, you raise your heart rate while putting less strain on your joints and improving your spatial awareness. Jumping rope with weighted jump ropes will also allow you to work out even more muscle groups.

  1. Martial Arts: Judo, Karate, Kickbox

Calories burnt per hour: 888

Martial arts will teach you how to defend yourself (and lose weight in the process). Participating in martial arts will help you tone your muscles, increase your flexibility, improve your posture, and increase your endurance and stamina. The more you learn how to protect and defend yourself, the more confident you can also be of your ability to be independent. At the same time, the practice can relieve stress and increase your focus. Kickboxing, in particular, can help you let go of bottled-up stress as you kick and punch to your heart’s content. Always remember to concentrate on working out your core when you do martial arts, as this will give you a total body workout.

  1. Swimming

Calories burnt per hour: 888 (breaststroke)

Swimming as a whole-body workout that can tone your muscles, build your strength and endurance, and increase your heart rate. Because there are so many moves and variations to master (such as the breastroke, butterfly, and freestyle), it’s difficult to get bored in the pool. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, swimmers also have around half the risk of death compared with people who are inactive. It’s accessible for people struggling with pain and injury too, with many reporting that they felt less pain after swimming. The humidity of the water helps people with asthma, while the buoyancy benefits swimmers with multiple sclerosis. Mentally, swimming boosts one’s mood, improves sleep, and relieves stress.

  1. Ski Machine

Calories burnt per hour: 844

Ski machine workouts are defined by large muscle movements that are amazing for aerobic exercise, strengthening the heart and lowering blood pressure. Using the ski machine can work out both your upper and lower body, increasing caloric expenditure. Being a low-impact exercise, more people with physical limitations can take part in ski machine workouts. While the coordinated movement required by the machine can be hard to get used to, you’ll find that your coordination may improve after regular use.

  1. Elliptical trainer

Calories burnt per hour: 800

The elliptical trainer is normally one of the most popular exercise machines at the gym, and for good reason. The low-impact machine can not only help you strengthen your heart and improve your stamina, but work out both your upper and lower body if you use your arms just as much as your legs on the machine. If you let go of the handles on the machine, you could focus on improving your balance while concentrating on targeting your core muscles.

  1. Running

Calories burnt per hour: 710 (at 5mph)

Running is an affordable and accessible exercise to improve your overall health, in addition to burning fat. It’s been proven to raise the body’s levels of good cholesterol, boost the immune system, increase lung function, and reduce the risk of a heart attack. It can also benefit you mentally by relieving stress, improving sleep quality, and improving your mood through the secretion of much-needed happy hormones. A 2017 study published in the Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases journal found that runners even live three years longer than non-runners.

  1. Bicycling

Calories burnt per hour: 622 (Stationary at moderate speed)

If you want a low-impact exercise that will still give your muscles a good workout, go for cycling. Cycling uses all of the body’s major muscle groups, and it’s great for increasing stamina and strength. You can cycle at a low or high intensity, whichever you prefer. The best part is that you can cycle anywhere, too, whether on a stationary bike in front of your TV or out and around your neighborhood. Cycling will improve your joint mobility, strengthen your bones, improve your posture, and increase your cardiovascular fitness, among others.

  1. Rowing Machine

Calories burnt per hour: 622 (at moderate speed)

The rowing machines at the gym aren’t there solely for competitive rowers. Even people who just want to burn some calories can reap the health benefits of rowing, considering that the act works out 86% of the body’s muscles. When rowing, you can burn calories without putting too much pressure on your joints, which is why it’s even recommended for people with mild cases of osteoarthritis. The repetitive gliding motion that comes with rowing has also been found to be quite meditative, doing wonders for the mind.

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