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The 37 best ways to burn the most calories in an hour

What about other popular workouts?

What about other popular workouts?

A number of popular workouts didn't make this list. Here's why: In order to make sure we were comparing apples to apples in making this ranking, we exclusively used data from a single, sweeping review of exercise science.

There simply isn't a dataset more thorough or well-grounded out there, and we didn't want to muddle this one up by introducing numbers obtained using different methods, from branded advertising or without exact comparisons.

That said, it's worth keeping in mind that there are plenty of ways people love to exercise that aren't among these 36. Here are a few, along with the calories per hour counts that have been attributed to them.

Take these numbers with a grain or two of salt, especially when comparing their numbers with numbers from the peer-reviewed comparative research.

SoulCycle/Spinning: The stationary-bike-class company has its issues, but reports that its attendees can expect to burn 500 to 700 calories in a session. This tracks closely with other data on stationary cycling.

Pilates: We found only one 2005 publication offering anything like science on the calorie efficiency of pilates (though it appears to have been published without normal peer review). It claims pilates burns 4.0 to 7.5 calories per minute. Assuming this translates over longer time spans, that's about 240 to 450 calories per hour.

Zumba: A Zumba-funded study conducted on young, healthy women found that a single 39 minute Zumba class burns an average of about 360 calories.

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1. Running, 8 mph | 1,074 calories/hour

1. Running, 8 mph | 1,074 calories/hour
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1. Jump rope | 1,074 calories/hour

1. Jump rope | 1,074 calories/hour

At the top of the list, though, are two very simple activities: jumping rope and running fast (8 mph to be precise). Do either of those things for an hour, and a 200-pound person will burn 1,074 calories.

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3. Soccer | 937 calories/hour

3. Soccer | 937 calories/hour
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3. Taekwondo | 937 calories/hour

3. Taekwondo | 937 calories/hour

Taekwondo is the most intense competitive sport on this list, burning 937 calories per hour in a 200-pound person.

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5. Vigorous swimming | 892 calories/hour

5. Vigorous swimming | 892 calories/hour

"Vigorous" swimming is even better, churning through 892 calories per hour.

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6. Running up stairs | 819 calories/hour

6. Running up stairs | 819 calories/hour

Run up a StairMaster (or up a particularly long flight of stairs), and a 200-pound person will burn 819 calories per hour.

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7. Running 5 mph | 755 calories/hour

7. Running 5 mph | 755 calories/hour

A moderate 5-mph run will burn about 755 calories per hour in a 200-pound person.

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8. Tennis, singles | 728 calories/hour

8. Tennis, singles | 728 calories/hour
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8. Flag football | 728 calories/hour

8. Flag football | 728 calories/hour
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8. A game of basketball | 728 calories/hour

8. A game of basketball | 728 calories/hour

A basketball game, touch or flag football, and singles tennis all offer great exercise, burning about 728 calories per hour in a 200-pound person.

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11. Rollerblading | 683 calories/hour

11. Rollerblading | 683 calories/hour

Rollerblading is intense, burning 683 calories per hour.

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12. High-impact aerobics | 664 calories/hour

12. High-impact aerobics | 664 calories/hour

High-impact aerobics can use 664 calories per hour.

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13. Racquetball | 637 calories/hour

13. Racquetball  | 637 calories/hour
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13. Ice skating | 637 calories/hour

13. Ice skating | 637 calories/hour
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13. Backpacking | 637 calories/hour

13. Backpacking | 637 calories/hour

Want to burn even more? Go backpacking. Like ice skating and racquetball, a 200-pound person will use about 637 calories per hour on a hike with a heavy backpack.

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16. Cross-country skiing | 619 calories/hour

16. Cross-country skiing | 619 calories/hour

Cross-country skiing is even more rigorous, burning 619 calories per hour in a 200-pound person.

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17. Water skiing | 546 calories/hour

17. Water skiing | 546 calories/hour
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17. Rowing on a machine | 546 calories/hour

17. Rowing on a machine | 546 calories/hour
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17. Hiking | 546 calories/hour

17. Hiking | 546 calories/hour

Hiking, stationary rowing, and water skiing all burn about 546 calories per hour in a 200 pound person.

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20. Light or moderate lap swimming | 528 calories/hour

20. Light or moderate lap swimming | 528 calories/hour

Swim light or moderate laps in a pool, and a 200-pound person can burn 528 calories per hour.

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21. Water aerobics | 501 calories/hour

21. Water aerobics | 501 calories/hour

Edging out the first major sport on this list: water aerobics. The pool exercise can burn as many as 501 calories per hour in a 200-pound person.

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22. Baseball/softball | 455 calories/hour

22. Baseball/softball | 455 calories/hour
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22. Resistance training/weightlifting | 455 calories/hour

22. Resistance training/weightlifting | 455 calories/hour
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22. 'Running' on the elliptical | 455 calories/hour

22. 'Running' on the elliptical | 455 calories/hour
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22. Low-impact aerobics | 455 calories/hour

22. Low-impact aerobics | 455 calories/hour

Low-impact aerobics burn about 455 calories per hour in a 200-pound person. The same is true of a moderate workout on an elliptical machine, weight/resistance training, and softball and baseball.

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26. A brisk walk | 391 calories/hour

26. A brisk walk | 391 calories/hour
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26. Downhill skiing | 391 calories/hour

26. Downhill skiing | 391 calories/hour
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26. Golfing (and carrying your clubs) | 391 calories/hour

26. Golfing (and carrying your clubs) | 391 calories/hour

If you golf, carry your own clubs around the course, and if you weigh 200 pounds you can expect to burn 391 calories per hour. The same is true of typical downhill skiing and a 3.5-mph walk.

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29. Power yoga | 364 calories/hour

29. Power yoga | 364 calories/hour

Power yoga, or vinyasa, is a more movement-centered exercise practice than hatha. This article includes more information about the different kinds of yoga and how beginners can get started.

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29. Volleyball | 364 calories/hour

29. Volleyball | 364 calories/hour
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29. Slow, easy cycling | 364 calories/hour

29. Slow, easy cycling | 364 calories/hour

Leisure cycling, defined as a pace under 10 mph, burns about 364 calories per hour in a 200-pound person. The same is true for a typical (though probably not Olympic) game of volleyball, or the movement-based, intensive "power" yoga.

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32. Canoeing | 319 calories/hour

32. Canoeing | 319 calories/hour

Next up: canoeing. A leisurely paddle down a river will burn 319 calories in an hour for a 200-pound person.

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33. Tai Chi | 273 calories/hour

33. Tai Chi | 273 calories/hour

Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art and form of exercise, often practiced with slow, deliberate movements.

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33. Ballroom dancing | 273 calories/hour

33. Ballroom dancing | 273 calories/hour
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33. Bowling | 273 calories/hour

33. Bowling | 273 calories/hour

Bowling, along with the next two items on this list, ballroom dancing and Tai Chi, burns 273 calories per active hour.

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36. A slow walk | 255 calories/hour

36. A slow walk  | 255 calories/hour

Next up: going for a stroll. For every hour walked at 2 mph, a 200-pound person burns 255 calories.

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37. Hatha yoga | 228 calories/hour

37. Hatha yoga | 228 calories/hour

Hatha yoga, a version of the exercise practice centered on holding specific poses, sits at the bottom of this list, burning an average of about 228 calories per hour in a 200-pound person.

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