burn calories

How to Calculate Calories Burned During Exercise?

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Step 1

Calculate your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). RMR is the amount of energy expended daily by humans at rest (your daily calorie need at rest). You need to know your body weight in kg, height in cm, and age in years to calculate RMR.

Formula for men,

RMR = (9.99×BW) + (6.25×Ht) – (4.92×Age) + 5

Formula for women,

RMR = (9.99×BW) + (6.25×Ht) – (4.92×Age) -161

BW – Body Weight in kg
Ht – Height in cm

Step 2

Find Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) value of your particular exercise. MET is simply defined as the ratio of metabolic rate (the rate of energy consumption) during a specific physical activity to Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).

MET values of some physical activities,


Physical activity MET
Light intensity activities < 3
sleeping 0.9
watching television 1.0
writing, desk work, typing 1.8
walking, 1.7 mph (2.7 km/h), level ground, strolling, very slow 2.3
walking, 2.5 mph (4 km/h) 2.9
Moderate intensity activities 3 to 6
bicycling, stationary, 50 watts, very light effort 3.0
walking 3.0 mph (4.8 km/h) 3.3
calisthenics, home exercise, light or moderate effort, general 3.5
walking 3.4 mph (5.5 km/h) 3.6
bicycling, <10 mph (16 km/h), leisure, to work or for pleasure 4.0
bicycling, stationary, 100 watts, light effort 5.5
Vigorous intensity activities > 6
jogging, general 7.0
calisthenics (e.g. pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups,jumping jacks), heavy, vigorous effort 8.0
running jogging, in place 8.0
rope jumping 10.0

Download MET values

Step 3

Calculate calorie burn using the following formula.

Caloric burn = (RMR / 24) × Time × MET value

RMR – Resting Metabolic Rate
Time – Duration of physical activity in hours
MET – Metabolic Equivalent of Task value

If you are a male with weight 70 kg, height 170 cm, and age 30 years, your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is 1619.2 calories/day.
If you do a general jogging (MET = 7) for one hour daily, you burn 472.3 calories everyday.
You will lose 1kg of body weight roughly in 16 days (If you burn 7778 calories, you will lose 1kg of your body fat).

You can select the best physical activity and duration using above formulas to meet desired body weight.


(Photo courtesy SuperFantastic)


Related Links:

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About the author
Dr. Nalaka Priyantha is the founder and author of 'DRN Health'. He currently works at the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka as a senior medical officer. He is blogging about healthy living since 2012.
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