Have you ever wondered what sport delivers the best results when it comes to burning fat?
It is definitely a great question that concerns a lot of people, and here we focus on some important points, which will help you choose an activity that will get you closer to having the body you want.
How Much Exercise do You Actually Need?
There is no doubt that it often takes a lot of effort and time to lose weight, which is why it’s always a good idea to get enough exercises on a regular basis to make sure that you stay in shape.
According to the World Health Organisation, the amount of the moderate aerobic physical activity that is needed for adults aged 18-64 is about 150 minutes a week. This standard of 150 minutes a week can be achieved in many different ways, as it refers not only to the exercising at the gym, but also walking, hiking, cycling, and even cleaning your house. It should be noted that the duration of these individual workout sessions should be at least 10 minutes to be counted in. When it comes to more intense aerobic physical activity, 75 minutes is the minimum to support your health.
If you have time, it’s even better to spend about 300 minutes per week being active, as there are numerous benefits to regular exercises. Obviously, people with certain contraindications have to adjust their exercising routines to make sure that they are completely safe for them. In addition to that, you should always start gradually.
Losing weight? Here Are Your Best Options:
While movement is life and exercises are essential, there is a certain share of people who actually have regular sport activity planned in their weekly schedules not just for the benefit of health only. Sport is also means of becoming slimmer and losing weight.
And taking into consideration the fact that many do not appreciate the payoff for a long-term effort and are prone to cherish fast results only, they tend to do those sports that are especially effective at burning fat. According to the research, you have to burn approximately 3.500 calories to lose one pound, which may seem like a lot if you lead a passive lifestyle. Thus, taking the most effective fat-burning sports will definitely help you to achieve your goal of slim-and-slender.
Here are some of the best sports that you should look into when trying to lose some weight and improve your health:
- Swimming. Not only is swimming a pleasant activity, it is also extremely beneficial for your entire body as it engages all the muscle groups, increases your stamina, and improves the posture. Besides that, it also burns a lot of calories. Depending on how much effort you put into your swimming, you can lose up to 550 calories in half an hour.
- Cycling. Whether you want to enjoy the nature and cycle outside or you prefer to exercise on a gym bicycle, it is definitely an amazing physical activity that strengthens the entire body, and especially the legs. In addition to that, it can help you burn approximately 500-1000 calories in an hour depending on how fast you’re cycling, which is the reason a lot of people choose this sport to stay fit.
- Sprinting. When it comes to sprinting, it is one of those sports that attract a lot of people thanks to its convenience. Sprints affect almost all the muscles while increasing your heartbeat and oxygen intake, which promote the process of detoxification in the body. It is definitely an excellent physical activity for anyone looking to lose weight, as you can burn about 700 calories in an hour.
- Nordic walking. If you’re not familiar with this physical activity, you should definitely take it into consideration, as it is regarded as one of the best toning and cardiovascular exercises out there. For this sport, you will need two special poles that allow you to engage your entire body while walking, and the movements performed during this activity are similar to skiing, but you don’t actually need any snow. In addition to the health benefits, Nordic walking allows you to burn a lot more calories than regular walking.
- Snowboarding. Snowboarding is among the most popular winter activities, as it is extremely fun and also great for your physical form. The majority of people don’t view snowboarding as an activity for losing weight, but it is certainly effective at burning calories. Depending on the intensity of your snowboarding, you can lose about 400-600 calories in an hour, which makes it an excellent sport for those trying to get into shape.
- Tennis. Another intense aerobic activity that strengthens all the muscles in your body is tennis. The combination of running, lunging, and hitting the ball improves your agility, endurance, and reaction, which are extremely important. The number of calories that you will be able to burn will largely depend on your initial weight and how active you are while playing. It’s only natural that you will be able to burn more calories while playing single tennis, which is approximately 400-500 calories per hour.
- Indoor climbing. Nowadays, you don’t need to go to the mountains to practice rock climbing, as there are plenty of studios that offer this activity. If you’re tired of running or going to the gym and you want to try something exciting but also safe, this is a great option for you. It is truly a total-body workout that improves your heart health, strengthens the arms, and so much more. When it comes to the calories that can be burned, it depends on your weight and can range from 600 to 900 calories an hour.
- Rowing. Whether you go on a vacation or you live close to a lake, rowing is an amazing physical activity that allows you to enjoy some fresh air and scenery while losing weight at the same time. Moderate-intensity rowing gives you an opportunity to burn approximately 400 calories per hour while if you put a vigorous effort in your rowing, you can burn up to 700 calories in an hour, which is definitely a lot.
- Golf. If you are looking for a sport that will improve your health but also won’t be too extreme or strenuous, golf is something you should not underestimate. The most important thing while playing golf to get maximum benefit and lose weight is to carry your clubs and avoid riding a cart. If you stick to these suggestions, you will be able to burn about 400 calories per hour.
- Basketball. Another great sport that can be played with family and friends is basketball, and if you want to, you can easily organize some space for playing basketball in your yard, as all you need is a net and a ball. If you get motivated by competition, basketball can become a perfect sport for losing weight as you will be willing to put more effort in order to win. Similarly to other sports, basketball builds your bone strength and improves motor skills, coordination, and endurance. By actively playing this game for an hour, you will be able to lose about 600 calories or more.
These are some of the most accessible sports for those individuals who are concerned about the way they look (and want to lose weight rather than stay healthy in the first place) are undoubtedly the most effective, as they allow you to exercise your body as a whole instead of focusing on minor muscle groups. There are other options as well, however, the choice is always individual.
What are the benefits of interval training?
The single most well-established benefit of interval training has to do with heart health. Intervals can boost cardio-respiratory health with a smaller time investment compared to continuous forms of exercise. So we’re not talking about superior fat-burning capacity (more on that later) or bigger muscles. We’re talking about improved VO2 max, a measure of endurance that calculates the maximum volume of oxygen the body can use.
“Scientists have found that [VO2 max] is one of the best predictors of overall health,” according to the recent interval training bookThe One Minute Workout, co-authored by Martin Gibala, one of the world’s leading interval training experts, who’s based at McMaster University in Canada. “The more aerobically fit you are, the better your heart can pump blood, the longer it takes you to get out of breath, and the farther and faster you’re able to bike or run or swim.” And that, in turn, can help prevent heart disease.
Consider this 2016 SIT study, in which Gibala and his co-authors followed two groups of participants for 12 weeks: One group worked out for 10 minutes (including several intervals that added up to one minute), and the other for 50 minutes (at a continuous pace).
The most remarkable finding in the study was that the two groups of exercisers saw the same improvement in their oxygen uptake, despite their varying time commitments.
In a 2014 study, Gibala and his fellow researchers got a group of overweight and obese sedentary adults to do three workouts per week, for a total of 30 minutes of exercise. Each workout included three 20-second intervals of fast pedaling on an exercise bike. Even in that short period of time, the study participants saw improvements in their VO2 max.
Reviews of the research have come to similar conclusions: Interval routines lead to greater gains in VO2 max compared with other forms of training in a shorter period of time.
“HIIT is a time-efficient strategy to get the benefits typically associated with longer bouts of traditional cardio,” Gibala told Vox.
Of course, the more you put into a HIIT workout, the more heart health benefits you get out. In this 2013 meta-analysis, researchers evaluated the effects of high-intensity interval training studies, separating out nine studies that showed the largest improvements in VO2 max and nine studies that reported the smallest gains.
The findings were telling: Less intense training programs with shorter intervals carried the least health benefits, while interval training studies reporting the greatest increases typically used longer (three- to five-minute) intervals.
For this reason, athletes have long used the interval technique to up their game, Mayo Clinic exercise researcher Michael Joyner told Vox in 2016. “There’s observational data in athletes going back almost 100 years showing the benefits of a few bouts of really high-intensity exercise in people.” He added: “If you want to get people to their biological maximum, they need to be doing four to five times of three- to five-minute intervals.”