How Many Calories Are Burnt During Exercise?

You know that exercise is good for you: your doctor has told you, you hear it on television and read it in every magazine you pick up.

You’ve heard that exercising can help you to shed those unwanted pounds and tighten up your wobbly bits. But do you know how many calories are burnt during exercise?

How Does Burning Calories Work?

Burning calories is all about metabolism. Put simply, metabolism is the process by which your body uses the food you eat to provide energy to your body.

During the metabolic process, calories from the carbohydrates, fats and proteins that comprise your diet are combined with oxygen to release the energy that your body needs to function.

Daily energy expenditure falls into three categories, namely; basic needs, food processing and physical activity.

Even when your body is at rest, there are still biochemical processes occurring that require energy to drive them. Calorie metabolism provides the energy for basic bodily needs such as breathing, blood circulation and cellular growth and repair.

Food digestion is a labor intensive process for your body as almost ten percent of the calories you eat each day are spent maintaining digestive processes.

Finally, physical activity, such as running, swimming or walking, also requires calories.

Unlike the basic and digestive needs of your body, the amount of physical activity you do is up to you. Therefore, if you want to burn more calories and lose weight, you need to get out there and exercise!

How many calories you burn when exercising depends on your age, sex and body composition.

Older people have lower metabolic rates and also tend to have less muscle, which is a more ‘active’ calorie-burning tissue. Women burn less calories than men when performing equivalent exercise, also because men tend to have more muscle mass. Larger people burn calories at a higher rate than smaller people, because more energy is required to move their bodies.

For example, a person weighing 130 pounds, racing a bicycle at more than 20 miles/hour would burn 944 calories an hour.

By performing an equivalent amount of exercise, a person who weighed 155 pounds would burn 1125 calories/hour.

Exercise intensity also influences the number of calories you burn as in general the harder the exercise, the more calories burnt.

Running at 5mph burns 472 calories per hour, whereas at 11mph you can burn 1062 calories per hour.

High impact aerobics also burns more calories than a lower impact workout (413 calories versus 295 calories/hour).

Sports that require intermittent running, such as

  • basketball (472 calories/hour),
  • football (531 calories/hour),
  • tennis (472 calories/hour)
  • soccer (590 calories/hour)

burn more calories than less active sports such as

  • cricket (295 calories/hour)
  • golf (236 calories/hour).

If you are good at finding excuses not to do your housework, think again.

Doing household chores a good way to burn some calories without having to think too hard!

  • General household cleaning will burn 207 calories/hour, whilst carrying heavy loads around the garden can burn up to 472 calories/hour.
  • Painting or plastering your home burns about 266 calories/hour, whilst getting down and scrubbing a dirty floor will put away 325 calories/hour.



By spending just 30 minutes a day engaging in physical activity, you can burn calories, beat the battle of the bulge and gain fitness.

Go for it!




Category: The Effects of Exercise

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