Measuring Calories Burned During Exercise

To help you determine how many calories you use during various activities, scientists recommend a common measure called a MET, the amount of energy you use when you sleep. It comes out to about one kilo-calorie per kilogram of body weight, or one half a calorie per pound. For example, a 130-pound person burns 60 calories per hour during sleep. A 155-pounder uses 70 calories per hour.

When you ride a bicycle at 12 miles per hour, you are exercising at about six METS or 10 times the amount of energy that you use during sleep. That's the same as running a 10-minute mile, playing racquetball competitively, jumping rope at a moderate pace or playing in a soccer game. To show you how much you increase your metabolism during exercise, consider that ten METS are equal to five times as much energy as you use when you wash dishes, shop, cook, iron or walk at a leisurely pace.

Checked 1/18/14

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