Five fun ways to burn caloriesWorking out sometimes seems like, well, a lot of work. But there are plenty of fun ways to use your muscles and get your heart racing that don’t involve going to the gym or counting reps.
By: Tracy Frank , Forum News Service
FARGO – Working out sometimes seems like, well, a lot of work.
But there are plenty of fun ways to use your muscles and get your heart racing that don’t involve going to the gym or counting reps.
Here are five ways to burn calories without feeling like you are exercising.
1. Hoola Hooping
Hooping burns more calories than step aerobics and power yoga and only slightly less than boot camp and cardio kickboxing, according to the American Council on Exercise.
In a study, the council found that hooping with fitness hoops burns an average of seven calories per minute for a total of about 210 calories during a 30-minute hooping workout.
Hooping is a total-body workout that can improve flexibility and balance while strengthening and toning back, abdomen, arm and leg muscles, according to the council. The rhythmic nature of hooping may also be relaxing and meditative, the council stated.
Dancing is a great way to get your heart rate up, get rid of extra body fat and build lean muscle, according to www.fitnessblender.com, a free fitness website. It’s also something you can do alone or on a night out with friends.
Hip Hop, which involves large movements of the entire body, burns between 370 and 610 calories an hour, depending on a person’s body weight.
Salsa dancing burns roughly 405 calories per hour for a 140-pound person.
Ballet burns an estimated 380 to 450 calories per hour and tends to improve posture, core strength, flexibility and leg strength. Even professional football players use ballet training to improve their performances, according to Fitness Blender.
Slower-paced ballroom dances burn 150 and 220 calories an hour, while quicker styles burn between 250 and 320 calories. Swing dancing is a moderate-to-intense cardio workout that burns 300 to 550 calories an hour, depending on intensity.
Country or western dances burn between 290 and 420 calories an hour, depending on effort, speed and difficulty of movement.
In addition to building strength, a relatively new fitness trend, pole dancing, burns between 250 and 350 calories an hour.
Want to really challenge yourself, try singing and dancing at the same time. It’s a lot harder than it seems and requires a lot of breath control.
A 35-year-old, 150-pound woman who is 5 feet 5 inches tall burns 310 calories an hour if singing while moving around, according to www.livestrong.com.
That same person would burn 121 calories per hour singing while standing and 90 calories an hour singing while sitting down.
In addition to giving your lungs and diaphragm a workout, singing also helps relieve stress, improve mood, and lower heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate, according to Livestrong.
4. Bike riding
Biking can be a fun family or solo activity. I don’t mean sitting on a stationary bike in your basement, but getting outside and riding for fun.
Even leisure riding at less than 10 miles an hour, a 150-pound person will burn 136 calories in 30 minutes, according to www.bicycling.com.
Increase that to a moderate effort of 12 to 14 miles an hour, and you can burn 273 calories in 30 minutes.
Doing yard work involves a wide variety of movements such as squatting, lifting, bending and stretching that burns calories and tones your muscles.
The number of calories burned depends on a lot of factors, including weight, gender, age, muscle content and how strenuous your yard work is. A 150-pound person burns an estimated 326 calories an hour gardening, according to www.fitnessblender.com.
The best part about all of these activities is if you’re having fun, you’re probably getting in a great workout without watching the clock or even thinking about how many calories you’ve burned.