Is Your Workout Worth It? See How Many Calories You’re Actually Burning

In order to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle, it’s recommended that people do some sort of physical activity on a regular basis. Whether someone loves to run, bike, or swim, getting the heart rate up can burn some serious calories. But not all exercises are created equal when it comes to burning calories. Continue reading to see which exercises can burn the most (and least) calories in an hour.

Golfing (Skip the Cart): 391 Calories

Golf is one of the top sports for retirees and it can actually burn a hefty amount of calories in an hour.

Tiger Woods celebrating after winning a golf tournament
Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

On average, a 200-pound person can burn about 391 calories by playing one hour of golf. They would need to be carrying their own clubs and not using the golf cart.

Gardening: 460 Calories

Gardening isn’t usually considered a type of exercise, but all the bending, raking, digging, and more can quickly burn up some calories.

three women gardening in london
Mary Turner/Getty Images
Mary Turner/Getty Images

On average, a man will burn about 460 calories after an hour of gardening and a woman will burn about 370. Not only is gardening a good workout, but it’s great for the planet.

Baseball: 455 Calories

America’s pastime of baseball is not only a competitive sport, but it’s also an intense workout. Typically, a game of baseball or softball will burn about 455 calories in an hour.

USA's starting pitcher Nicholas Martinez hurls the ball
Kazuhiro Fujihara/AFP via Getty Images
Kazuhiro Fujihara/AFP via Getty Images

Players have to swing bats, throw fast pitches, jump to catch balls, run around the bases, and much more.

Hiking: 546 Calories

There are several benefits to hiking. It’s a great way to exercise, get fresh air, see the outdoors, and get in touch with wildlife.

a woman hiking up a mountain
Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images
Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images

A 200-pound person will likely burn about 546 calories after one hour of hiking. That amount drops to 438 for a 160-pound person and 340 calories for someone who’s 125 pounds.

Ice Skating: 637 Calories

One of the best workouts that may not be as popular is ice skating. A person will usually burn about 637 calories after one hour on the ice.

Adam Rippon competes in the men's single ice skating
Roberto Schimdt/Getty Images
Roberto Schimdt/Getty Images

Skaters have to keep their momentum going by using muscles from all over their body. There are also several tricks that require immense skill and focus.

Water Polo: 839 Calories

Swimming is already a workout on its own, but adding a game of water polo can make it one of the best ways to burn calories.

women competing in a water polo game
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Someone who’s 185 pounds would burn about 839 calories after playing an hour of water polo. That drops to 703 for a 155-pound person and a 125-pound person would burn about 566 calories.

Tennis: 728 Calories

While tennis may seem like a simple game of a ball being hit over a net, it can really get people to work up a sweat.

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IamTooBoredToThink/Imgur
IamTooBoredToThink/Imgur

On average a person will burn 728 calories after playing an hour of tennis. Swinging the racket and chasing after the ball is no easy feat.

Dancing: 460 Calories

Dancing can be a fun way to relieve stress and let loose, but it’s also a great way to burn some calories.

two old women dancing with a statue
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A man will typically burn about 460 calories after dancing for one hour and a woman will burn about 370. It probably helps to dance to faster music to get the heart rate going.

Basketball: 728 Calories

A lot of basketball is running back and forth, so that’s bound to help people burn a ton of calories.

KJ Feagan #10 of the San Diego State Aztecs shoots the ball in the first half against the Boise State Broncos
Kent Horner/Getty Images
Kent Horner/Getty Images

A 200-pound person will likely burn about 728 calories after playing an hour of basketball. Aside from the running, there’s dribbling the ball, jumping to make a shot, blocking other players, and more.

Football: 730 Calories

While football isn’t the safest sport, there are many benefits when it comes to getting some exercise. On average, a man will burn 730 calories after playing an hour of football.

Tyreek Hill #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs leaps to the goal line on a 40-yard touchdown pass behind the defense of Trae Waynes #26 of the Minnesota Vikings
David Eulitt/Getty Images
David Eulitt/Getty Images

That number drops to 580 for women. Players do a lot of running, diving, blocking, and throwing, which really adds up after an hour.

Cycling: 710 Calories

Cycling requires a lot of strength throughout the body. The legs must pedal along, while the arms are used to steer.

Rohan Dennis of Australia competes in the Cycling Road Men's Individual Time Trial
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

A person who is 185 pounds will burn 710 calories after an hour of cycling. Someone who is 155 pounds will burn 596 calories and someone who is 125 pounds will burn 480 calories.

Elliptical: 455 Calories

A lot of what makes burning calories on an elliptical effective is how fast someone goes. Typically, people will burn 455 calories at running speed on an elliptical after one hour.

woman working out on an elliptical
Anke Thomass/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Anke Thomass/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Not only do people have to use their leg muscles to gain momentum, but they also have to swing their arms at the same time.

Stationary Bicycling: 622 Calories

There’s a reason why things such as Soul Cycle and Peloton have become top brands in fitness. They help people burn a lot of calories.

woman riding a stationary bike
David Butow/Corbis via Getty Images
David Butow/Corbis via Getty Images

On average, a 185-pound person will burn 622 calories after an hour on a stationary bike. A 155-pound person will burn 520 calories and a 125-pound person will burn 420 calories.

Weightlifting: 455 Calories

A common way people stay in shape is by weightlifting. Lifting weights is a good way to build muscle and tone other parts of the body.

Rostami Kianoushof Iran lifting weights
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

A person will most likely burn about 455 calories after an hour of weightlifting. This number will likely increase as the weights get heavier.

Racquetball: 637 Calories

Racquetball was a fitness craze of the 1980s and is still a fun and competitive way to burn lots of calories.

two men playing racquetball
PA Images via Getty Images
PA Images via Getty Images

After playing an hour of racquetball, a person will burn about 637 calories. Racquetball takes a lot of concentration, quick movement, coordination, and people need to throw a powerful serve.

Rowing Machine: 622 Calories

One of the most popular machines people use at the gym are the rowing machines. These provide intense workouts that are hard to replicate anywhere else.

woman exercising on a rowing machine
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Someone who is 185 pounds will burn 622 calories after an hour on a rowing machine. That number drops to 520 for a 155-pound person and 420 for a 125-pound person.

Skiing: 920 Calories

Skiing can be a daring and adventurous winter sport, but it also helps people work up a sweat. A man will burn about 920 calories after an hour of skiing and a woman will burn 740 calories.

man skiing down a hill
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Downhill skiing is an aerobic workout, which blends both endurance and resistance training.

Taekwondo: 937 Calories

Taekwondo is a Korean form of martial arts, which uses punching and kicking techniques. Most of the kicks are meant to be towards the head.

two men competing in a taekwondo competition
Hannah Peters/Getty Images
Hannah Peters/Getty Images

This is quite a fast-paced sport that would burn 937 calories in an hour if the person weighed 200 pounds. Also, Taekwondo was originally developed for self-defense.

Jumping Rope: 1,074 Calories

Some may not have jumped rope since they were children, but it’s actually one of the greatest ways to stay in shape. Even top athletes do it as part of their workout.

GettyImages-1232290928
Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images
Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images

A 200-pound person will burn about 1,074 calories after an hour of jumping rope. There aren’t too many other physical activities that are as efficient.

Running: 1,074 Calories

A common workout for burning calories, getting the heart racing, and staying in shape is running. It requires almost no special training, it’s free to do, and can give people wonderous views of the outside world.

a runner traverses the route during the Mount Everest Challenge Marathon
Simon Bruty/Getty Images
Simon Bruty/Getty Images

On average, a 200-pound person who runs for an hour will burn about 1,074 calories.

Yoga: 180 Calories

There are some exercises that can be good both mentally and spiritually but don’t do too much physically. Yoga is a great way to stretch out your muscles but it doesn’t burn too many calories.

a person practicing yoga as the sun rises
Phil Walter/Getty Images
Phil Walter/Getty Images

One hour of yoga will typically burn between 180 and 640 calories. Various factors determine how many calories are burned such as the speed and types of poses.

Stretching: 162 Calories

Stretching is a great thing to do before and after a workout, but it isn’t really a workout on its own.

a woman stretching her leg
Alex Shaw/Unsplash
Alex Shaw/Unsplash

About one hour of stretching burns 162 calories, which is approximately 2.7 calories per minute of stretching. However, stretching is perfect for toning your body and strengthening your muscles.

Pilates: 200 Calories

In order to lose weight, people must burn more calories than they take in. While Pilates may seem like a good workout, it won’t burn too many calories.

women taking a pilates class
Bruce Mars/Unsplash
Bruce Mars/Unsplash

Someone who does one hour of Pilates will burn only about 200 to 400 calories. This number drops to less than 200 if the person weighs under 150 pounds.

Walking: 210 Calories

Going for a walk is a great way to get some fresh air and take in the outdoors. However, it isn’t the best exercise for those looking to burn a ton of calories.

couple walking their dogs
Mark Timberlake/Unsplash
Mark Timberlake/Unsplash

About one hour of walking will burn between 210 and 360 calories. This variation depends on the pace.

Sit-Ups: 180 Calories

A typical full-body workout will contain sit-ups, which are a perfect way to help tone the abdominal muscles.

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Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images
Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images

While sit-ups can be great to include in a workout, they shouldn’t be the only exercise that’s done. About one hour of sit-ups will burn 180 calories, which is equivalent to three calories per minute.