Question: What is the best sport, or type of exercise for optimum weight loss? The best exercise, routine or sport for exercise for the greatest fat-loss is the one that you can enjoy the most and keep consistent with day in and day out for years. The individuals with the best fitness transforming results always state that consistency, as well as a healthy diet, is key to long term fitness results.

However, there are some body exercises that are proven to be more effective at burning fat than other workouts.

For the sake of this article, we will focus on the best calorie burning sports but keep in mind, a holistically healthy and fit body can only be achieved by practicing regular strength, cardio and flexibility routines.

Calories IN vs OUT

What is a calorie? Simply put, it is a unit of measurement at we use to determine energy in and out. Every living thing on Earth is fueled by calories in various forms (fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and for the carnivores out there, animal products).

In order to achieve the greatest fat-loss, one must consider the amount of calories consumed in a day compared to the calories used (aka. burned) in a day. One gram of carbohydrates (carbs) equals approximately four calories, the same goes for one gram of protein. One gram of fat equals around nine calories. It mathematically makes sense to eliminate fat from a diet when trying to achieve healthy fat loss. Consuming less fat per day would naturally lower your calorie intake. As a bonus, eliminating fat from any diet is hardly noticeable, except for the fact that everything would appear less ‘greasy’.

Without getting too deep into the mathematic weight loss schemes it is important to move the body in order to see long term fitness results. However it is also just as important to eat regularly and as healthy as humanly possible.

Whatever healthy diet one chooses to follow it must be accompanied with regular and consistent exercise. The worst thing to do for long term fitness results is aim for too much exercise and too little food intake (caloric energy). Calorie restriction only leads to inconsistent results. If you want long term fat loss, keep consistent and the results will follow. That is the true recipe for success.

That being said, what are the most effective fat burning workouts available today? Results are from lowest to highest calories burned.


Depending upon your current size, weight and level of exertion during walking, you can burn an extra 2.5 to 10 calories per minute.

The faster your speed, and greater the incline, the more calories will be burned. It may not seem like a lot of calories compared to the other exercises on this list, but walking is such a simple way to keep consistent with your workout routine. As stated before, consistency is key – not the total calories burned.


There are many different styles of yoga. Some require a greater effort than others. For example power yoga vs. restorative yoga. Power yoga requires significant amount of strength and effort, where restorative yoga helps the body rest and heal at a very slow pace. For greatest fat-burning results, choose a higher intensity yoga class.

On average Yoga can help you burn 3 to 11 calories per minute.

Again, compared to other exercises on this list, yoga does not offer significant calorie burning per minute, but it does improve strength, which in turn boosts metabolism. The greater your metabolism, the more calories you end up burning in a day – even if you end up doing nothing. To summarize, Yoga can turn your body from a fat collecting suit, to a lean mean fat burning machine.

Strength Training

As with Yoga, building muscle strength is one of the best ways to burn more calories throughout the entire day – not just when ‘working out’.

Depending upon the length of workout, the amount of weight lifted, and body type an average strength training routine can burn 3-10 calories per minute.

Although Strength Training may not burn the most calories during the actual process of lifting weights, it does increase the rate of calories a person burns per day. Significant fat-loss results are only achieved by practicing with regular strength training routines as opposed to weight lifting once in a while. Strength training is one of the best ways to optimize metabolism (aka. fat burning).

H.I.I.T. (High Intensity Interval Training)

These workouts burn a whole TON of calories, however, unless you are a super human, it is hard to keep up the energy to complete long sessions of high intensity interval training. Most of the H.I.I.T. routines are designed to maximize caloric burn and minimize the amount of time it takes to burn those calories. Surprisingly, the calories burned per minute are rather high (averaging 6 to 20 per minute), but again, who can maintain a H.I.I.T. for 60 minutes straight? Phew! That being said, the H.I.I.T. workouts greatly improve oxygen intake, which is very important when trying to lose weight. Gulp up that oxygen, people!

Running/Jump Rope

Running and or practicing jump rope are awesome and easy to do as well as keep consistent with. It may not burn the most amount of calories per minute, but with the right inclines and steady pace, a person can easily burn 300+ calories per hour. If you enjoy running and/or jump rope, be sure to include some leg/knee muscle strengthening as well as hip flexibility routines several times per week. These are high impact sports. Injury is very common can delay long term fat loss results.

Dance (eg. Zumba/Aerobic Movement Sports)

Dancing is a lot like running, and has similar risks. However, it is super fun to do. A dancer can burn just many calories per hour as running and guaranteed to have just as much fun. During dance workouts it is often reported that participants “don’t even notice the time pass”. This is contrary to participants in a H.I.I.T. class where “one minute feels like an hour”.


Swimming provides the whole body with calorie burning benefits. Not to mention it is a low/no impact sport which reduces the possibility of injury. Depending upon swim speed, the average person can burn 6 to 15 calories a minute. Just make sure to wear swim goggles and a bathing cap to avoid red eyes or green hair from chlorine exposure.

Surfing and scoobadiving are another two great fat burning activities to enjoy while in the water. They offer a significant amount of calories burned per minute along as well as being a really enjoyable activity.


All competitive cyclists will say that riding is by far the best calorie burning workout available. As a bonus, it is low impact therefore has a low injury rate. Cycling also provides an unbelieveable amount of calories burned per hour (average person burns 10-15 calories per minute). The math adds up, cycling is one of the best calorie burning methods on the market. Grab a bike, pick a hill and pump those legs!

To conclude, all of the aforementioned workouts are amazing. However, some are more effective than others. The main point to take away when trying to achieve the greatest long term fatloss results is not to aim for the greatest calories burned per minute, but rather the best exercise that can be maintained for life.

Long term results require a long term commitment.

Kaeli Yarwood

Kaeli has always had an infatuation with keeping fit and improving life. Whether it is strength training, endurance building, or self-study research, she has devoted endless hours to them all. Her interest in health started at an early age. From swim competitions to long distance running, she discovered that keeping fit is an integral part of her life. After being diagnosed with... Read More

Comments are closed.

Loading more awesome...
Load More