Burns 272 calories in 30 minutes
Don’t think you need to round up a partner or trek all the way to a court to break a super sweat with racket in hand. (Though if you have a pal and a nearby net, you’ll burn the same calories.) Simply find a flat area near a wall or garage door that you can hit the ball against.
Alternate forehand and backhand shots — then see how many you can do in a row without goofing. Stand 10 to 25 feet away, which will force you to hit harder. Even practicing your serve will get your body in burn mode, because you’ll have to run and bend to pick up your missed balls.
Boost the burn: Try to hit the ball consistently for 50 or 100 strokes. Having a goal will make you work harder to reach it.
Burns 221 calories in 30 minutes
This may not be the biggest calorie-burner in the bunch, but it’s still an excellent — and fun! — metabolism booster.
The key is to keep the tempo high, choosing songs with fast rhythms like Latin or Bollywood, and don’t rest between songs. Download a workout’s worth of your favorite tunes. Begin with an upbeat inspirational song think, then move on to songs with increasingly faster tempos. Slow the beat toward the end to cool down.
Boost the burn: Use your arms! Raise them in the air and move them to the beat.
5. Walking vigorously
Burns 170 calories in 30 minutes
That’s right, walking actually made our list. Full disclosure, though: A leisurely stroll with a friend won’t cut it. You should be walking briskly enough that it’s difficult to keep up a steady conversation.
To get the most from your biggest calorie-burning muscles — legs, butt, and core — take short, quick steps, keep your torso upright, and pump your arms back and forth (not side to side) in time with your stride. With each step, land on your heel and roll through to your toes.
Boost the burn: Alternate two minutes of brisk strides with one minute of as-fast-as-you-can-go walking (or jogging).