Burn Calories

How many calories are used in typical activities?Man Running

The following table shows calories used in common physical activities at both moderate and vigorous levels.

Calories Used per Hour in Common Physical Activities

Moderate Physical Activity

Approximate Calories/30 Minutes for a 154 lb Person1

Approximate Calories/Hr for a 154 lb Person1

Hiking

185

370

Light gardening/yard work

165

330

Dancing

165

330

Golf (walking and carrying clubs)

165

330

Bicycling (<10 mph)

145

290

Walking (3.5 mph)

140

280

Weight lifting (general light workout)

110

220

Stretching

90

180

Vigorous Physical Activity

Approximate Calories/30 Minutes for a 154 lb Person1

Approximate Calories/Hr for a 154 lb Person1

Running/jogging (5 mph)

295

590

Bicycling (>10 mph)

295

590

Swimming (slow freestyle laps)

255

510

Aerobics

240

480

Walking (4.5 mph)

230

460

Heavy yard work (chopping wood)

220

440

Weight lifting (vigorous effort)

220

440

Basketball (vigorous)

220

440

1Calories burned per hour will be higher for persons who weigh more than 154 lbs (70 kg) and lower for persons who weigh less.
Source: Adapted from Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, page 16, Table 4.

To help estimate the intensity of your physical activity, see Physical Activity for Everyone: Measuring Physical Activity Intensity.

Moderate: While performing the physical activity, if your breathing and heart rate is noticeably faster but you can still carry on a conversation — it’s probably moderately intense. Examples include—

  • Walking briskly (a 15-minute mile).
  • Light yard work (raking/bagging leaves or using a lawn mower).
  • Light snow shoveling.
  • Actively playing with children.
  • Biking at a casual pace.

Vigorous: Your heart rate is increased substantially and you are breathing too hard and fast to have a conversation, it’s probably vigorously intense. Examples include—

  • Jogging/running.
  • Swimming laps.
  • Rollerblading/inline skating at a brisk pace.
  • Cross-country skiing.
  • Most competitive sports (football, basketball, or soccer).
  • Jumping rope.