HAM, mechado, caldereta, and lechon — sumptuous yet fatty standards on dining tables throughout the Christmas season. Despite the temptation to just let go and indulge during the holidays, one should not ignore those extra calories and continue to work at having a fit and healthy body.

“Filipinos are food lovers, and it is truly seen during the Christmas season where greasy and high-calorie foods are served. Thus, it is just essential to burn those extra calories to avoid excess fat. For people who don’t want to hit the gym, they can try sports to burn the calories,” said Dr. Nicky Montoya, MediCard president.

Here are the top calorie-burning sports to try:

• Swimming. Swimming gives an overall body workout and is great for toning muscles.  Burning up to 800 calories per hour, swimming is one of the best choices if you want to shed those extra pounds for the holidays. If you have a pool or have access to one, it’s time to slip on your swimsuit on and do some laps.

• Racket Sports. Grab your racket and get ready to lose the calories you consumed during those Christmas parties. Racket sports such as tennis and badminton are fun sports you can do with your loved ones. Building lower body strength and endurance, as well as burning up to 900 calories per hour makes racket sports excellent workout options.

• Martial Arts. Learn self-defense and burn calories while practicing martial arts. Whether judo, tae kwon do or muay thai, martial arts has you moving quickly and in a variety of ways. It is sure to help you tone muscles by burning up to 1,100 calories per hour.

• Running. This may be the most accessible of sports. Burning up to 1,500 calories per hour, running is an ideal sport which works every part of your body, from your calves and quads to your abs. For the best calorie-burning potential, try to keep your speed above 8 mph.

• Boxing. Whether it’s kick boxing or regular boxing, this is one of the best sports to participate in since it burns up to 800 calories per hour.

• Basketball. Aside from burning up to 900 calories per hour, playing basketball lets you develop flexibility, endurance and cardiorespiratory health. But, make sure that you warm up properly before stepping onto the court to avoid injuries.