14 exercises that make you spend more calories per minute


We often have questions about the number of calories we spend when we workout. For those who stick with their weight loss or weight gain plans, it is important to know how many calories you ingest with your meals and how many calories you will spend when you perform a specific exercise. However, there are various factors for these questions. The caloric expenditure varies between individuals, depends on their metabolism, time and intensity of the exercise. We already know that the ideal is to combine a good diet with a regular workout plan in order to obtain quicker and more efficient results.

Everybody knows that simple tasks like climbing the stairs instead of using the elevator, dancing or performing your daily tasks help burn calories. However, if you goal is to lose body fat and tone specific areas in your body, you should choose challenging exercises.

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You can find, in the following list, a few activities that allow a considerable expenditure of calories per minute, its benefits and risk factors.

1. Running: 20 calories per minute

Running for an hour (changing the rhythm) burns approximately 600 calories. However, this is an exercise that causes a major impact in your articulations and alters the heart rate, so you should take those risk factors into account. For those who are initiating, the best is to start walking or jogging.

2. Rope skipping: 15 calories per minute

This exercise helps to develop the calves, thighs and shoulders. Besides that, it is an activity that helps to develop motor coordination. For your safety, it is advisable that you use appropriate shoes and that, between each jump, you firmly support your feet on the floor, not just the tips. It is really important that the movements are performed correctly, because an exercise that’s badly executed may cause injuries in your feet’s and knees’ articulations.

3. Volleyball: 15 calories per minute/ Basketball: 9 calories per minute

These sports share very similar benefits and risk factors. They are recommended for those who want to develop strength, focus and motor coordination. It is advisable to use appropriate shoes to reduce the risk of injuries in the legs’ articulations.

4. Wrestling: 14,4 calories per minute

This sport works the strength and flexibility of those who practice it. Knees, ankles, arms and shoulders are the critical spots that are at greater risk of suffering from injuries.

5. Swimming (butterfly): 14 calories per minute

Swimming is considered one of the most complete sports, for it develops every ability of the individuals who do it: flexibility, agility, musculature, aerobic ability, among others. A not so positive aspect is the fact that you are permanently in contact with the water, and that might be inconvenient for those who suffer from hearing problems.

6. Climbing stairs: 14 calories per minute

It is not considered a sport, but an aerobic exercise that is a part of our routine and that burns fat. Every time you have the elevator/stairs dilemma, choose the stairs. Remember: every occasion is a good occasion to work your thighs.

7. Football: 13,3 calories per minute

Football is a good ally for those who need to develop strength, respiratory function, notion of space, agility and motor coordination. The risk factors associated with this sport have to do with injuries caused by the impact in the articulations, usually when running or kicking. Straining in the muscles of the knees and legs, bone fractures and knee injuries are very common in this sport. Muscular stretching before exercising helps decrease the chances of concussions.

8. Judo/Karaté: 13 calories per minute

Both sports are indicated for those who would like to increase strength, flexibility, balance and motor coordination. Sprains and bruises are the most common risk factors associated with these sports.

9. Rowing: 7 calories per minute

Rowing in the water or at the gym develops the arm muscles, chest, back and increases aerobic ability. It is also possible to work the legs and the lower back. You should always adopt a correct posture and don’t put too much effort in the articulations of your elbows.

10. Mountain Climbing: 12 calories per minute

Among the range of climbing sports, mountain climbing is the one the burns more calories. This sport requires a lot of your strength, flexibility and resistance. The biggest risk factor associated with this sport is falling from elevated heights.

11. Tennis: 11 calories per minute

Increase of flexibility, motor coordination, agility and aerobic ability are the advantages of this sport. As for the contraindications, risk of sprains, wearing of articulations, injuries in the fists and in the elbows are the most common ones.

12. Boxing: 9 calories per minute

In many gyms, it’s a common practice to adapt a few boxing moves to a few sports. That’s the case of aeroboxing, which combines the aerobic burn of fat with fighting movements. Boxing itself includes rope jumping, series of stretching exercises, moving techniques, punches and pushing-ball, used to improve motor coordination and speed.

13. Walking (going up): 11 calories per minute/ Walking (on a flat ground): 8 calories per minute

It is a good exercise to burn calories and acquire resistance. Because it is an activity that does not require a lot of impact on the ground, it does not represent a risk for injuries in the articulations. In only requires adequate shoes.

14. Handball: 10 calories per minute

The practice of this sport develops strength, agility, motor coordination and increases aerobic ability. Just like other sports, it may cause injuries in the articulations, sprains and fractures.

Do not forget that these values change, because the caloric expenditure of a person who weighs 90kg will not be the same as the one of a person who weighs 50kg.


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N/d, Saiba que exercícios gastam mais calorias, September 2000, translation and adaptation of the original version


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