Health Library







Categories > Exercise and Fitness > Cross-training

Burn, baby, burn
Variety: The spice of exercise, too


Fitness fact
Fitness fact

A 150-pound person who walks for one hour at a moderate 3.5-miles-per-hour pace burns roughly 250 calories—the equivalent of a bowl of oatmeal with a cup of skim milk.


ActivityApproximate calories burned (per hour)aerobic dancing442hiking408bicycling, outdoor544jogging544racquetball544bicycling, outdoor476rope jumping680roller skating476cross-country skiing544downhill skiing408stair climbing612scrubbing floors440swimming408tennis476

ActivityApproximate calories burned (per hour)aerobic dancing442hiking408bicycling, outdoor544jogging544racquetball544bicycling, outdoor476rope jumping680roller skating476cross-country skiing544downhill skiing408stair climbing612scrubbing floors440swimming408tennis476

That fitness walk was good for starters, but your bathroom scale is telling you to step it up. Only problem is, you have a busy schedule. Instead of going longer (adding minutes to your session), you’ve got to go harder. That’s not a bad thing. Working out more vigorously is time-efficient—it burns more calories and boosts your fitness level.

Here are approximate calorie counts, based on a 150-pound person, for a number of activities. If you weigh 120 pounds or 180 pounds, you will burn fewer or more calories, respectively, than a 150-pound person who is working at the same intensity. Other activities that burn more than seven calories a minute include race-walking, water-jogging, vigorous stationary bicycling, karate, tae kwon do, wheelchair basketball and tennis, and energetic square dancing and folk dancing.

Variety: The spice of exercise, too

Try different activities, since performing the same activity every day can lead to overuse injuries like tennis elbow or an Achilles tendon tear. An interesting mix might include jogging (a weight-bearing exercise that strengthens bones), swimming (a joint-friendly, no-impact exercise), skating (handy for getting the kids to exercise, too) and tennis or aerobic dance (a nice way to socialize).