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Medically Reviewed By Dr. C.H. Weaver M.D. 08/11/21

Face it, fitness is important. Staying physically active keeps stress at bay, promotes cardiovascular health, and helps you feel energized. Of course fitness has another important benefit—it can help us maintain our optimal weight.

You may have heard the age-old weight loss adage: eat less; exercise more. There is some truth to it, but it needs some clarification. More exercise does not always equal more weight loss. It’s about creating a calorie deficit. In fact, this is simple grade-school math—in order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume.

If you want to shed unwanted pounds, take an honest look at your fitness regimen. Are you plodding along or are you blasting calories with high-intensity workouts? It might be time for a fitness makeover.

High-Intensity Workouts

High-intensity workouts are challenging. They elevate your heart rate and make you sweat. They also burn a lot more calories than a lower intensity workout.

High-intensity training is not an everyday activity because the body needs time to recover; however, most of us don’t use high-intensity training enough. It’s easy to fall into a low-intensity fitness rut and suddenly realize that we’re going for the same, slow walk day after day. That walk will lift your spirits and keep your heart healthy, but it won’t do a lot to create a calorie deficit.

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If weight loss is your goal, consider adding one or two high-intensity workouts to your weekly exercise regimen. Try one of these proven calorie burners and watch those pounds melt away.

Jump rope: Remember elementary school recess? You would jump rope until the bell rang and then reluctantly race back inside to your desk. It was fun. It was exhilarating. It was a calorie blaster. Have you picked up a jump rope lately? You may be surprised at how challenging it is. Jumping rope burns about 780 calories an hour—that’s 130 calories in just ten minutes. So grab a rope and start jumping. You’ll burn a massive amount of calories while being transported back to your playground days. You may even feel inspired to recite a rhyme or two.

Kickboxing: Lloyd Dobler thought it was the sport of the future. Kickboxing may not have taken the sporting world by storm, but it’s alive and well in gyms across the country and that’s because it is a calorie-burning, high-intensity, full-body workout. Your heart rate will soar while you burn about 800 calories an hour. That’s a lot of bang for your buck. One class a week will set that calorie deficit in motion.

Zumba: Who said fitness had to be drudgery? Head to a Zumba class for an hour of action-packed Latin dance moves that will have you sweating and grooving to the rhythm. Zumba incorporates interval training, resistance moves, and dance for a fun and challenging workout. Expect to burn about 500 calories as you let the rhythm move you.

Biking: As kids, we thought nothing of hopping on our bikes for hours on end. Bikes were freedom, at least until we got our driver’s licenses. Well, dust off that bike and start pedaling. Cycling is an excellent way to burn calories while having fun. You can ride the real thing or attend a cycling class at your gym. The key is to maintain a solid pace—riding 14 to 16 miles per hour will burn up to 700 calories an hour.