It may seem like a no brainer that pushing your entire body into a fast paced, prolonged run is an efficient calorie burning method, but the truth is that it doesn’t do as much as you would think.
Running used to be the sport of choice. No equipment needed, and no limitations other than your own body. But these days there are a lot better options if you are looking for weight loss or strength training.
That being said, nothing truly beats the runner’s life style for all around health and stress reduction. It’s a life that we are all envious of, but very few of us ever build up the endurance to live.
That said, if you are wanting to lose weight and get going on a powerful fitness journey, here are a few ideas that will burn more calories and do more drastic strength building in less time. Endurance training will come in its own time — just get your body ready now.
To compare an in depth chart of every activity your gym (or yard) may have available, check out this chart of Metabolic Equivelents.
- Body Weight High Intensity Interval
Without weights or equipment, if you use a high speed rotation of squats, crunches, burpees, pushups, and lunges you can burn approximately twice as many calories per minute as running.
2. Jumping Rope
Added to improved balance and coordination, jumping rope burns somewhere around 13 caloories a minute, which is more than a high speed run.
3. Rowing Machines
Rowing machines allow for a longer workout for an untrained person — you may only be able to run in 3 minute spurts, but a rowing machine should let you get a long workout in for an extended raised heart rate and burn over 10 calories per minute. It’s also much more low impact than running and can be much easier on your joints.
4. Indoor Cycling/Outdoor Cycling
Indoor cycling allows you to turn up your resistance, and with a minimum 200 watt resistance you can burn nearly 1,000 calories per hour of spin class.
Conversely, outdoor cycling will improve your mental health and has all the benefits of fresh outdoor air in your lungs for your workout as opposed to dust and mold and mildew and chemicals found in inside air, but only burns about 600 calories an hour. While this is similar burn to running, it’s a lot easier to maintain a long ride (and better for joints) than it is to maintain an hour of jogging.
Regardless of your workout, if you are starting on the journey of the running lifestyle, get out there every day and get some distance on your legs. Build up a bit at a time and you will be shocked at how soon you are ready for that first 5k!