1 OCT 2017
Everything we do burns calories. But have you ever wondered how your running habits compare to your friend’s cycling sessions? Or how your weekend kayaking trip stacked up to a morning swim?
Calorie-counting isn’t the best way to lose weight – for that, you’re better off focusing on which foods you eat. But exercise offers a huge range of mental and physical health benefits, and it can be useful to know how much fuel you are burning.
The Mayo Clinic drew on research from the US National Institutes of Health to rank 36 popular forms of exercise based on their caloric impacts. We’ve ordered them below from least to most intense, and added a few sports (soccer, rock climbing, and kayaking).
Our list includes the approximate calories burned in an hour for a 160- and a 200-pound person (72.5kg / 90.7kg), in that order.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, American women weigh 168.5 pounds (76.4kg) on average, compared with 195.7 pounds (88.8kg) for the average American man.
Of course, the number of calories you burn varies based on body mass, body fat, age, sex, efficiency of movement, and conditions like altitude that impact the energy required for an activity.
To get a more accurate estimate, you can factor your specific weight and chosen physical activity into our guide.
It’s also important to note that the figures below only count time spent engaged in the activity – so 60 minutes playing soccer doesn’t count as a full hour if you spent 15 minutes on the sideline.
Also, doing an exercise in a vigorous way can burn up to twice as many calories as doing the same activity in a casual way.
Here’s the full list (160lb / 200lb):