Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

Okay, so working out isn’t your favorite thing to do. You don’t enjoy brutal calorie burning workouts in the form of CrossFit or those awful spin classes (who does?). And you’re not a fan of lifting weights at the gym because weights are heavy, and the gym is boring. You’re not alone in your disdain for all things exercise related.

Plenty of people dread going to the gym but don’t know how else to keep up with a fitness routine. What these people may not know is that there are plenty of ways to work-out without feeling like you are working out. The secret? Having fun. Any kind of movement you do with your body counts as exercise. And when you’re having fun doing it, it won’t feel like exercise. If you’re in need of a new activity to shake up your fitness routine, check out our list of 10 calorie burning workouts for people who hate working out.

1.  Fencing

You may hear the word fencing and think of Victorian era men dressed in elegant coats and duelling it out with their swords. Nowadays, fencing is an Olympic sport practiced by both men and women. Fencing involves using a saber, foil, or epee, (or sword looking thing) to try and hit your opponent and score points. It’s a full body workout that focuses on agility, speed, and strategy. You’ll get most of the workout benefits in your butt, thighs, and arms as you lunge and strike at your opponent. A typical fencing session can burn anywhere from 800 to 1500 calories for most people.

2. Gardening

It’s hard to imagine gardening as being included in a list of calorie burning workouts. But surprisingly, light gardening tasks can burn an average of 175 to 300 calories an hour. More calories are burned while performing more difficult gardening tasks like tilling, pushing a wheelbarrow, or mowing the lawn. You’ll hardly think of gardening as cardio until an hour later when you’ve worked up a sweat. With gardening, you will have the benefit of getting exercise while also completing household chores. It’s a win-win.

3. Dancing

Dancing can be one of the most fun calorie burning workouts to not ever feel like a workout. Everyone likes to dance, even if they argue otherwise. Dancing is a beautiful art form as well as a fun way to let go of some steam. On average, dancing burns 300 to 800 calories per hour depending on what kind of dance you do and the intensity at which you do it. You can get your groove on at home by yourself or sign up for a dance class and learn along with other people. There are many dance styles to choose from. Try out multiple styles until you find one that works best for you.

4. Tennis

You don’t have to be a tennis star like Serena Williams to get the benefits from playing a game of tennis. Tennis is a fun non-combative sport that requires minimal equipment (only a tennis ball and racket). Playing tennis for an hour will burn anywhere from 350 to 500 calories for non-competitive players. It’s one of the top calorie burning workouts that will make you forget you’re doing cardio. You’ll likely have so much chasing after and hitting the ball to your tennis partner that you won’t realize what a workout you’re getting until you wake up sore the next day. Tennis works every part of your body, but you’ll likely feel it in your legs and serving arm.

5. Bike Riding

If you haven’t ridden your bike since you were a child, it’s time to dust that old thing off and take it for a spin. Riding a bike can burn anywhere from 450 to 750 calories per hour. It was likely one of your favorite calorie burning workouts as a kid that you didn’t know was a workout. Bike riding can be a fun and relaxing way to get some exercise while enjoying the outside scenery. For a more intense ride and even bigger calorie burn, incorporate some hills and speed drills. You will strengthen both your cardiovascular endurance and leg muscles during an intense riding session.

6. Aerial Acrobatics

Aerial acrobatics involves hanging from a piece of fabric attached to the ceiling while performing challenging moves and poses in the air. But before you let the idea of hanging in the air scare you off, know that just 50 minutes of aerial sport can burn on average 320 calories. And don’t think that aerial acrobatics is reserved for circus performers and gymnasts.

Aerial sport has become a popular fitness class for men and women of all fitness levels. An instructor will be there to guide you through the moves. Don’t worry about your fear of heights holding you back from trying aerial acrobatics. You won’t be hanging up as high as a professional would and classes are designed for non-gymnasts who are trying it for the first time. You’ll likely be concentrating so hard on not letting go of your piece of fabric that it won’t even cross your mind that you’re exercising.

7. Trampoline Workout

Jumping on a trampoline as a child may be one of your fondest childhood memories. Who would have thought it would one day become a popular calorie burning workout class for adults? Nowadays, fitness instructors make you pay to jump as they lead you through a trampoline class that’s a killer workout for your calves and thighs. Jumping on a trampoline can burn on average anywhere from 9.4 to 12.4 calories per minute.

Most trampoline classes do 10-minute sessions at a time to give your heart rate a break. While trampoline classes are low impact, they are high intensity cardio sessions that will get your body burning. You’ll improve your balance and core strength while working up a major sweat. The best part is that you’ll be having so much fun jumping into the air that you won’t be thinking about how sore you’ll be the next day.

8. Boxing

Boxing will feel like a workout, there is no question about that. It is high intensity cardio that will have you punching, bouncing, dipping, and ducking the entire time. You’ll work every one of your muscles in a boxing workout, whether you’re on the punching bag or doing sparring work with a partner. While it will be hard not to notice the intensity of a boxing workout, you’ll be so distracted by learning a new skill that it won’t cross your mind. Boxing is a great calorie burning workout for men and women of all ages. It can increase strength, cardio, confidence, and even provide you with a useful skill for self defense. On average, boxing can burn up to 800 calories in an hour-long session. Get to punching, and you’ll get to burning off last night’s dessert in no time.

9. Martial Arts

Like boxing, martial arts provide a way to workout while also developing a new skill. Martial arts are combat sports that focus on forms of self-defense or methods of attack. Examples include karate, judo, and krav maga. The average person burns 475 to 575 calories during a slower martial arts class, though more intense classes can burn much more than that. In any martial art you will be learning how to defend yourself from an attacker. You’ll learn ways to duck, roll, and tackle your opponent. You’ll learn a mix of strikes using both your hands and feet. It might be tricky getting some of the footwork right away but focusing on getting it right will take away any feeling of exhaustion you’ll feel from this intense cardio workout.

10. Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding is a fun water sport that involves using a paddleboard (which looks much like a wider version of a surfboard) and a long paddle to propel you and your board through the water. Basically, you will look like you are standing on top of a surfboard while using a paddle to move through the water. Stand up paddle board is a full body workout that focuses on core strength and stability. One hour of paddle boarding will burn on average 330 to 460 calories. Stand up paddle boarding finishes off our list of best calorie burning workouts for people who don’t like to work-out because paddle boarding doesn’t feel like work. It can be done while enjoying a day at the beach with friends and family while also getting a suntan. Beach, sun, and fun hardly sound like a workout you’ll need much convincing to try.

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