8 Fun Exercises That Burn More Calories Than Running

By Brian Syuki for Care2

Running is a great exercise for burning fat and improving cardiovascular health. But some folks don’t enjoy it. Whether it’s because of bad knees or you just don’t like running – there are many fun exercises that burn lots of calories.

In fact, you’ll transform your body in no time, if you combine these exercises with a good home workout routine.

1. Jumping Rope

Image: Dreamstime

Image: Dreamstime

Jumping rope is definitely one of my favorite exercises. Other than burning calories, this exercise will improve your coordination, increase endurance and build calf muscles.

First learn basic jump rope skills if you’ve never jumped rope before. Then try different jump variations to make your workouts fun and enjoyable. The average person burns around 10 calories per minute. Start with 20-minute sessions then increase workout duration as you get fitter.

2. Swimming

Image: GettyImages

Image: GettyImages

You don’t have to be Michael Phelps to benefit from swimming. Swimming moderately for 60 minutes will give you a full body workout and burn over 500 calories.

Swimming has a lower risk of injury than running, so it’s the perfect exercise for anyone with joint problems.

3. Cycling

Image: GettyImages

Image: GettyImages

You can burn up to 700 calories if you cycle for an hour at a speed of 15 mph. Cycling on a hilly terrain will burn more calories and tone leg muscles.

But note that biking puts a lot of pressure on the knees and ankles, and could also hurt your back in the long run. Try to limit your cycling to once or twice a week and combine it with other exercises.

4. Rowing

Image: GettyImages

Image: GettyImages

It takes about 50 minutes of moderate rowing to burn 500 calories. You can either use a rowing machine or row in water.

If you use a machine, learn from an expert how to use it properly. Many people use it the wrong way.

5. Stair Climbing

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is always a good idea. But to burn more calories you have to add stair climbing to your workout routine.

To burn 500 calories, go up and down the stairs at a fast pace for 30 minutes. Feel free to use the stair rails for support if climbing is challenging for you.

6. Hiking

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Walking up the mountains can burn lots of calories. And if you do it with friends it won’t feel like exercise at all. Carry a heavy backpack to make your workout more rewarding.

You could also try mountain climbing if you enjoy it. These exercises burn 500 calories in 50 minutes.

7. Boxing

Image: GettyImages

Image: GettyImages

If you want to get tougher and burn fat at the same time – boxing is the way to go. Spar with someone else or use a punching bag.

Remember to increase leg movement to burn more calories (even when using a punching bag). It’s possible to burn 700 calories when sparring for an hour.

8. Dancing

Image: GettyImages

Image: GettyImages

Dancing can be a fun way to burn calories. In fact, Zumba is a training method which combines dancing and aerobics.

To burn the most calories – dance at high intensity and maximize on arm and leg movement.

Now, if running is not your thing, pick one or two exercises from this list and do them frequently—you’ll never have to go on a run again.