4 Cardio Exercises That Burn More Calories Than Running

Cardio is essential to all good workout routines. It burns a lot of calories quickly, raises the heart rate, and gets the blood circulating in the body. Most people like to run, which is great. Running burns around 400-500 calories an hour.

If we’re being honest, though, not a lot of people actually like doing cardio, or running for that matter. Rather than being an absolute necessity in workouts, which it most certainly is, cardio for most turns out to be more of a chore than anything.

But the reason for that is, for most people, cardio workouts are mundane and frankly a bit boring. They just aren’t much fun, engaging, and dynamic enough to be enjoyable experiences.

However, there’s definitely more to cardio than just the usual repetitive, steady, solid-state stuff. Cardio workouts can be ever-changing, mentally stimulating, and most important of all — fun. There’s much more to cardio than just running. In fact, some of the best, most enjoyable workouts you can do are heavy on the cardio.

If you’re stumped and bored with your usual cardio routine, and are looking to mix things up, we’ve come up with an incredible list of cardio workouts you can try that will truly turn you into a cardio freak. Of course, that comes with all the added benefits of weight loss, improved energy efficiency, aerobic and anaerobic endurance, and whatnot.

Let’s take a look at some interesting cardio workouts you can try that don’t involve you pounding the pavement. Today, Evolve Daily shares five cardio exercises that burn more calories than running.


1) Martial Arts Training

Muay Thai push kick

You can burn up to 1,000 calories in a one-hour Muay Thai class.

That’s why we’re here! And we aren’t shy to say that martial arts training is, by far, the most effective training program for burning calories. This is true for a number of amazing reasons.

First of all, martial arts training is naturally diverse. There are so many different martial arts disciplines you can try, with a host of workouts that will really get your blood circulating, your body moving, and burning those calories efficiently.

Striking martial arts like Muay Thai, boxing, and kickboxing focus heavily on fast-paced, explosive movement, which in turn, burns copious amounts of calories. Grappling martial arts like wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the like, focus on flexibility, breathing, and the use of leverage.

Martial arts training can burn up to 1,000 calories per one-hour session, depending on the intensity. This is because all martial arts involve compound movement, utilizing the entire upper and lower body, which turns you into a calorie-burning machine.

Most importantly, martial arts training offers a dynamic and engaging environment for you to learn and develop your skills. The constantly changing workouts mean no two sessions are exactly alike.

As most practitioners can attest, martial arts training’s calorie-burning and weight loss benefits are only secondary. Learning how to defend yourself, honing your self-defense skills, and acquiring a new hobby takes precedence.


2) Jumping Rope

jumping rope

Jumping rope is an important part of boxing and Muay Thai.

Further to martial arts training, is jumping rope. Jump rope workouts are well-integrated into martial arts training. It’s also great as a standalone workout.

The jump rope is a full-body workout, which allows people to burn a large number of calories in a short period of time. Even slow-paced jump rope sessions can still help you lose a lot of weight. For average-sized people, a typical jump rope session, which usually lasts around 15 minutes, burns around 10-20 calories per minute, which equates to a total caloric expenditure of around 150-300 calories.

It’s great as pre and post-workout cardio, done just before you hit the weight rack, and at the end of training as an active cool-down.

In addition to burning calories and weight loss, jumping rope also has many great health benefits. Jumping rope improves coordination, strengthens bone density, improves heart health, and enhances breathing.


3) Swimming

For those who don’t particularly enjoy running, swimming is a great option. Swimming burns around 400 calories every 30 minutes. It’s a great way to lose weight, even if you’re not particularly sweating it out in the gym.

It’s a low-impact workout that doesn’t place a lot of stress on the joints. Many people with bad ankles or feet usually opt for swimming as their primary workout. Swimming helps keep the heart rate up, without punishing the body too much. It builds endurance, muscle strength, and improves cardiovascular fitness. It also helps you tone and shape your muscles.

Swimming basically gives you about the same benefits you get from running, but it is far more enjoyable. Everybody loves to swim, and if you don’t, then you should get yourself into a pool immediately.


4) Rowing


Rowing builds muscle and burns fat.

Last but certainly not least is rowing. Rowing, whether indoors or outdoors, is a great way to burn excess calories for the day. The average person can burn around 250 calories per 30 minute rowing session, putting it just on par with the number of calories you burn while running. However, rowing is far more enjoyable as an overall experience.

There is a whole list of reasons why people love rowing as a sport and as a fitness workout.

Being close to nature and in the water is one big reason. People love to experience the outdoors, and there are only a few ways better than rowing to become immersed in nature. Working out in a team environment, as rowing requires, is also a great way to meet new people and build friendships.

Rowing is a total body workout that uses around 85% of the overall muscles. Contrary to popular belief, in fact, rowing actually requires more leg work than upper body strength. It’s a great workout for people of all fitness levels to try, and will quickly get you into shape.

Furthermore, rowing is a sport and a hobby. You won’t even realize you’re working out, and you’ll just be enjoying yourself, which is arguably its best benefit.


So if you’re looking for a fun way to build your cardio and get into the best shape in your life, give martial arts a try!

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