Calories Burned During Physical Activity

Physical activity has a lot of benefits. One of these benefits is that of burning extra calories during your day. The thing we need to realize about that though is that the amount of calories we burn may not be as much as we think.

For this post, I wanted to talk about calories burned during the physical activities we do.

Some factors go into how many calories we burn

We do not all burn the same amount of calories during physical activity. There are certain factors at play when it comes to that. They include the following:

  1. How much we weigh-The more we weigh, the more calories we burn. The less we weigh, the less calories we burn.
  2. How much muscle we have- The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn.
  3. How fit we are- The more fit we are, the less calories we burn doing physical activities. This is because our bodies would be used to working at a certain level so we have to push them even more to burn more calories.
  4. Metabolism- The higher our metabolism, the more calories we burn. The lower our metabolism, the less calories we burn. Things that affect our metabolism include diet (eating enough, not eating enough, sleep habits (not sleeping enough can lower our metabolism) , medications (i.e. some anti-psychotics) and health conditions ( i.e. hypothyroidism).
  5. Age- Our metabolisms slow down as we get older.

Calories burned calculators

There are quite a few of these calculators that can tell you how many calories you may burn doing certain activities. It is important to remember that things are not always cut and dried with them.

The calories burned calculators are just estimates. They use our weight, height, gender and METs (energy burned per time resting). Also, the amount of effort put into the physical activity is taken into account as well (light,moderate or vigorous).

These calculators are said to be pretty accurate if you put in the right information. They are not 100% but considered closer to the actual amount than wearable devices (like my Fitpolo!) and definitely the ones shown on gym equipment.

Physical activities that burn the highest and lowest amount of calories

While the amount of calories we burn is an individual thing, there are types of physical activities that will burn considerably more or considerably less than others.

Here are five workouts that tend burn a lot more calories than others:

  1. Running
  2. Jumping rope
  3. High intensity interval training (HIIT)
  4. Hiking with a backpack on (with things inside of course)
  5. Moderate and vigorous cycling

Here are five workouts that tend to burn the least amount of calories:

  1. Yoga
  2. Pilates
  3. Regular cycling (no intervals or resistance) on a recumbent bike
  4. Walking
  5. Regular weightlifting (no supersets, circuits, cardio intervals or heavy weights used)

Here are five household chores that are said to burn a good amount of calories:

  1. Mowing (with a push lawn mower)
  2. Shoveling snow
  3. Mopping
  4. Scrubbing floors
  5. Vacuuming (especially if you have to move furniture around to get everything)

Also, just because the five workouts listed burn less than others- they are still wonderful for your body.

The amount of calories I burn

I decided to record the calories burned during my weightlifting and cardio/abs workouts so I can compare to them to a calculator’s estimations. The calories burned calculator I decided to use was one from Healthyeater .

The calculator has you put in your stats along with the time in minutes the activity is/will be done for. For my weightlifting workouts I used the circuit training category due to the bursts of cardio and supersets I do. I put my cardio workouts under the aerobic category.

The following is a comparison of the numbers taken from my watch and the calculator:

WorkoutCalories burned-WatchCalories burned- Calculator
Upper body (45 minutes)300268
Cardio/Abs (40 minutes)235245
Lower body (50 minutes)365335

So these estimates are different as you can see. My uneducated guess is that the actual amount of calories burned is somewhere in between both of them for each workout.

These numbers seem low to me despite the effort I put into each workout. I have to remember that I do not weigh a ton though.

Physical activity is still important

The amount of calories burned during physical activities is likely smaller than you think. That is okay though! If you have a sensible diet, even a relatively small amount can help you reach your health goals.

Thanks for reading!


Calories burned calculators:

#fitness #physicalactivity #chores #diet #calories #workouts


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