How many calories do I burn when exercising?

Ozgen Dogan
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Walking for 25 minutes at a fast pace burns 200 calories; biking for 30 minutes burns 330 calories; playing soccer for 30 minutes burns 220 calories; 30 minutes of tennis burns 220 calories; running for 30 minutes burns 280 calories; skiing for 30 minutes burns 190 calories; 30 minutes of golf burns 110 calories; waiting in line for 30 minutes burns 40 calories; and, you will love this last example, watching television burns 24 calories.

The amount of calories a person burns varies from one person to the next. In general, the higher the intensity of the exercise, the more calories are burned. Ultimately, this depends on how much you weigh, your metabolic rate, and intensity at which you work out. Exercise that requires you to use more muscles such as a squat to row burn more calories than a less complex exercise like a bicep curl. To burn the most calories make the best out of your workouts and keep them intense.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
The number of kilocalories (kcals) you burn depends on the type of exercise you do. (A kcal is the same amount of energy as a calorie, except that the custom is to use the term "calories" when we're talking about food and "kilocalories" when we're talking about exercise. They're both the same amount of energy.) This is how many kilocalories each activity uses:
  •  Walking for pleasure -- 3.5 kcals per minute
  •  Bicycling for pleasure -- 4 kcals per minute
  •  Swimming, slow treading -- 4 kcals per minute
  •  Conditioning exercises, slow stretching -- 4 kcals per minute
  •  Home care, carpet sweeping -- 4 kcals per minute
  •  Raking lawn will use 4-5 kcals per minute
  •  Walking briskly -- 4-5 kcals per minute
  •  Home repair, painting -- 4.5 kcals per minute
  •  Mowing lawn with a power mower -- 4.5 kcals per minute
  •  Racket sports, table tennis, doubles tennis -- 5 kcals per minute
  •  Golf, pulling cart or carrying clubs -- 5.5 kcals per minute
  •  Conditioning exercise, general calisthenics -- 6 kcals per minute
  •  Fishing in stream -- 6 kcals per minute
  •  Ice (or roller) skating -- 7 kcals per minute
  •  Soccer -- 7 kcals per minute
  •  Moving furniture -- more than 7 kcals per minute
  •  Conditioning exercise, stair stepper, ski machine -- more than 7 kcals per minute
  •  Singles tennis, racquetball -- 7-8 kcals per minute
  •  Running -- 8 kcals per minute
  •  Basketball - game play -- 8 kcals per minute
  •  Cycling, fast or racing -- 10 or more kcals per minute
  •  Squash -- 12 kcals per minute
  •  Canoeing or rowing in competition -- 12 kcals per minute

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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.