The Diet Detective: Different Ways to Burn Calories and Stay Active

When it comes to exercise, many of us don't get excited at the prospect of sweating at the gym or running in the park. And let's face it: If you're not energized, it's hard to be motivated to stay active—despite all the research showing physical activity's benefits for weight control and health.

Luckily, there are more ways to stay active besides going to the gym, running or biking. The following are less common activities that may sound more exciting to you.

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Different Ways to Burn Calories

Sailing vs. Scuba Diving vs. Water Aerobics

Scuba diving burns the most calories at 490 per hour. Next is water aerobics at 280 calories. And a relaxing sail will burn 210 calories (about 1 1/2 ounces of M&M's).

Other water sports also burn calories, but one that is really fun and provides a great upper-body workout is kayaking—you're looking at burning 350 calories per hour (five Oreo Double Stuffed Cookies), not to mention building up your shoulders, arms and chest.

Curling vs. Fencing

Have you ever heard of curling? It's a team sport played on ice. The goal is to slide a heavy stone into a circular target drawn on the ice. One image that may jog your memory is of a team member using a broom to sweep the ice in front of the stone in order to smooth the surface. Curling is certainly a calorie-burner at 280 calories per hour (about 1 1/4 cups of caramel popcorn with peanuts), but it's no match for fencing: Sparing with swords uses up 420 calories per hour.

Tetherball vs. Hopscotch vs. Belly Dancing

For those who've never heard of tetherball, it involves two players standing on opposite sides of a 10-foot vertical metal pole. Players try to hit a ball hanging from a rope—one aiming clockwise, the other counterclockwise. The player who manages to wind the ball around the pole until there is no slack in the rope is the winner. Play this for an hour, (or an hour of hopscotch) and you'll burn 350 calories before you know it. Belly dancing is a Middle Eastern dance that burns slightly fewer calories—315 per hour.

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