How many calories are burned during popular physical activities? | Lifestyles

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Burning calories is often a focal point of weight loss efforts. People go to great lengths to burn more calories, but they might be surprised to learn how much they can burn by performing relatively routine physical activities.

Men and women may also be surprised to learn that they burn calories differently from each other. According to the Mayo Clinic, men generally have less body fat and more muscle than women of the same age and weight. As a result, men generally burn more calories than women, although height and body composition also affect the number of calories a person will burn during a given activity. For example, a man who is taller and more muscular than another man his age will burn more calories, even if both men do the same activity at the same level of intensity.

The US Department of Agriculture quotes the following calorie burning figures for a 154-pound, 5’10 “man who performs certain physical activities. Women likely won’t burn as many calories doing these activities, but every activity can still be an effective way for men and women to burn more calories.

• Walking (3.5 miles per hour): In 30 minutes, a man can expect to burn 140 calories. A man who walks 4.5 miles per hour will burn about 230 calories. The online health resource Healthline.com notes that a 125-pound person can burn about 150 calories by walking for 30 minutes at 4.5 miles per hour.

• Hiking: A man will burn approximately 185 calories in 30 minutes of moderate intensity hiking. Women won’t burn as many calories, but moderate, vigorous hikes are great ways to burn calories, regardless of a person’s gender.

• Gardening / Light Yard Work: A man will burn around 165 calories in 30 minutes doing light gardening / yard work, while he will burn around 220 calories doing more physically demanding garden work like chopping wood. A 125-pound person will burn around 135 calories after 30 minutes of light gardening.

• Cycling: Men can burn about 145 calories by cycling at 10 miles per hour or less for 30 minutes. That figure jumps to 295 calories when men go 10 miles per hour or faster. Healthline notes that a 125-pound person can burn about 210 calories in 30 minutes while driving between 12 and 13.9 miles per hour.

• Play with the kids: Play sessions with the kids can help moms and dads burn calories. Healthline notes that a 155-pound person can burn 149 calories in 30 minutes of play with children at moderate intensity, while a 125-pound person will burn about 120 calories at the same time.

No two people are the same, so it can be difficult for men and women to determine exactly how many calories they burn while participating in popular physical activities. But there’s no denying that many of the activities that adults do every day provide them with plenty of opportunities to burn calories.


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