Calorie Burning: What Is A Met?

While we count out the calories in foods, the measurement of calories that we burn during exercise uses a similar system, though it’s called a MET. MET = Metabolic Equivalent = the amount of energy needed to perform an activity. There are far more scientific ways to measure this activity process, but it’s easier to gauge the intensity of an activity, rather than the exact caloric burn.

So, if you want to think of it this way:
• A MET value of 1 to 4 is when you are sitting in a chair and not really
using a lot of energy.
• A MET value of 4-8 is moderate, like when you are taking a brisk walk
and getting your heart rate up.
• A MET value of 8 and above is when you are sprinting and you simply
can not work any harder.

To measure how many calories you’re burning during an activity, simply find the corresponding MET value here:

From there, complete the following equation:
MET value x Body Weight x Time Spent Exercising (in hours)

So for a man that goes for a walk for 30 minutes, and weighs 70kg:
4 x 70 x 0.5 = 140 calories! (Note: Time has to be put in hours so 30 minutes equals 0.5 hours)

For those that don’t enjoy the math, I also have a METs Calculator on my website: (soon to be included on this site in the ‘Calculators’ section!)

Calories Burned For Common Activities
When you are trying to keep track of the calories you’ve burned during the course of the day, you need to know about how many calories you are burning for your regular workouts.

Here is a sampling of activities that you might use for your exercise.

NOTE: The calories burned are based on three different weights – 59 kg, 71kg, 86kg. If you weight more, you will burn more calories. If you weigh less, you will burn fewer calories.

All calories are based on 60 minutes of activity.
• Aerobics – 354, 422, 518
• Basketball – 413, 493, 604
• Bicycling (moderate) – 590, 704, 863
• Callisthenics (moderate) – 236, 281, 345
• Cleaning (general) – 148, 176, 216
• Dancing (general) – 148, 176, 216
• Hiking (cross country) – 354, 422, 518
• Horseback Riding – 236, 281, 345
• Jogging – 413, 493, 604
• Lacrosse – 472, 563, 690
• Race walking – 384, 457, 561
• Rugby – 590, 704, 863
• Running (general) – 472, 563, 690
• Swimming (moderate) – 472, 563, 690
• Tennis (singles) – 472, 563, 690
• Tennis (doubles) – 354, 422, 518
• Walking (moderate) – 207, 246, 302

While this is not a complete list by any means, you can begin to compare certain activities to things you do during your daily life to see just how many calories you may be burning off.

Another thing to note is that the harder you workout, the more calories you burn. As you get into better shape, try to push yourself to move faster and do more in order to keep that calorie burn up!

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