Which sport burns the most calories?

Image via pixabay.com
Image via pixabay.com

Hint: It involves a hill

By Carlos Bilan, Staff Writer

Whether you want to lose weight or just tone your body, doing sports is one of the best activities to achieve either results. But which sport burns the most calories in an hour?

Before I answer the million-dollar question, I would first like to address key factors that influence the number of calories a person can burn while doing a sport. The first factor is a person’s weight. “Calorie burn depends on many factors, including body weight. For example, a person weighing 125 lbs can expect to burn approximately 475 calories after playing hockey for one hour, while a person weighing 190 can expect a burn of about 700 calories per hour,” wrote Renda Hawwa in a post on LiveStrong.com.

The second factor is the intensity level a person exerts in doing a sport. It might seem like a no-brainer, but some people forget that this is one reason why the results can be varied. The American College of Sports Medicine made estimates on the average number of calories a sport can burn, which can be accessed through the site Nutristrategy.com. From the data, a person who weighs 155 pounds swimming freestyle for one hour can burn 704 calories when swimming fast, but burns 493 calories when swimming slower. The same concept applies with running: The faster you run, the more calories you burn.

So which sport burns the most calories? It’s actually not a very popular sport, or at least not as popular as the standard mainstream sports. Uphill cross country-skiing burns an average of 974 calories an hour for a person who weighs 130 lbs. It actually makes sense, because walking up the slope to get to college already makes students catch their breath, so imagine skiing uphill on a steeper mountain. It isn’t the most convenient sport though, since it’s only possible to do when there’s snow. Another downside is how expensive it is and the limited proximity.

Personally, I find swimming has been really effective in burning calories. Of course, this wasn’t Marco Polo or leisure swimming, it was interval training and sprints. I used to be a competitive swimmer, and training lasts at least two hours per day. I don’t remember what our target metres were, but I can guarantee we were swimming more than 100 laps. So if you do the math, we were definitely burning over 1,000 calories going all-out.

However, I can’t say that hockey, the heralded sport of Canada, is not an effective way to burn calories. It is an intensive cardiovascular sport, so I can imagine that you will definitely be breaking a sweat and could be shedding a lot of calories playing it. According to Nutristrategy.com, ice hockey can burn 654 calories an hour for a person weighing 180 lbs.

Every sport is capable of burning high calories. It all depends which sport you find most comfortable for you and how you excel in that sport. In other words, the more enthusiastic you are, the more you are likely to exert more effort which in turn burns more calories.