Wellness Tips

I burn how many calories doing that!?!

How do you know what exercises and activities are going to give you the biggest bang for your calorie-burn buck?

Here is a list of various activities to give you an idea of how each affects your burn. Sitting still (aka at rest), most people expend roughly 1-2 calories per minute, depending on your body weight, sex, etc. I have included both activities that burn a lot of calories, and also a separate chart that shows activities that don’t burn very many.

Use these charts as references.

Note: This chart is based on a 150-pound woman. Men and women weighing over 150 pounds will burn more calories during the same activities, and those that weigh less will burn less.

aerobics: low impact 170
aerobics: high impact 238
elliptical trainer: general 213
calisthenics: vigorous, jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, pullups 272
weight lifting: light/moderate 108
weight lifting: vigorous 207
running: 6.7 mph (9 min/mile) 374
walk: 4 mph (15 min/mi) 170
stretching: mild, hatha yoga 85
ice skating: moderate intensity 238
sledding, toboggan, bobsled 238
skiing/snowboarding: downhill, moderate effort 204
operating a snow blower: walking 153
shoveling snow: by hand 238
vacuuming 119
cleaning house: general, light 87
decorating Christmas tree 85
food shopping: with cart 78
shopping 78
playing w/kids: moderate effort 153
baking and food preparation 136
Unloading car 102


reading: sitting 44
standing in line: light, holding items 68
sitting, watching TV 34
writing 61
wrapping gifts 51
socializing, standing 61
playing cards 51

Source: http://www.caloriesperhour.com

Extra Tips and Tricks To Get That Metabolism Roaring

So now that you know what activities are more energy expensive, so to speak, you’ve still got to do what you’ve got to do, right?
Here are a few ways to get in some extra activity and burn off a few more calories in the midst of getting things accomplished.

  • Sets of 25 jumping jacks at commercial breaks
  • Dance around the living room with your kids.
  • Do wall sits while you are writing your grocery list.
  • Take the stairs at the mall rather than the escalator or the elevator.
  • Don’t sit down while you are talking to Aunt Thelma on the phone. Walk around the house in one giant circle.
  • After dinner don’t sit down to chat, bundle up and take the dog for a walk with a few family members. If you are in a warm weather climate (YAY for you!) head outside for a game of family flag football rather than sitting down to play cards.
  • Hands down, THE biggest calorie burning tip: Make sure to get in a good workout the morning.

You can see from the chart above what a difference even just a half an hour can make

Examples Always Prove the Point Better

Let’s take a look at an example. Using this calculator, a 30 year old woman, at 5’-6”, 150 pounds burns roughly 1476 total calories, if she were at rest all day long.

Suppose on Christmas Eve she wakes up, and decides that she doesn’t want to work out. She spends her day doing light activity, getting herself ready, wrapping presents, watching some Christmas movies on TV, cooking, and baking. Then her family and friends arrive, and the rest of her night is spent socializing, eating, drinking and so on.

Her activity factor for the day would be around a 1.2, which would mean that her total burn for the whole day would be 1771 calories.

Now, let’s say she woke up and went to the gym for a 45 minute vigorous workout, did some stretching, got herself ready, ran some errands, came home to cook, but added in some jumping jacks, danced with the kids, and never really sat down until the company arrived. Her activity factor in this case would be around 1.725, which would make her total burn for the day approximately 2546 calories.