10 Physical Activities: Choose Your Effective and Fun Workout

10 Physical Activities: Choose Your Effective and Fun Workout

“The human body is made up of some four hundred muscles; evolved through centuries of physical activity. Unless they are used, they will deteriorate.”~ Eugene Lyman Fish




Woman doing yoga outdoors

Losing weight and getting in shape are worthy goals, but you may find that you are a little confused as to what physical activity will actually work well for you and your goals. Check out below our list of great activities and what you get out of them, and consult it as you design your workout!

Below you will also find the calories burned by doing each activity for 30 minutes and the main muscles groups used in each activity. Although most activities tone and strengthen muscles all over your body, there are primary muscle groups that are worked most during certain activity.

The calories indicated below in each activity are for a 155 lbs (70 kg) person. If you weigh more than 155 lbs (70 kg), you would burn slightly more, likewise, weighing less than 155 lbs (70 kg) means you would burn a little less. Also, the higher is the intensity of your workout, the more calories you burn.

Remember, it’s very important to stretch your muscles both before and after your physical activity to maintain your flexibility and ward off injury.




1. Walking

3.5 mph or 5.6 km/h or 17 min/mi

Time: 30 Minutes
Calories Burned: 140
Muscle groups worked most: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, calves.

Walking is an ideal low-impact activity for someone who is getting started with fitness and learning their capabilities. Walking outside provides visual stimulation, and typically, it burns more calories than walking on a treadmill. However, the pace indicated above may be too slow for fitter people. Walking 4 mph (or 6.4 km/h or 15 min/mi) is more likely to put fitter people into a moderately intense exercise zone. In this case you would burn around 165 calories in half an hour.

2. Jogging

5 mph or 8 km/h or 12 min/mi

Time: 30 Minutes
Calories Burned: 290
Muscle groups worked most: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, calves.

Although the primary muscles worked while jogging are the same as in walking, jogging helps burn more calories in the same interval of time. It is also a great activity for people who want to incorporate more cardio activity into their workout. However, it is worth noting that, unless done with care, jogging will take its toll on the feet and the knee joints. When jogging, always wear proper shoes and pay attention to any twinges of pain or post-workout soreness.

3. Hiking

cross-country

Time: 30 Minutes
Calories Burned: 220
Muscle groups worked most: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, calves.

Hiking takes the workout outdoors and it can encourage you to venture into some challenging areas. The best hikes in terms of workout are those that cover uneven territory and inclines. By climbing hills and carrying under 10 lb load you can burn up to 250 calories in 30 minutes. A 30 minute hike is a great warmup for a longer hike later on. Hiking provides with many health benefits including lowering your risk of heart disease, strengthening of your core, and improving your mood.

4. Bicycling

12-14 mph or 19-22 km/h

Time: 30 Minutes
Calories Burned: 290
Muscle groups worked most: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, calves.
If you maintain your posture, your abdominal and back muscles get a workout on a bicycle as well. Bicycling also works shoulder and arm muscles.

Bicycling is an excellent exercise that is lower in impact and body cost than running – it’s much easier on your legs, ankles, knees, and feet. When bicycling, remember to dress warmly and to make sure that you are wearing both protective gear and visibility gear. This keeps you safe on the road. If you prefer using a stationary bicycle, you may burn around 250 calories at a moderate intensity (<12 mph/ <20 km/h).

5. Swimming

general, light/moderate effort

Time: 30 Minutes
Calories Burned: 220
Muscle groups worked most: entire body (the muscles in your legs, arms, torso and hips).

Swimming is an excellent full body workout. It works well to relieve pressure on the joints. Different strokes work on different muscle groups, so choose strokes that work well for your purposes. The freestyle is always a good basic swimming stroke for general health.

6. Yoga

Hatha Yoga

Time: 30 Minutes
Calories Burned: 95
Muscle groups worked most: entire body

Different types of yoga burn different amounts of calories. Through the use of gentle stretching yoga, also known as Hatha yoga, you can burn almost up to 100 calories per 30 minutes. This is an excellent way to get your day started, or you can use it as a warmup for other exercises. Yoga not only increases your flexibilty and strengthens the body, it may help reduce stress, improve sleep, and improve your overall health.

7. Aerobics

general, high impact

Time: 30 Minutes
Calories Burned: 250
Muscle groups worked most: legs, core.

Aerobics is an excellent choice for heart health and weight loss, but do be aware that unless the class or exercises are listed as low-impact, they can be hard on the joints. If you have knee issues, you should also make sure to skip step aerobics and instead opt for low impact aerobics or water aerobics. You will still be burning calories: around 200 calories in low impact aerobics and 150 calories in water aerobics.

8. Dancing

disco, ballroom

Time: 30 Minutes
Calories Burned: 200
Muscle groups worked most: legs, core, some arms.

Dancing, when done in a consistent and aerobic manner, is a great choice for burning calories. However, like all other cardio exercises, it will reduce fat without necessarily growing muscle. When dancing, choose clothes that move well, but that conform to the body for the best results.

9. Weight Lifting

general

Time: 30 Minutes
Calories Burned: 110
Muscle groups worked most: Depends on target

Though weight lifting does burn calories, it is typically not used to lose weight. Instead, it is designed to strengthen and grow muscles, and as such, the calories offloaded are less than you might think they are! Weight lifting tends to target the legs, arms and core muscles, but there are exercises that are designed to address every muscle group.

10. Tennis

general

Time: 30 Minutes
Calories Burned: 250
Muscle groups worked most: entire body

Tennis is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that involves the entire body. It does have the issue of using repetitive motions, so if you have issues with repetitive stress injuries, you should discuss it with your doctor before you jump in.

Besides physical benefits of playing tennis, there are numerous other reasons to choose this activity. It helps you learn to compete one-on-one, make strategies, deal with difficult situations, manage stress, accept responsibility, etc.





Print Friendly