The 5 best sports to lose body fat and build muscle, according to Harvard

Posted by Otis Skincare on

It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself…

Working out cuts body fat, builds muscles and improves your posture.

As well as giving you a healthy glow, a smooth even-toned complexion and younger looking skin. 

And it’s great for your mental health too – reducing stress and clearing your mind.

But which sports give you the quickest weight-loss results and the best fitness benefits?

The experts at Harvard Medical School, have done the research, and here’s what they recommend.

These are the 5 sports that will help you lose weight fast - as well as build muscle, gain strength and flexibility, and improve coordination.


Handsome young man resting after a run


At least 30 minutes of physical activity every day is the route to being healthy, strong and at the right weight.

But some sports burn more calories in 30 minutes than others.

And when time is tight, you want to know which sports are going to give you the quickest results – and the most benefits.


Which sport is the best for losing body fat? 

Obviously you need to actually enjoy the exercise you’re doing in order to stick with it.

But if you’re looking for a particular result (like losing some weight) then it’s worth considering which sports use the most calories – and switching it up a little.

Good for your waistline, but also good for your spirit.

Trying a new activity can inspire you to get moving – as well as working your muscles in new ways.

According to a report published by Harvard, the sporting activities that burn the most calories in a 30 minute period range from cycling and tennis to running and lap-swimming.


More than just calories burned 

But toning up and losing weight is about more than just the calories burned while you’re engaged in the activity. You want to choose sports that build muscle, improve tone and increase strength too.

Because the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day.

And a sport that incorporates short bursts of high-intensity activity (HIIT) with less energetic movement will boost your cardio fitness and again allow you to continue to burn calories even when you’re not exercising.

Just remember to wash your face post-workout to get rid of excess oil and any build up of sweat, both of which can have an ageing effect on your face. 

And moisturize your skin after exercise too. 
You need to hydrate your face just like you need to hydrate your body!


Best post-workout skincare routine 



The 5 best sports for cutting body fat and building muscle: 

When time is short these are the sports that give you more bang for your buck.
Cutting body fat fast!

First up…


Man boxing with six pack abs, and red boxing gloves

Boxing burn calories, and works your brain, forcing you to concentrate and focus



Pros: Boxing not only burns a ton of calories and builds muscles, it also increases endurance and improves your cardiovascular health.

It’s great for your reflexes, speed and sense of balance too.

But maybe the greatest benefit is that it also works your brain, forcing you to concentrate and stay focused and in the moment. As well as improving your self-confidence and increasing your courage.

Cons: It seems obvious, but you can get hurt! So always wear protection, and a mouthguard when you’re sparring.



Pros: Swimming gives a total body workout – strengthening all of your muscles - but without putting any strain on your joints.

Making it especially beneficial if you’re suffering from any injuries.

And vigorous lap swimming scorches through the calories!

Cons: need access to a pool


Man running outside with sun in background

Running is one of the best sports for losing weight



Pros: With the right intensity, this is one of the best ways to lose weight - improving your cardiovascular health, strengthening your body and improving your mood at the same time.

Studies found that running for 15 minutes a day (or walking for an hour) reduces the risk of major depression. 

And you can run and walk anywhere - in pretty much any weather – making it one of the most accessible sports on the list.

Cons: Running can be tough on your ankles and knees, so work on your form. And if you’re covering a lot of distance per week its worth getting footwear fitted by an expert to make sure your feet are properly supported.



From light weights to body building to Crossfit

Pros: With strength training and weightlifting it’s not just about the calories you use up when you’re engaged in the activity. It’s about the muscles you build which increase the number of calories you burn even when you’re not doing it.

Essentially, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day.

And strength training builds strong bones too.

Cons: Make sure to adopt perfect form or you’ll get injured. And don’t go in too hard too fast.



Pros: As well as a getting your heart pumping, racket sports help to strengthen your upper and lower body at the same time – working your arms, legs and core.

And the change of pace during a match is a perfect example of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).

Cons: you need a partner at roughly the same level as you, and for tennis and squash access to a court.


handsome young man post workout wiping face with t-shirt, revealing six pack abs

Always follow a good post-workout skincare routine after working up a sweat


The Takeaway

These sports will give you the quickest weight-loss results and the most health benefits – building muscle, increasing strength and flexibility, and improving your mental health too.

  1. Boxing
  2. Swimming
  3. Running and Walking
  4. Strength training
  5. Racquet sports

We want to make sure you stay looking good while you up your fitness game.

So keep your skin looking clear, healthy and glowing with the following routine. 


All you need to stay looking handsome. 





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