Cardio exercise burns calories, which makes it ideal for weight control. Any exercise that gets your heart rate going is considered cardio. Walking on a treadmill and aerobic dance are two types of cardio, but each has a different calorie burn. If you're out to lose weight, burning more calories helps get you there. Knowing just how many calories you burn during exercise is important for balancing your expenditure with the foods you eat.
Treadmill Calories Burned
Walking on a treadmill is a convenient choice because it's an all-weather activity, and if you own your own treadmill, you can walk whenever your schedule allows. Your speed and body size play a role in how many calories you burn on the treadmill. In general, a 150-pound woman burns just under 200 calories walking for one hour at two miles per hour, about 300 calories in 60 minutes walking at three miles per hour, and about 350 calories in 60 minutes walking at four miles per hour.
Aerobic Dance Calories Burned
Aerobic dance classes are offered at most gyms and recreation centers, making it pretty easy to find one that works with your schedule and ability. It's also a fun way to combine socializing with your workout. The intensity of your class determines how many calories you burn. In general, a 150-pound woman burns about 400 calories per hour in a low-impact class, but burns about 500 calories per hour in a high-intensity class. If weight loss is your goal, aerobic dance is likely a better choice than walking on the treadmill.
The intensity of your exercise is simply how difficult it feels to do it. The higher the intensity, the more calories you'll burn. So, if you take a leisurely walk on your treadmill, you'll burn some calories, but not as many as you would if you pump your arms and walk briskly. Likewise, a slow aerobics class won't burn as many calories as a pumped up version. At the same time, whether you're on the treadmill or in an aerobics class, if you take frequent rests or slow down as your session progresses, you're probably not burning as many calories as you think you are. This can seriously interfere with effective weight control, so it's important to stay at a moderate to vigorous pace throughout. At a moderate intensity, you'll be winded, but you should be able to carry on a conversation. At a vigorous intensity, talking will be more difficult and you'll be breathing heavily.
Interval training involves alternating a moderate intensity for several minutes with a faster pace for a slightly shorter amount of time. This helps you increase your calorie burn. This is perfect for getting in an effective workout in a shorter amount of time while also maximizing your calorie burn. If walking on the treadmill is your exercise of choice, using intervals can make it nearly as beneficial as an aerobics dance class. By nature, dancing involves periods at a quick pace mixed with those at a slower one, but increase the time at a vigorous intensity to increase the number of calories you burn.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.