To lose weight and stay in shape, it is important to burn more calories than you consume. Exercise and sports can burn significant calories. The number of calories you burn depends on your weight and physical capabilities, the sport or activity and intensity level. For optimal health benefits, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends five hours of moderately intense aerobic activity each week.
One hour of playing basketball burns up to 847 calories or more, depending on your weight, physical capabilities and intensity level. Touch football burns up to 872 calories or more per hour. Other team and individual sports that burn 500 calories or more an hour include softball or baseball, squash, rowing and tennis.
Whether for fun or competition, swimming is another sport that burns considerable calories. Swimming laps can burn between 511 and 763 calories per hour, depending on your weight and physical capabilities. Different strokes work various muscles and burn different amounts of calories. The butterfly stroke, for example, may burn up to 900 calories an hour. Other swimming strokes that burn significant calories include the backstroke and breaststroke.
Popular winter sports and activities that burn a high number of calories include skiing, snowboarding and sledding. According to FitSugar, cross-country skiing and ice skating can burn 436 to 544 calories per hour, depending on intensity level. Other calorie-burning winter sports include downhill skiing, ice hockey, snowshoeing and sledding.
Burn More Calories
Whichever sport you choose, apply moderate- to high-level intensity to burn the maximum number of calories. Moderately intensive exercise means you can talk while playing a sport. Vigorous exercise means you can’t say more than a few words between breaths. According to the CDC, one minute spent on vigorous sports or activities is the same as two minutes at a moderately intense pace. Speak to your doctor to determine which sport or activity best suits your health and physical capabilities.