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What is the Best Cardio for Burning Calories?

Daniel Brady | January 26, 2013 in Calories Burned
Incline Hill Running

Anybody looking to lose weight or cut body fat needs a calorie deficit. This can be done through diet or exercise or both. Knowing which exercises burn the most calories can accelerate your weight loss, or minimize the time you need to spend exercising. This article lists common exercises by calories burned per hour so you can choose the most effective method that suits you.

Calories Burned by Popular Cardio Activities

Note: All of the following exercises assume 150 lb body weight. If you weigh more than 150lb then you will burn more calories per hour, if you weight less then you will burn a little less.

  1. Running 5 mph with 5% incline: 693 calories per hour[1]
  2. Running 6 mph: 660 calories per hour
  3. Cycling 15 mph: 660 calories per hour
  4. Kayaking: 615 calories per hour
  5. Martial Arts: 540 calories per hour
  6. P90X / Insanity Aerobics: 462 calories per hour
  7. Swimming: 396 calories per hour
  8. Walking 3.5 mph: 264 calories per hour
  9. Swinging:[2] 225 calories per hour
  10. Gardening: 210 calories per hour


Either speed or incline play a big role in calories burned. Choose an activity that you can do reasonably intensely. If you can manage running at a moderate speed with a moderate incline then the calories will add up really quickly (600+ per hour).

Alternatively, you can gauge the effectiveness of your workout by your heart-rate; if you feel your heart-rate is high, then you are burning lots of calories. Do one or more of these exercises for 30-60 minutes and if your diet is good too, then you’ll lose weight.

  1. []
  2. Kids Round Swings []

Daniel has a strong interest in evidence supported fitness training, preparation and supplementation. His goal is to provide clear information that simply works. He's currently 16 kg of muscle above his starting weight (7kg in the past 12 months), and targeting a continued growth rate of 5kg+ per year.
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