Sporting activities can help you to burn calories and lose weight. The number of calories you will burn per day will depend on your physical capabilities, your weight, the sport you are participating in as well as the level of intensity. Having said that, here are the top 10 sports that will help you to burn the most calories, lose weight and stay in shape.


Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. It can also help you to burn calories and keep in shape, whether you are playing it casually with your friends or you are a member of a competitive team. The long distances covered, combined with short bursts of pace come with numerous benefits such as higher endurance and stronger muscles – not to mention the hundreds of calories you will burn.

The number of calories that you will burn when playing soccer will mainly depend on your position as well as the amount of time that you will spend on the pitch. For instance, a goalkeeper will burn calories at a lower rate, since their position doesn’t require plenty of movement. Midfielders, on the other hand, will burn the highest number of calories, since they are always walking or jogging from one end of the pitch to the other.

Also, if you are substituted, then you might end up burning fewer calories than another player who spends the entire 90 minutes on the pitch. And the good news is that there are hundreds of leagues across different skill divisions, which means that you can easily find one that matches your skillset. Therefore, you will have an opportunity to burn calories and enjoy your favorite sporting activity, without the risk of bruises or injuries. On average, a soccer player will burn 600 to 900 calories per hour.


Swimming is more than just a summertime activity. Swimming regularly can help you to lose weight, tone your muscles and enhance your overall endurance levels. The rate at which your body will burn calories when swimming will depend on a wide range of factors like body composition, your gender, as well as the intensity of your swimming session. For example, if you are swimming slowly, then the body will not expend a lot of energy, which means you will only burn a few calories. Therefore, if you want to burn more calories, then you need to swim faster. Also, certain swimming strokes can help you to burn more calories compared to others. According to, a normal-sized adult will burn an average of 514 calories doing the backstroke, 734 calories doing the breaststroke, 440 calories doing some leisure swimming and 878 calories doing the butterfly. Also, maintaining your swimming intensity is vital when it comes to burning calories. While doing the butterfly will help you to burn more calories than simply treading in water, it will not help much if you can only do it for a few minutes. Therefore, you need to identify your ideal swimming technique, which you can sustain for at least an hour or more.


According to a survey conducted by the American Council on Exercise, running regularly will help you to burn more calories than swimming, weight training, cross-training and cycling. Apart from helping you burn calories and maintaining a healthy weight, running can lower the risk of blood pressure, lower the risk of osteoporosis and improve symptoms of anxiety and depression The number of calories you will burn will depend on the running surface, your body weight, the incline as well as various other factors. For instance, a 140-lb person running at 6 miles per hour will burn approximately 318 calories in half an hour while a 180-pound person will burn an average of 408 calories for the same duration and intensity. You will also burn more calories when you are sprinting, compared to someone who is just jogging. However, you should not use speed as a stand-alone factor when examining the number of calories burned between runners. The biggest advantage of running as a fitness activity is that it’s free. You just need to identify an open space where you will be running. But whether you are doing running as a stand-alone activity or as part of a cross-training session, it’s important to invest in quality footwear. You will need a good pair of shoes and socks to prevent leg and foot injuries.


As much as basketball might not be the most popular weight-loss activity, it remains one of the most effective. If you don’t like running, cycling, weight-training or other demanding activities, then you can use basketball to burn calories and shed fat. So, how many calories can you burn when playing basketball? Well, it will depend on various factors including your gender, age, intensity, and genetics. On average, men will burn more calories than women after a single session of basketball, holding all other factors constant. Also, the level of competition will determine the number of calories burned. For instance, an NBA player will burn approximately 900 to 1,000 calories per game. On the other hand, non-NBA players will burn an average of 440 calories per game. If you are just shooting hoops with your friends in the neighborhood, then you will only burn a few calories. However, basketball should not be your only weight-loss activity. While it can be enjoyable and entertaining, you need to combine it with other activities like running or swimming if you want to lose weight faster.


Just like running, cycling can help you to burn hundreds of calories within a few minutes. You can either opt for an indoor cycling session or an outdoor one. If you are riding a bike in your home or at the gym, then you can do it as you engage in other activities like listening to podcasts, watching the TV or even playing video games. And if the weather is good, you can take your bike to the mountains or a local park, and enjoy some fresh air as you exercise and burn some calories. Whichever method you opt for, cycling can help you to burn an average of 600 calories in 60 minutes. However, the actual amount of calories you will burn is dependent on the intensity of your cycling session, among other factors.


If you are looking for a great and enjoyable means of keeping fit and losing weight, then you should consider boxing. Boxing is a high impact sport that requires quick bursts of energy and constant motion, whether you are participating in a match, sparring with a partner or working the punching bag. What makes it such an efficient means of burning calories is that it works the whole body, from the legs to the neck muscles. But just like other sports, calorie burn through boxing will depend on various factors like body weight, intensity levels, sex, age, and genetic factors, among others.

On average, men will burn approximately 460 to 500 calories for punching a heavy bag for one hour. Women, on the other hand, will burn approximately 370 to 415 calories doing the same activity for one hour. Since the intensity and duration can vary when working the punching bag, you should wear a fitness tracker that has a heart rate monitor, to track the number of calories you will burn per session. It’s important to note that boxing involves more than simply working the punching bag. Therefore, the calorie burn will vary from one individual to the other, depending on the activities they engage in when they step inside a boxing gym. Apart from working the punching bag, you can also do the jumping rope or even spar with your colleagues. When combined, all these activities will burn at least 800 calories per hour. Also, varying your workouts in the boxing gym will help you to avoid overuse injuries.

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is a physically demanding game, which requires a combination of anaerobic and aerobic fitness. Split into 3 sessions of 20 minutes each, this game provides a great workout, due to its rapid moves and quick transitions. The number of calories you will burn playing ice hockey will depend on factors such as your body weight as well as the amount of time spent in the high-intensity zone. For instance, a 125-lb ice hockey player can expect to burn at least 475 calories, playing this game for one hour. On the other hand, a 190-lb player can expect to burn 700 calories playing this game for the same duration. As much as a game of ice hockey lasts approximately 60 minutes, a player will only spend 25% of that time playing and burning calories actively. But thanks to its high-intensity intervals, you will continue burning calories even after you’ve finished playing.

Closing Remarks

As much as a gym workout comes with numerous benefits, you can still burn calories, lose weight and tone up, using any of the above sporting activities. And the good news is that they will not waste too much of your time or even require you to spend a lot of money. Whether you love swimming, soccer, tennis, boxing or ice hockey, the above sporting activities will help you to attain a great physique without being a gym rat.

About the Author Cindy

Hello, I'm Cindy. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}