What workout works?

When it comes to losing weight, the math is simple. According to the Mayo Clinic- one pound equals 3,500 calories. So to lose a pound, you need to burn 3,500 more calories than you take in. Burn an extra 500 a day and you’ll lose about one pound each week. So where should you start? The activities below are some of the best for working off unwanted pounds.

Keep in mind that the actual number of calories you’ll burn depends on the level of workout intensity and your weight -- people who weigh less burn fewer calories than those who weigh more.

The Y has a a solution by participating in YMCA’s Weight Loss Program. It's a great way to learn how to eat healthier, move more and lose weight. 

Swimming  We’re lucky to live on the west coast of Florida, where there’s no shortage of water-based athletics, many of which can be enjoyed year round. Cities like Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Largo and New Port Richey offer great options for snorkeling, kayaking, and one of the best calorie burning exercises, swimming.  Take to the water for an excellent cardio workout for your whole body. Doing a standard breast stroke for 30 minutes burns 300 - 400 calories. And because swimming is a non-impact sport, it’s also great for your joints. Check out YMCA of the Suncoast swimming programs to find one near you.

Running Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties also offer plenty of options for people who want to run or jog off the pounds. At an 8-mph pace (7 1/2-minute miles), a runner can burn just under 1,000 calories in an hour. Adding sprints or incline runs burns even more.  And you don’t have to be a speed demon to reap the benefits – jogging at a 5-mph pace (12-minute miles) still burns almost 600 calories in an hour.

Tae Kwon Do. This form of martial arts is a total body workout – it improves cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, coordination and muscular strength, all while burning a whopping 700 calories in an hour. YMCA of the Suncoast offers Tae Kwon Do classes and martial arts at many locations, including Hernando County and North Pinellas. We have classes for the kids, teens and martial arts for adults too!

YMCA of the Suncoast 13 and up Karate

Jump Rope. Most kids jump rope on the playground, but boxers also do it to train for a big fight. That’s because it’s a tremendous workout. It can burn more than 700 calories per hour while improving coordination and heart health.

Rollerblading. Florida sunshine and the Pinellas Trail are nice companions for rollerblading, which ranks high on the effective exercise list. Thirty minutes can burn between 400 -500 calories. Rollerblading is also great for building balance and core strength.

Basketball and Football. Group sports can make active time seem like play time. Two of the most popular team activities, basketball and football, also happen to be great calorie burners – up to 600 calories per hour during a friendly game with friends. Interested in getting your children involved in team play? Many YMCA of the Suncoast locations offer basketball programs and flag football programs for youth of all ages. Plus, you'll burn a few calories cheering for them!