I run occasionally, walk pretty regularly and love to ride my bike on weekends when I have more time. How many calories do I burn when I do these activities, and how do these activities compare with swimming, yoga and dancing? I want to make sure I'm getting the most bang for my buck when I exercise.
The calorie-burn rate can vary depending on how quickly and intensely the activity is performed and how much a person weighs. Published calorie-burn rates are usually estimates and are sometimes exaggerated to help boost the marketability of an exercise product or an activity.
Without sophisticated equipment and exercise testing, there is no way to determine your exact calorie burn while running, walking or swimming. See the accompanying chart for a compilation of calorie-burn estimates.
Some activities have a higher calorie-burn rate than others, but you probably won't be able to perform them for the same amount of time. That can affect your overall calorie burn. For example, running at 5 mph may burn about twice as many calories as walking at 3 mph. However, you may be able to run for only 20 minutes, whereas you may be able to walk for an hour. An hour-long walk will burn a greater number of calories than the 20-minute run.