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Torch the Calories

A handful of exercises that turn your body into a calorie-burning machine.

Exercise is good for your health in so many ways. It protects your heart health, helps you reduce stress, improves your mental health, and gives you better sleep. But many people’s primary motivation to exercise is its ability to help with weight loss.

But life is busy. So your workouts better be worth your time. If you’re making the effort to get to the gym, you want to burn as many calories as you can to see the results you desire. A workout routine geared toward weight loss will include both cardio and strength training. Cardio burns calories, while strength training burns calories and builds muscle mass. Add more muscle, and you’ll have a boost to your metabolism, which allows your body to burn more calories while you’re sitting at the office.

Ready to burn calories like a champ? Here are a few of the workouts fitness experts most often recommend to people trying to lose weight.

Compound Exercises

Don’t waste your time on strength-training exercises that work only one muscle group at a time. Bicep curls and tricep dips have their place in fitness, but they won’t help you shed pounds. Instead of exercises that work on isolated muscles, focus the majority of your strength-training workouts on compound exercises. These movements require multiple muscle groups to work at once. Because they work so many muscles simultaneously, they burn a lot of calories. Examples include squats, lunges, deadlifts, overhead presses, and barbell bench presses.

Jogging or Running

Experts state that jogging is done at a pace between 4 and 6 miles per hour. Running is any pace faster than 6 miles per hour. Both are effective forms of exercise for weight loss. Running and jogging may also be especially helpful for burning visceral belly fat that’s particularly harmful to your health. A 150-pound person can expect to burn nearly 300 calories in half an hour of jogging or more than 370 calories in half an hour of running.


Swimming is a wet and wild form of cardio that burns a lot of calories. There are many reasons people make swimming their go-to cardio. It’s a full-body workout that’s also low-impact, making it safe for those with injuries or joint problems. Hate to break a sweat? Go swimming for your workout. In half an hour, a 150-pound person can burn 340 calories.


Whether outdoors on a bicycle or indoors on a stationary bike, cycling is a popular and effective way to burn calories. Cycling at a vigorous pace for half an hour can burn more than 300 calories. It’s a great low-impact activity for any fitness level, since you can adjust your pace. To get a little motivation or guidance along the way, join a spin class.

Interval Training

Known as HIIT, high-intensity interval training helps burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time. Studies found that you could burn up to 30 percent more calories each minute during HIIT compared to steady state cardio. After a solid HIIT workout, your body continues burning extra calories for up to 24 hours.

HIIT combines short bursts of high-intensity exercise with longer periods of low-intensity exercise for recovery. You can incorporate HIIT into many different types of workouts, whether you’re running, swimming, or cycling. After warming up, alternate between running as fast as you can for 30 seconds and jogging at a slow pace for two minutes. Do this multiple times, before ending your workout with a cool-down.