What Are Calories?
Before discussing what activities burn calories, you should know exactly what calories are and how the body uses
them. Calories are a measure of energy and indicate how much energy it takes to change the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius. How that relates to food and energy can be kind of confusing, but basically it describes how much energy your body can get through eating or drinking food sources that contain calories. If a food product contains 100 calories, that’s how much energy your body will be supplied with after your body breaks the food down to its bare essentials.
How Are Calories Used?
Your body needs calories so that it can perform all of the various functions that need to happen to keep you alive. This means that calories are required to keep your heart pumping, to keep your lungs breathing air, to keep you warm, to digest the food you eat, to grow your hair, skin and nails, etc.
Your body also needs calories in order for you to be able to get up in the morning, prepare breakfast, drive to work, perform your job, drive to the gym, work out, go home and prepare dinner–and everything else in between.
The minimum amount of calories you need to keep the body doing these various vital functions is measured by the Basal Metabolic Rate. For example, the average adult male needs about 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day. Anything above this rate that isn’t generally burned off through activity may be stored as fat.
The general rule of thumb is that if calories consumed are greater than calories expended, you will gain weight. If the calories consumed are less than the calories expended, you will lose weight. If both are equal, you will stay the same.
To figure out how many calories you need on a daily basis, try this [Calorie Needs Calculator](/tools/Active.com (2011, February 17). Calorie Needs Calculator. Retrieved from http:/www.active.com/fitness/calculators/calories.htm) on Active.com. All you have to do is select your gender and then put in your height, your weight, your age and your activity level. You will get a fairly accurate estimate.
Activities That Burn Calories
Now that you know what calories are, how they work and how many your body needs it’s time to figure out what activities you can do to burn off any excess calories. There are many things that can be done to burn off calories which can be a lot of fun.
Here is a list from [Buskisa.com](/tools/Bukisa.com (2011, February 17). 20 Daily Activities You Can Do That Burn Calories. Retrieved from http:/www.bukisa.com/articles/133397_20-daily-activities-you-can-do-to-burn-calories) that provides 20 different daily activities that you can do and the amount of calories that can be burned from doing them:.
- Kissing for 1 minute: 30 calories
- Sleeping: 60 calories/hour
- Watching television: 75 calories/hour
- Standing in a queue: 100 calories/hour
- Driving: 120 calories/hour
- Ironing clothes: 150 calories/hour
- Repairing the car: 200 calories/hour
- Gentle stroll: 220 calories/hour
- Cleaning the house: 240 calories/hour
- Climbing stairs: 300 calories/hour
- Digging in the garden: 360 calories/hour
- Skating: 360 calories/hour
- Rock climbing: 390 calories/hour
- Mowing the lawn: 400 calories/hour
- Dancing: 400 calories/hour
- Playing tennis: 420 calories/hour
- Playing footbal: 650 calories/hour
- Swimming: 720 calories/hour
- Skipping with a rope: 750 calories/hour
- Jogging at 7 miles/hour: 920 calories/hour
You might also go to HealthStatus.com and use their Calorie Burn Estimator which has a very nice list of a number of activities that you can choose from. All you have to do is put in your weight and the amount of time you wish to do the activity and the site will give you a fairly accurate estimate of how many calories you will burn performing the activity.
HealthStatus.com (2011, February 17). Calorie Burn Estimator. Retrieved from https://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc
Roth.net (2011, February 17). What Are Calories? Retrieved from https://www.roth.net/articles/misc/calories/
KidHealth.org (2011, February 17). Learning About Calories. Retrieved from https://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/food/calorie.html#
Active.com (2011, February 17). Calorie Needs Calculator. Retrieved from https://www.active.com/fitness/calculators/calories.htm
Bukisa.com (2011, February 17). 20 Daily Activities You Can Do That Burn Calories. Retrieved from https://www.bukisa.com/articles/133397_20-daily-activities-you-can-do-to-burn-calories