The Most Effective Exercises for Burning Calories, As per Mathematics

effective exercises

Are you tired of sifting through the overwhelming abundance of online exercise information, unsure where to start or which routines will make a difference?

Getting lost in the fitness maze is easy in a world filled with workout trends and conflicting advice. But fear not, for you have just stumbled upon the key that can unlock your path to a healthier, stronger, and more vibrant you.

We’re not just going to list exercises; we’ll dive deep into the numbers behind them. Have you ever wondered how many calories you really burn when you swim, cycle, or do yoga? You might be surprised at which exercises give you the most bang for your buck, especially when time is limited.

If you have ever wondered about the most effective exercises to achieve your fitness goals, you are in the right place.

Whether you are a fitness fanatic or just starting on your health and wellness journey, here is a guide to a wide range of workouts, explaining the most effective exercises to burn calories so that you can choose as per specific interests and optimize your efforts.

What is a Calorie?

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A calorie is used to quantify the energy provided by the food and beverages we consume. Calories are essential for the functioning of our bodies and are used to power various bodily functions and physical activities.

Maintaining a healthy weight and overall health depends on the balance between the calories you consume and the calories you burn through metabolism and physical activity.

Calorie burning, also known as calorie expenditure, refers to the process by which your body uses calories to perform various functions and activities.

If you consume more calories than you burn, you may gain weight. If you consume fewer calories than you burn, you may lose weight.

Factors Affecting Calorie Burning

Here are some common factors that influence calorie expenditure or burning.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

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BMR is the number of calories your body needs to perform basic functions at rest, such as maintaining body temperature, circulating blood, and breathing. Several factors affect BMR, like age, gender, physical activity level, lifestyle, medical conditions, genes, and hormones.

BMR tends to decline with age due to a reduction in lean body mass and other metabolic changes. Men typically have a higher BMR than women because they tend to have more muscle mass.

Physical Activity

Physical activity, including exercise and non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), can have a significant impact on calorie burning.

The intensity, duration, and type of activity all affect calorie expenditure. High-intensity exercises like sprinting burn more calories than low-intensity activities like walking.

Other factors affecting calorie burning during exercise are temperature, humidity, altitude and rest intervals.

Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)

This refers to the energy expended during digestion, absorption, and storage of the nutrients in the food we consume.

Proteins have a higher TEF compared to carbohydrates and fats. Therefore, a diet rich in protein can lead to a higher TEF.

Other factors that may affect calorie burning include stress, certain medications, sleep, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

Top Exercises That Burn The Most Calories

Here is a list of high-calorie burning exercises.

  1. High-Intensity Interval Training
  2. Strength Training
  3. Circuit Training
  4. Cardiovascular Exercises
  5. Kickboxing
  6. Rowing

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

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HIIT is characterized by short intervals of intense activities performed at repeated intervals. This form has been an integral part of the training for athletes and coaches. Commonly included exercises in HIIT are sprints, burpees, or bodyweight exercises like squats and push-ups.

HIIT can burn a considerable number of calories in a relatively short amount of time due to the intense nature of the workouts. It elevates your heart rate and increases calorie expenditure during and after the exercise, thanks to the afterburn effect.

Multiple clinical trials have shown that HIIT significantly boosts metabolic efficiency, aerobic endurance, body composition, and resting metabolic rate (RMR) 1.

Strength Training

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Resistance or strength training focuses on increasing muscular strength, power, and endurance. It involves using various resistance methods to challenge your muscles, ultimately leading to muscle growth and improved physical performance.

Strength training has been shown to boost muscle mass and metabolic rate 2.

Excessive body fat is linked with risk factors such as high cholesterol, glucose, and resting blood pressure, which contribute to developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Experts recommend that resistance training is one of the best strategies for managing obesity and metabolic disorders. 

Strength training can be done using dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, push-ups, squats, and pull-ups.

Whether you’re an athlete or someone looking to excel in everyday activities, strength training can improve your physical performance and coordination.

Circuit Training

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Circuit training is a highly effective and versatile workout approach that combines resistance training and cardiovascular exercise.

In a circuit workout, you move through a series of exercise stations. Each station typically targets a different muscle group or aspect of fitness. For example, you might have stations for upper body, lower body, core, and cardiovascular exercises.

The rest between stations is typically minimal or none at all, which keeps your heart rate elevated, creating a cardiovascular component to the workout.

Circuit training can include a wide range of exercises, including bodyweight movements, free weights, resistance bands, machines, and cardio activities like jumping jacks or high knees.

By incorporating various exercises, you engage multiple muscle groups and work on different aspects of fitness, such as strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Circuit training offers variety, which can make workouts more engaging and enjoyable. It can also help prevent workout boredom. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced athlete, circuit training can be customized to your fitness level and adjusted as you progress.

Cardiovascular Exercises

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Cardiovascular exercises are physical activities that increase heart rate and breathing while engaging large muscle groups. These exercises benefit the heart, lungs, and overall health.

Common cardiovascular exercises include running, jogging, swimming, cycling, jumping rope, dancing and aerobics.

Regular cardio workouts increase lung capacity and oxygen intake, improving overall respiratory health. They help burn calories, making them an important component of weight loss and weight maintenance 3.

To reap the benefits of cardiovascular exercises, it is important to incorporate them into your regular fitness routine. The American Heart Association recommends at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity cardio or 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio per week for adults 4.


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Kickboxing is a dynamic and high-intensity combat sport and martial art that combines elements of boxing with kicks from various martial arts disciplines. It is a full-body workout that provides physical fitness benefits, self-defence skills, and a mentally engaging experience.

Practising with heavy bags and speed bags helps improve the strength, endurance, and precision of strikes. Bag work is an essential part of conditioning in kickboxing.

Kickboxing is an intense, high-energy workout that elevates the heart rate, enhancing cardiovascular health and endurance. The combination of calorie burn and muscle engagement in kickboxing can support weight loss and weight maintenance.

Regular kickboxing training can help tone and define muscles, leading to a more sculpted appearance.


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Rowing is a full-body exercise that simulates the motion of rowing a boat, either on water or using a rowing machine (indoor rower). It is a highly effective and low-impact workout that provides both cardiovascular and strength-training benefits.

Most people engage in indoor rowing using a rowing machine, also known as an ergometer or rower.

Rowing engages a wide range of muscle groups, including the legs, back, core, shoulders and arms. It is gentle on the joints, making it suitable for people of all fitness levels, including those with joint issues or injuries.

Rowing burns a significant number of calories, making it an effective exercise for weight management and fat loss.

Calorie Burn Chart for 30 Minutes of Activities

Activity57 Kg Body Weight 70 Kg Body Weight 84 Kg Body Weight
General Weightlifting90108126
Water Aerobics120144168
Low Impact Aerobics165198231
Heavy Weightlifting180216252
Stationary Bicycle210252294
Stationary Rowing, Moderate210252294
Non-Competitive Volleyball90108126
General Gymnastics120144168
Walking (17 mins /1.6 km)107133159
General Badminton114141168
General Swimming180216252
General Tennis210252294
Bicycling: 12-13.9 mph240288336
Running: 5 mph (12 min/1.6 km)240288336
Rope Jumping (Fast)340421503
Bicycling: > 20 mph495594693
Mountain Biking255306357
Martial Arts: judo, karate, kickbox300360420
Source: ACE Fitness. Physical Activity Calorie Counter 5


We have explored a variety of exercises, each with its unique calorie-burning potential. From high-intensity workouts like HIIT and cardiovascular activities such as running and cycling to the benefits of strength training, we have seen how the numbers add up in favour of a healthier, more energetic you.

Now, the action is yours to take. Consider incorporating these effective exercises into your routine and track your progress. Whether you aim to shed extra kilos, boost your metabolism, or improve your overall well-being, these exercises can help you achieve your goals.

Start today, and let the numbers work in your favour as you embark on a healthier, more active lifestyle.

How many calories should I burn a day?

The number of calories you should burn in a day depends on several factors, including your age, gender, weight, activity level, and specific health goals. Striking a balance between the calories you consume and the calories you burn is essential to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. One can determine daily calorie needs using a BMR calculator.

How to burn calories?

A combination of regular physical activity and a healthy, balanced diet is the most effective way to manage your weight and burn calories. You can include calorie-burning exercises like strength training, running, jumping rope, pilates, etc., in your exercise routine to speed up the calorie burning.

Which exercise burns more calories?

Jogging, running, swimming, strength training, HIIT, and pilates are some of the effective exercises to burn calories.

Does sleeping burn calories?

Yes, sleeping does burn calories, but the amount is relatively low compared to most other activities. Your body continues to perform various functions even when you are at rest, including during sleep. As per the Sleep Foundation, we burn around 50 calories per hour during sleep.

Does standing burn calories?

Yes, standing burns more calories than sitting or lying down because it requires more effort and engages muscles to support your body weight. On average, standing may burn 50-100 calories more per hour than sitting.

What are some foods that burn calories?

Some foods have a thermogenic effect or require more energy to digest, which can slightly increase your overall calorie expenditure. These foods are often referred to as “metabolism-boosting” or “thermogenic” foods like dairy foods, whey protein, green tea, coconut oil, and fibre-rich foods.

How many calories to burn a day to lose weight?

You can determine your BMR, which represents the number of calories your body needs to maintain basic functions at rest. Once you have your BMR, you can calculate your maintenance calories by considering your physical activity level. To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit of around 500-1000 calories a day in your maintenance calories.

  1. Atakan, M. M., Li, Y., Koşar, Ş. N., Turnagöl, H. H., & Yan, X. (2021). Evidence-Based Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training on Exercise Capacity and Health: A Review with Historical Perspective. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(13), 7201.[]
  2. Westcott, W. L. (2012). Resistance Training is Medicine. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 11(4), 209–216.[]
  3. Nystoriak, M. A., & Bhatnagar, A. (2018). Cardiovascular effects and benefits of exercise. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, 5.[]
  4. American Heart Association recommendations for physical activity in adults and kids. (2022, July 28).[]

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