what sports burn the most calories

What Activities Burn The Most Calories? 5 Sports That Will Keep You Fit

I tell my clients and in my free programs to create a fitness routine that YOU LOVE

And regardless of your fitness goal, it shouldn’t just come down to lifting weights in the gym and calling it a day

Picking up an activity can be very therapeutic. Especially if you’re going through a rough time and find it easier to be outside listening to music, and burning your calories in other ways

Today I’m going to share what activities burn the most calories and will get you fit, but also that will help your mindset, mental health, make you happy, and will be the best investment of your life

I’ll provide breakdowns of the calories below for some of the sports mentioned but remember when getting into any of these sports (or any sport in general)

Don’t over-push yourself just to burn some extra calories

Instead, have fun with it, and be consistent! You’ll burn enough calories over time!

#1 Volleyball

what sports burn the most calories

This was my favorite sport in gym class!

Although I don’t play as much volleyball anymore like I used to, it’s still a great way to get involved with people, current friends, and even make new friends

All while burning some extra calories!

And to make it even more challenging and burn even more calories…

You can practice on the sand courts at the beach or at the park (it’s not as easy as those chick flic movies make it seem)

Volleyball is also a very inexpensive sport (practically free) besides needing an actual volleyball, some good shoes, sunscreen, and a bottle of water!

30 minutes of Volleyball play can have you burning roughly 171 calories (1)

60 minutes of Volleyball play can have you burning roughly 343 calories (2)

Numbers vary based on weight, gender, intensity, etc.

#2 Swimming

what sports burn the most calories

If you have access to a pool… USE IT!

 Swimming is another great activity to burn some calories, get lean, and build muscle Especially in the biceps and triceps

Another great thing about swimming when you’re consistent (like many sports) is that it helps build endurance

It’s also great for activating core strength while you’re doing laps

Even if you don’t have immediate access to a pool, finding a gym with a nice pool and not a lot of people is a great alternative if you’re really interested in swimming more (especially during the colder months) as most gyms have indoor pools

Swimming is also a great activity to boost weight loss as it can burn more calories than some of the sports performed on land!

Depending on the weight and which swim specific exercises you decide to perform you can burn around 300-420 calories for 30 minutes of swimming (3) (4)

But these figures also depend on how vigorously you’re swimming

You can also build muscle IF you are consistent.

#3 Cycling

what sports burn the most calories

This is my current activity I do outside of the gym

And I’m not talking a peloton or stationary bike inside your gym that has you looking at that BIG green screen

I’m talking real bicycling

Getting outside with the fresh air

And on a beautiful biking route with your favorite playlist on repeat at an appropriate volume level, of course 😉

I’m a huge cycler which I owe the growth of my quadriceps (quad) muscles too

It’s helped me through some rough times when I couldn’t get to the gym and instead wanted to get away from reality.

It’s also a great way to get involved and meet new people in your community

And many cities will have triathlon or racing events which is a great way to push yourself to set and reach new goals!

Aside from the bike itself, cycling is an inexpensive sport. All you need is:

  • A good helmet
  • Good shoes
  • A Bright Light for the front and back (if your biking at night)
  • And an air pressure mechanism for tires

You can go to your nearest cycling store, REI, Target, Walmart, etc.

According to a Harvard study, You can burn an average of 240-336 calories when you bike around 12-13.9 MPH (5)

This all depends on your individual weight, but Harvard gives these examples for a 125-pound person, 155-pound person, and a 185-pound person.

#4 Punch Bag 

what sports burn the most calories

In addition to cycling, I really got into throwing some punches and kicks in the past year!

Punching Bag is a great full body workout! In just 20 minutes alone, you can get a great workout in.

You can also set it up somewhere like the garage or backyard (if you have one) or even your apartment patio!

The scenery is important to me when I’m exercising outside of the gym.

I have my punching bag set up in the backyard with the hills and trees behind me, and some music plugged in

Remember with most sports, activities that burn the most calories depend on the individual’s weight, age, sex, and other factors

The intensity also matters when it comes to this sport (any sport really)

#5 Snowboarding / Skiing

how to stay fit while on vacation

I’m saving the best for last! (excuse my messy self!)

This option is a bit more on the expensive side but it’s for those who are looking for more of that lifestyle investment when it comes to activities outside of the gym

And it really is an investment when it comes to snowboarding/skiing

You may already be into snow sports but either way…

You can burn a lot of calories when you’re out on the slopes for the day

And if you’re on a snow vacation with some friends, this is a great way to stay in shape and burn some calories when you’re not training in the gym or focusing too heavily on your nutrition.

If you’re on vacation and wondering how you can keep up with your fitness progress – the answer my friend is to NOT stress out too much about these off days, take advantage of being out on the slopes with the fresh air and good company.

 AND GET BACK TO IT RIGHT AFTER YOUR TRIP (and after some rest!)

 The majority of my vacations are related to snowboarding, so I don’t worry about my break from fitness, and just try to get the most out of my time on the slopes and then have some drinks with the amigos!

And even if shredding on the snow is not your thing, the purpose of #5 is to find a sport similar to the snow that you can invest in, where you can…

  •  Get you and your friends involved with
  •  Travel to a new city or state
  •  Burn some calories while having some fun


There are clearly more than just 5 sports that will burn calories and get you fit

But I wanted to give you some perspective into some new and unique sports outside of the typical basketball, football, and soccer hobbies

Such as the Punch Bag, Cycling, and something bigger like snowboarding and skiing

Keeping these 5 sports in mind or discovering any others outside of this post…

Find something YOU WILL LOVE



I talk more about the mindset and lifestyle aspect of fitness in my free programs

What are some barriers that are stopping you from picking up a new sport?

Whether you want to lose weight or build muscle, having a sporting hobby could help you reach those goals a little bit faster?

Until the next post! Much love,