[fitness friday] 6 Ways to Burn more calories without Running

written and produced by john c ashworth, ma


Reference Point – you can calculate the metabolic equivalent or MET value of any activity by referring to published charts like this one.  Once you have that value, you can use the following equation to estimate calories burned per minute:

MET value x 3.5 x YOUR weight in kilograms/200 = kcals per minute or calories burned per minute. (Note: to get your body weight in kilograms, just divide your body weight in pounds by kilograms.)

Someone my size will burn about 10-12 calories per minute while jogging.

All of the following  calorie per minute values assume someone about my size – 5’11” and 200 pounds.

  1. Kettlebell Swings – a fantastic movement for your lower body .  In a study at the University of Wisconsin, participants burned 20.2 calories per minute.
  2. Burpees –  you can burn about 1.5 calories per burpee, so if you move fast enough – 10+ per hour will create a burn rate higher than running.
  3. Airdyne Cycling – depending on the pace, an exercise bike like the Airdyne (Pictured above) can allow you to burn more calories than running because the resistance increases as you work hardher, and you are using both your arms and your legs.  Remember though, with this one, that you will have to perform high-intensity intervals to burn more calories than running, but it can be done.
  4. Jump Rope – 13 calories per minute.  Great for your bone health too!
  5. Mini Fitness Nomad Burn circuits like this one.  I should have tracked my calorie burn while performing this circuit yesterday, but I did not.  Research on similar circuits shows a burn rate of about 13 calories per minute.
  6. Squat Jumps – in an Auburn University study, participants who performed as many squat jumps as possible for 20 seconds, rested for 10 seconds and then repeated the sequence for 4 minutes burned about 13 calories per minute.

Remember, regardless of whether or not you create a burn rate higher than running, the important point is that you can find other means of high intensity exercise that don’t pound your back and body as much as running does.  Personally, as a 47 year old man and a long history of beating myself up on the soccer field when younger, I am continually looking for ways to push myself without hurting my body.  In addition to the list above, I do publish regular exercises and workouts that fit this them and you can subscribe to them here.



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