Any time you're considering trying out a new type of workout to help you lose weight or tone up, it's useful to consider the calories it will help you burn. The general rule is that the harder you're working, the harder you'll burn calories. A long list of workouts provide significant calorie-burning benefits; it's up to you to find the one that works best for you.
Although your lower body gets most of the workout benefits of cycling, it's an activity that helps you burn lots of calories in a short period of time. If you weigh 130 pounds and cycle for an hour at a speed of 15 miles per hour, you'll burn roughly 590 calories. Even if you can't maintain that brisk pace, cycling slower is beneficial. A leisurely pace of less than 10 mph will result in 236 calories burned in an hour.
It can take a while to get the hang of jumping rope, but once you're able to get a steady rhythm going, the calories will really start burning away. You probably won't be able to jump for an hour, but a 130-pound person who jumps rope for 30 minutes at a slow pace will burn 236 calories; increase your intensity to a moderate pace and you'll burn 295 calories in that span.
If you've got access to water and are able to borrow or rent a canoe, a paddling workout gives you the benefit of burning plenty of calories while enjoying the fresh air. The key to burning calories is to paddle at a rapid pace, rather than taking relaxing strokes and coasting. Remember, you're here for a workout, not for a sightseeing tour. Canoeing at a vigorous pace will burn 708 calories an hour for a 130-pound person.
For many people, winter means spending more time inside, hibernating in front of the television. But if you want to find a snowy activity that helps you burn calories, your answer is cross-country skiing. This sport provides a workout for your entire body. Try it for an hour at a vigorous pace and you'll burn 531 calories if you weigh 130 pounds.
Ice skating can be an intense workout, but if you don't have easy access to an ice surface, in-line skating is a suitable alternative. Find some smooth ground, strap on your skates and get an impressive, low-impact workout. A 130-pound person who in-line skates for an hour will burn 708 calories.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.