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How Many Calories Will You Burn? This Exercise Chart Tells All

Three people, one male-presenting and two presenting as women, sit and high-five each other after checking the calorie chart for their sport
Content Editor & Ecotrophologist
Leonie is an ecotrophologist. She writes articles for foodspring about nutrition and healthy living. She also creates free food programs designed to help you reach your goals.

The reasons you might want to increase your daily activity are personal to you: improve your cardiovascular function to fend off heart disease, build strength to help your body’s resiliency and everyday functions, help bolster your mental health, cross-train for an upcoming race or event, work on your cardio and strength endurance, or achieve a body weight you’re comfortable with. And yes, you can — and should — block out an hour or so, several times a week, to devote to exercising. And foodspring has daily vitamins that will help keep your body functioning properly, and your workouts consistent. 

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But expending energy doesn’t have to happen at the gym. There are plenty of things you do everyday that help you reach your goals. So we’ve compiled a chart of activities and how many calories they burn in 30 minutes, based on your bodyweight (data provided by Harvard Health Publishing). Remember, these are just estimates. Two people who weigh the same number of pounds can have different body makeups, which will impact the calories you burn. And your fitness level itself affects how activity affects the calorie expenditure. 

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So you don’t need to get too hung up on the exact numbers. Instead, try to get a variety of activities at different levels of intensity. And don’t overlook all the day-to-day tasks and how you can optimize them for your health. Does your car badly need a wash? Do it yourself. Help your neighbor shovel their driveway or stack firewood. Bring your kids to the park and run around after them. Bonus points for hoisting them on your shoulders and dropping into a low squat — they might be lighter than a loaded barbell, but weight plates don’t squirm and giggle. 

Gym activity (30 minutes) 125 pound person 155 pound person 185 pound person
Weight lifting 90 108 126
Water aerobics 120 144 168
Hatha yoga 120 144 168
Moderate cardio workout 135 162 189
High-intensity cardio workout 240 306 336
Low-impact aerobics 165 198 231
Stair climbing machine 180 216 252
Vigorous weight lifting 180 216 252
Moderate intensity indoor cycling 210 252 294
High-intensity indoor cycling 315 391 441
Rowing machine 210 252 294
Circuit training 240 306 336
Elliptical 270 324 378
Bowling 90 108 125
Frisbee 85 105 125
Volleyball 90 108 126
Golfing (with a cart) 105 126 147
Golfing (carrying clubs) 165 198 231
Horseback riding 57 70 84
Walking (3.5 mph) 107 133 159
Walking (4 mph) 135 175 189
Kayaking 150 180 210
Skateboarding 150 180 210
Whitewater rafting 150 180 210
Dancing 165 198 231
Hiking (cross-country) 170 216 252
Downhill skiing 180 216 252
Swimming 180 216 252
Water skiing 180 216 252
Wrestling 180 216 252
Wheelchair basketball 195 234 273
Ice skating 210 252 294
Racquetball 210 252 294
Roller skating/blading 311 386 461
Scuba 210 252 294
Soccer 210 252 294
Tennis 210 252 294
Basketball game 240 288 336
Football 240 288 336
Hockey 240 288 336
Rock climbing 227 282 336
Running (5 mph) 240 288 336
Cross-country skiing 198 246 293
Snow shoeing 240 288 336
Beach volleyball 240 288 336
Mountain biking 255 306 357
Boxing (sparring) 270 324 378
Cross country running 255 316 377
Bicycling (14-15.9 mph) 300 360 420
Martial arts (judo, karate, kickboxing) 300 360 420
Competitive racquetball 300 360 420
Jump rope (high-intensity) 340 421 503
Jump rope (moderate intensity) 226 281 335
Running (6 mph) 300 360 420
Swimming (high-intensity lap) 300 360 420
Bicycling (16-19 mph) 360 432 504
Handball 360 432 504
Running (7.5 mph) 375 450 525
Bicycling (>20 mph) 495 594 693
Running (10 mph) 453 562 671
Outdoor activity (30 minutes)
Raking lawn 120 144 168
Gardening 135 162 189
Mowing lawn 135 162 189
Snow blowing 135 162 189
Carrying and stacking wood 142 176 210
Chopping and splitting wood 180 216 252
Shoveling snow 180 216 252
Home and Daily Life Activities
Sleeping 19 22 26
Reading 34 40 47
Standing in line 28 35 41
Cooking 57 70 84
Running around/playing with kids 114 141 168
Washing car by hand 135 162 189
House painting 142 176 210
Moving furniture 170 211 252
Moving boxes 210 252 294
SOURCE: Harvard Health Publishing

 

 

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