Here's a quick way to find out how much calories you burn during certain physical activities. Click here to check.
It asks you to enter your weight because the number of calories burned depends on your weight and fitness level. Heavier people burn more calories because it takes more effort to perform exercises. That goes down as the person becomes fitter and attains more muscle. With more muscle, more calories are burned even at a sedentary state. Anyway, right now the stuff that I'm active in are spinning, running and badminton (social & pro). I calculated how much calories I burn for each activity (at 137 lbs. / 60 minutes) :
Spinning - 437 calories
Running - 582 calories
Badminton - 370 calories
For me, the best types of cardio exercise are the ones that keep you moving with little or no rest. Why? Because we tend to equate the time we spend inside the gym to the time we supposedly spent exercising. Sitting around and people watching don't count as exercise! In my spinning class, we are hardly given time to rest, thus we push ourselves to the limit and burn more calories. That is why I recommend spinning to anyone who's serious about losing weight. It is difficult at first -- I know a couple of people who've had tragic aftermaths following one session. But like all activities, you get better and better as long as you try and do it right. The added benefit of spinning is it isn't boring. The loud music and the natural adrenaline rush keep you alert and time ticks away virtually unnoticed.
I also run from time to time, often to warm myself up for a moderate weight lifting session. The calculation above is for 60 minutes, which I have never done on a track. I have run continuously for an hour on a treadmill. They are two different things though. I find running on a track a lot more difficult because 1) I'm exposed to environmental factors such as heat from the sun, dust and pollution 2) the terrain is more unpredictable 3) my pace is dependent on the strength of my legs, not on a conveyor belt. Despite those inconveniences I prefer running outside just because I feel like the extra effort that put into it helps me burn more calories. Treadmills are still good. In fact I recommend them to those who are starting a cardio routine. But in the long run I suggest that you wean yourself away from the treadmill to other activities such as aerobics, spinning, kickboxing, running or yoga. Why? Because treadmills eventually become tiresome and boring. Once you get sick of it, you tend to never come back to the gym.
Badminton is another great way to get active. It is the staple sport of yuppies, office workers and barkadas. In order to get its full effect (e.g. burn 370 calories), you'll need to play 60 minutes straight. The trick is to play in smaller groups that you are familiar with. With fewer people, there is less turnover, thus more play time for yourself. You may book one court for two hours or two courts for larger groups or opt for a trainer. The trainer can teach you the proper way of playing and at the same time force you to travel more across the court. The problem with playing with large parties of strangers of varying skill levels are 1) you play less 2) those who are good play more (good for you if you're one of them) 3) no one is willing to teach you the right way to play 4) you will not get the workout that you need 5) you play for fun, but others are ready to eat you alive. Definitely go for a group of friends and/or a trainer if you want to pursue badminton. It is big fun if done right.