by Dr. David Minkoff November 11, 2015 3 min read
Cardio workouts are a great way to burn calories. You need to stay healthy and manage your weight by doing Cardiovascular exercise. Everybody knows that. But what is the best way to burn calories in the shortest amount of time? What kind of activities should you be doing? Here are a few ideas for you:
If you like to swim, you can burn anywhere from 300 – 450 calories for every 30 minutes of swimming, as there again you are using your whole body. Legs are kicking, arms are stroking and your core is keeping you afloat. In fact, this is one of the top calorie-burning activities you can do. And, depending on the stroke you use, you can burn more or less (breast stroke is much less than butterfly, for example). Also, swimming in the ocean burns more than in a pool, since in the ocean you deal with currents, waves and so forth.
You can burn over 400 calories for every 30 minutes of sprints, whether running, biking or swimming. The key is to do sprints, which means picking up the pace for certain periods of time in intervals. For example, running hard for either a short period of time or a short distance, then walking for 30-60 seconds, and then sprinting again.
"You see, you are using all of the muscles in your body, literally from your fingers to your toes."
This is not just for playing in the playground any more. Jumping rope is a great way to increase your heart rate and burn calories. Sustained jump roping is not the easiest thing to do, but is well worth it. Be sure to jump rope in intervals, jogging in place or stretching for a couple of minutes.
You can also burn a lot of calories by rock climbing. About 400 calories in fact, for every 30 minutes. You see, you are using all of the muscles in your body, literally from your fingers to your toes. Whether climbing at a rock climbing facility or out in outdoors, this is a great way to burn calories.
If you’ve ever done a mud-race, you might have seen people doing burpees as a penalty for not completing an obstacle. Or if you’ve done Crossfit, you know all about burpees. They are rarely anybody’s favorite exercise. But they absolutely obliterate calories. Burpees are an exercise where you squat down, kick your feet out into a push-up, do a push-up, then jump up with your hands in the air. You then repeat this multiple times – and believe me, this can be intense.
"And while we suggest you push yourself as hard as you can, you should also listen to your body and don’t overdo it."
You might not be able to get out in a lake to row, but there are usually rowing machines at your local gym. The rowing motion uses your shoulders, legs and your back, which are huge muscle groups, as well as some other groups, so your whole body is involved in burning the calories.
Rowing in a gym is going to be different than on a lake or ocean due to the wind, current and other conditions. But either way, this is an excellent choice.
If you don’t have much time, we suggest that you just go as hard as you can, for however long you have. If you have a heart-rate monitor or a fitness tracker (or an app like that), you can monitor how many calories you are actually burning.
If you are injured or impaired in some way and can’t do intense exercise, do whatever you can – and use the sprint/interval principle, doing the activity more intensively for a short period of time, resting or going slower, then doing it intensely again. And while we suggest you push yourself as hard as you can, you should also listen to your body and don’t overdo it.
by Dr. David Minkoff
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