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How many calories do different activities burn?

Here are some physical activities and the number of calories they expend (for a duration of 30 minutes):
  • Casual dancing, 205
  • Moderate dancing, 233
  • Extreme dancing, 288
  • Slow jump rope, 287 
  • Fast jump rope, 357
  • Cycling @ 5.5 mph, 124
  • Cycling @ 10 mph, 233
  • Cycling @ 13 mph, 330
  • Walking @ 2.5 mph, 136
  • Walking @ 3.5 mph, 178
  • Walking @ 4.5 mph, 240

Calorie burn for exercises performed varies based on the person's fitness level, their fat versus lean muscle mass ratio, body weight, age, height, and other variables. Although some activities may burn more calories than others, performing the same exercise for long periods of time will ultimately lead to a reduced calorie burn. If the goal is weight loss for example, you should be more concerned with creating a calorie deficit by engaging in more physical activity and eating less.

For a more accurate number, consider wearing a specialized body sensor that measures daily calorie burn. Wearable body sensors can be used in a free-living environment and these measure daily calorie burn, which allows day-to-day adjustments to calorie intake based on activity level.

Everything we do burns calories. Here are the calories a person weighing 150 pounds will burn doing the following activities for 15 minutes:

  • Reading: 22
  • Typing: 25
  • Driving: 34
  • Shopping: 40
  • Shooting pool: 42
  • Gardening: 68
  • Ballroom dancing: 77
  • Downhill skiing: 102
  • Riding a stationary bicycle: 170
  • Jogging: 171
  • Cycling over 20 mph: 273

Continue Learning about Exercise For Weight Loss

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How Can Exercise Help Me Avoid Hitting a Weight-Loss Plateau?
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How Important Is Exercise to a Weight Loss Program?
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.