51 Calorie Burning Activities That’ll Surprise You

Looking for calorie burning activities? Here you are. In the next few minutes, you will not only see a list of calorie burn activities but also an estimated number of calories, you’ll burn. And of course don’t be surprised!

Calorie Burning Activities

We all need calories to survive. Depending on age and sex, we consume anywhere between 2000 and 2600 calories every day. Unfortunately, most of us take in double and triple this number. The good news is there are many calorie burning activities that you can do to get rid of those unwanted calories. This article will help you to understand and decide which activities are right for you.

Keep in mind that all calorie-burning examples you are about to read about are based on a person weighing 150 pounds. If you weigh less, you’ll burn fewer calories; if you weigh more, you’ll burn more calories.

Now, we start from those calorie burning activities you might not be surprised about.


spoeting activities to burn calories
Photo by Anna Shvets. Pexels

This first set of calorie burning exercises covers a variety of different sports and exercises. If you’re already actively doing one of these, or looking for something to start, this will give you some good information on some good calorie burners.

1. Bicycling

Whether it’s a real bike, or a stationary one, cycling is a great way to get your heart pumping and those calories burning. Just cycling for 15 minutes a day will burn 119 calories. If you extend it to 30 minutes, you’ll burn 477 calories.

2. Stairs or Treadmills

Stairs are great for toning up those legs. They can also burn calories. Don’t have stairs near you? Use a treadmill! Just 15 minutes can burn 102 calories, or the equivalent of each of these:

  • 1 tbsp. of mayonnaise
  • 1 banana
  • 1 oz. of pastrami
  • 2 small chocolate chip cookies

3. Weight Lifting

Working on that muscle tone? Weight lifting burns calories as well. 15 minutes of pumping iron burns 51 calories. Not much, but if you extend your training to 30 minutes a day, you’ll burn 204 calories.

4. Running

Lace up those tennis shoes. Running is an all-around great calorie-burning exercise. Running 12 minutes at 5 mph burns 109 calories. If you kick it up a notch and run 15 minutes at 7 mph, you’ll burn 196 calories. If you’re really devoted and run for an hour a day, you’ll burn 784 calories!

5. Badminton

Hit that birdie! Badminton is a fun way to get in shape. A 20-minute game burns 102 calories, and an hour game burns 306 calories.

6. Basketball

Hoops, anyone? A fun 20-minute game of basketball burns 137 calories. Challenge your teammates to a rematch and you burn 409 (for a 60-minute game).

7. Bowling

Dust off that bowling bag! Even if you’ve never bowled a strike, bowling can be a fun way to get into shape. Bowling a 60-minute game will burn 205 calories. Extend the game to 90 minutes and you’ll burn 307 calories.

8. Football

Whether it’s flag, touch, or tackle, football has always been a great way to stay in shape. A 30minute game will burn 273 calories. That’s the equivalent of each of these:

  • • 2 oz. croissant
  • • 1 Hot dog
  • • ½ cup of ice cream
  • • 1 bratwurst sausage

9. Frisbee

Headed for the park? Take along a friend and a Frisbee. Tossing a Frisbee for 30 minutes will burn 102 calories. Stay out a bit longer and burn 205 calories (in an hour).

10. Golf

Fore! Are you always looking for an excuse to play golf? Look no more. A 30-minute game (without the golf cart of course) will burn 153 calories, or each of these:

  • • 2 slices of bread
  • • 2 tbsp. of ranch dressing
  • • 1 oz nacho chips
  • • 4 fried onion rings

11. Gymnastics

Care to tumble? Gymnastics is both fun and good for you! 30 minutes of active gymnastics burns 136 calories. Double your workout and burn 278 calories.

12. Horseback Riding

Fancy the stables? Give horseback riding a try. A 30minute ride will burn 131 calories. Keep Flicka out longer and burn 273 calories.

13. Martial Arts

Martial arts can not only teach you self defense, but can give you a great workout. A 30-minute session of karate will burn 341 calories. Kick it up a notch and burn 682 calories, or the equivalent of each of these:

  • 4 pancakes with butter and syrup
  • 6 oz. pork spareribs
  • 7 oz. bag of tortilla chips

14. Racquetball

Grab that racquet and head for the courts! A quick 30-minute game of racquetball will burn 239 calories. Extend that game to 60 minutes, and you’ll burn 477 calories.

15. Roller Skating

Re-visit a classic! Head to the roller rink for a walk down memory lane and to burn some calories. 30 minutes of roller-skating will burn 239 calories. Skate a bit longer and burn 477 calories (for 60 minutes).

16. Soccer

More than just a spectator sport, soccer is a great way to get your heart pumping. A 60-minute game will burn 477 calories. If the game goes into overtime, you will burn 716 calories (for 90 minutes), or the equivalent of one of these:

  • • Homemade beef potpie
  • • 2 pieces of fried chicken
  • • 2 ½ cups of spaghetti
  • • 6.8 oz. can of pina colada

17. Baseball

The great American pastime is also a wonderful way to exercise. A 60-minute game will burn 351 calories. If the game goes into overtime, you’ll burn 527 calories (90 minutes), and for a 2-hour game, you’ll burn 720 calories.

18. Tennis

Love tennis? Re-string that racquet and get ready to get into shape. A 60-minute game will burn 204 calories. Stretch it out to 90 minutes and you’ll burn 307 calories.

19. Volleyball

Put up that net and start serving! Volleyball is not only fun, it’s good for you. A 60-minute game will burn 204 calories, or the equivalent of each of these:

  • 3 oz. fillet mignon
  • 1 glazed donut
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 slice of pepperoni pizza

20. Yoga and Pilates

Two of the hottest trends right now, Yoga and Pilates, are great choices for getting into shape. More than 11 million Americans practice Yoga. A 50minute Yoga session will burn 144 calories. Two 50minute sessions will burn 288 calories.

21. Calisthenics and Aerobics

Like exercising to music? Calisthenics or aerobics may be right for you. They’re fun, and they can really burn calories. A 20-minute workout burns 181 calories. If you work through the pain and make it a 45-minute workout, you’ll burn 409 calories.

22. Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is becoming more and more popular. Don’t live near mountains? Rock climbing gyms are easy to find. Just 30 minutes of rock climbing will burn 374 calories. Add 30 more minutes, and you’ll burn 747 calories.

23. Walking

Walking has been around since time began, and it’s just about the easiest way to burn calories. Just a leisurely 15 minute walk will only burn 60 calories, but if you walk a bit faster and longer (45 minutes at 2.5 mph), you’ll burn 153 calories.


water calorie burning avtivities

Many people prefer water sports because they’re very low impact. This next set of calorie burning sports are all about the water. So grab your swimsuit and jump right in!

24. Water Aerobics

This fun and wet way to exercise is a great way to burn those calories. A 30-minute workout will burn 144 calories. Keep going for an hour; you’ll burn 288 calories.

25. Rowing

Get out those paddles! Whether you’re on the water, or have a machine, rowing is a great way to build those arm muscles and burn calories. 30 minutes of rowing will burn 360 calories. Row for an hour, and you’ll burn 720 calories.

26. Canoeing

If you like rowing but the workout is a bit too much, try canoeing or kayaking. 30 minutes of this will burn 203 calories. An hour will burn 405.

27. Sailing

Like sailing or wind surfing? This leisurely sport may burn more calories than you think. An hour on the water will burn 204 calories. 2 hours will burn 408, or the equivalent of each of these:

  • ½ cup of cashews
  • 6 oz. serving of garlic scampi
  • 1 baked potato with cheese sauce and broccoli
  • 1 extra crispy fried chicken thigh

28. Water Skiing

Grab those skis and hit the water! Water skiing for 30 minutes can be a great workout, and it’ll burn 216 calories. Stay on the water for an hour (don’t forget the sunscreen) and burn 432 calories.

29. Scuba Diving

Like swimming with the fishes? Scuba diving may be for you! Not only do you get a terrific view, but you burn calories, too. Scuba diving for 30 minutes will burn 239 calories. Make it an hour-long dive, and you’ll burn 478 calories.

30. Swimming

Swimming is probably the most popular water exercise. A leisurely 20-minute swim will only burn 130 calories. If you put a bit more effort into it, and swim a bit longer (45 minutes), you’ll burn 409 calories.

31. Surfing

Grab your surfboard! Surfing is an exciting way to get into shape. Catching the waves for 45 minutes will burn 155 calories. Stay out for an hour and a half and burn 310 calories.

32. Rafting

Blow up that raft! Riding those rapids will not only bring out your adventurous side, but will also burn unwanted calories. A 45-minute rugged raft ride will burn 270 calories. A 2-hour adventure will burn a big 720 calories.


fun calorie burning activities
Photo by Godisable Jacobs

Cold weather doesn’t have to be an excuse not to exercise. There are a lot of winter exercises, sports, and even chores that you can do in the wintertime. This next set of calorie burning activities will give you ideas on how much you can burn, even in bad weather.

33. Ice Skating

Grab those skates! Ice-skating is a great winter activity and a great way to get into shape. A 20minute skate around the rink will burn 138 calories. Stay on that rink for a good hour, and you’ll burn 414 calories.

34. Ice Hockey

Grab that hockey stick and puck! This popular winter sport isn’t just for watching anymore. A 45-minute game of hockey will burn 351 calories. Add another 45 minutes for overtime; that’s 702 calories.

Here are a few other calorie burning activities that might surprise you

35. Snow Skiing

Time to hit the slopes? Thousands of Americans hit the slopes each year. It’s fun, exiting and a great way to get into shape. Just spending 45 minutes of downhill skiing will burn 331 calories. Stay on the slopes for 90 minutes and burn 661.

36. Shoveling Snow

Got a pile of snow outside? Why not grab a shovel and start getting into shape. Just 15 minutes of shoveling will burn 135 calories. If you have an extra long driveway, you could burn 303 calories (in 45 minutes).

37. Stacking Firewood

Who would have thought that such a boring chore could help you get into shape? If you spend just 20 minutes stacking firewood, you’ll burn 138 calories. Got a bigger stack? 45 minutes of stacking wood will burn 311 calories.


Photo by Rodnae productions

We all have to do chores every day. Though these jobs aren’t fun, we can have piece of mind in knowing that they can help you to get into shape. This next set of tips will show you just how many calories you’ll burn doing these household duties.

38. Sweeping and Mopping

Does it seem all the time you spend in the kitchen is sweeping? Don’t fret, because while you’re sweeping you’re also burning calories. A quick 15-minute sweep will burn 42 calories. Then if you mop, that’s another 77 calories. Not much, but if you do it often those calories will really add up.

39. Washing Dishes

America’s least favorite chore, dirty dishes seem to never go away. There is hope, however. If you spend 20 minutes doing dishes, you’ll burn 52 calories. Doing this twice a day will burn 104 calories. If you have lots of dirty dishes, you can burn 117 calories

40. Cooking

Like to cook? While you’re making your meals, you can rest assured that cooking burns calories. If it takes you 20 minutes to cook your meal, you’ll burn 57 calories. Multiply this by 3 meals a day, and that’s 171 calories. If you prepare more elaborate meals, you could burn 128 calories per meal (45 minutes each).

41. Grocery Shopping

Love to shop? Now you can love it even more knowing that you’re getting in shape while you shop. A 30-minute grocery shopping trip will burn 119 calories. Like to shop even more? An hour trip will burn 238 calories.

42. Ironing

Plug in that iron! Doing this household chore won’t burn a lot of calories, but if you have to do it anyway you might as well count them, right? 15 minutes of ironing will burn 38 calories. Ironing for 45 minutes will burn 114 calories.

43. Doing Laundry

Does it seem like you’re always doing laundry? You’re not alone. Americans wash about 35 billion loads of laundry per year. That’s a lot of laundry. Fortunately, it can also mean a lot of calories being burned. Just folding/hanging up one load of laundry for 20 minutes will burn 46 calories. If you have 2 or 3 loads, that can add up to 138 calories.

44. Vacuuming

Plug in that vacuum. This household chore burns more calories than you may think. Vacuuming one room for 20 minutes will burn 56 calories. Vacuum the whole house and burn about 170 calories (in 60 minutes).

45. House Cleaning

Time to do some heavy-duty cleaning? The good news is you’ll be burning calories while you clean. If you clean for 3 hours, you’ll burn 920 calories! Even if you just clean for an hour, you’ll burn 306 calories, or the equivalent of each of these:

  • 2 oz. chocolate bar
  • 5 oz. apple pie
  • ¼ of a package of macaroni and cheese

46. Lawn Care

Like mowing your lawn? Rest assured knowing that your lawn isn’t the only thing getting trim. Performing general lawn care (mowing, raking, and watering) for 45 minutes burns 281 calories. Double your time mowing, and you’ll burn 563 calories.

47. Weeding the Garden

Time to weed your flower garden? 30 minutes of general weeding will burn 153 calories. Weed for an hour, and you’ll burn 307 calories.

48. Painting the House

Does your house need a new coat of paint? Get out those brushes and get into shape! For every hour you spend painting, you’ll burn 342 calories. Multiply that times 4 hours—that’s 1368 calories!


We can all use an excuse to just have fun every once in a while. These last three calorie burners are just that — for fun. Keep in mind that these can be done any time and often, not only to help you get healthy on the outside, but on the inside as well.

49. Dancing

Surprised? Try it out and you’ll see the effect of dancing as one of the effective calorie burning activities you can do at any time. So, put on those dancing shoes! Almost any kind of dancing can get your heart pumping and your calories burning. Just 30 minutes of dancing will burn 239 calories. Dance for an hour, and burn 478 calories.

50. Laughing

Hear any good jokes lately? Laughing does a body good, both on the inside and out. A good 15-minute belly-laugh can burn 40 calories. That’s the equivalent of a small piece of chocolate! Funny right?

51. Kissing

You won’t want to believe this! Just grab your sweetie and start smooching! A fun 15 minutes of kissing can burn 18 calories. Not a lot, but we can all use an excuse to do a little kissing, right?

That concludes our list of calorie burning activities. What do you think?

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