Running is one of the most simple athletic endeavors humans can do, mainly because no equipment is needed—technically not even shoes (though our 21st-century living environment calls for them). Running at 8 mph burns 1,074 calories per hour for a 200-pound person, according to fitness expert Chris Ryan, CSCS, CPT, a New York City-based trainer. Because it requires a serious amount of energy to move fast and places a lot of demand on your cardiovascular system, most of us can’t sprint or run too fast for too long.
“The best way to incorporate this exercise is to do 10- to 20-second sprints (or 100–200 meters, if you’re on a track) and then jog or walk for 60 seconds,” says Roger E. Adams, PhD, Houston-based dietitian and nutritionist and founder of eatrightfitness.com. “Keep repeating these intervals until you’ve had enough, or until your sprints look like jogs.” Hoping to maximize your workout even more? Add a weighted vest to your sprints. This will drive up your calorie burn and is much safer than holding dumbbells or using ankle weights. If you’re a walker, but want to become a runner, check out these eight easy ways to make the speedy transition.
There’s a reason some of the world’s greatest boxers have relied on jumping rope to train their footwork and increase their heart rate. “Jumping rope can burn upwards of 1,074 calories per hour and is an excellent workout for the whole body,” says Ryan. “Even just a few minutes of jumping rope can get your lungs burning and heart racing.”
One of the best parts of this calorie-torching exercise? You can do it almost anywhere, anytime, though few of us can handle it for more than a few minutes straight. Just like running, “the best way to incorporate jumping rope into your exercise regimen is to do intervals,” says Dr. Adams. “Jump rope for a specified number of reps, say 100, then walk around or in place for 60 seconds. Then repeat this interval until you’re too tired to jump effectively.” If you can jump rope for several minutes straight, go for it! Otherwise, use the interval approach for maximum results.