As you step into the batter's box, kick at the dirt around your feet and look toward the pitcher, you should be 100 percent focused on making contact with the ball. Now's not the time to check the scoreboard to see how long you've been playing and make a quick calculation about how many calories you've burned in the game -- keep up that inattention and you'll burn virtually no calories, as your coach will have you sitting on the bench. Although softball doesn't burn calories to lead to weight loss as quickly as many other sports, it can help you burn a few hundred calories as you release your competitive fire.
Softball Calories Burned
Your weight plays an important role in determining the rate at which you burn calories during a game of softball. Harvard Medical School reports a 125-pound person will burn 150 calories during 30 minutes of softball, while a 155-pound person will burn 186 calories in the same length of time. Unlike many other sports, softball games aren't timed, which makes it difficult to accurately estimate the length of your game. However, in a game that lasts 90 minutes, a 125-pound person and 155-pound person will burn 450 and 558 calories, respectively.
Calories and Weight Loss
You'll begin to lose weight once you burn more calories than you consume. This process, which is called creating a calorie deficit, often takes place through a combination of regular exercise and the consumption of a healthy, low-calorie diet. When you burn 3,500 excess calories, you'll lose 1 pound of fat. You obviously won't burn enough calories to lose a pound during one or two softball games, but over the course of the season, it's possible to experience weight loss.
Softball isn't an overly rigorous sport, but depending on your coach's philosophy and your trainer's workout regimens, you might find yourself performing cardio exercises such as jogging and cycling to keep in shape for the softball season. These exercises burn calories faster, making them ideal for those with weight-loss goals. A 155-pound person can burn 298 calories in just 30 minutes of jogging at 5 mph and 372 calories during a half-hour bike ride at a speed between 14 and 15.9 mph.
Despite softball's low rate of burning calories, you can use the sport to lose weight if you play it enough. One game every couple weeks won't likely have any effect to your weight, but if you play multiple games every week and also participate in a couple of practices, you'll be well on your way to creating a calorie deficit. You'll burn more calories if you're active during the game. For example, it might be tempting to play catcher to avoid having to run, but a shortstop who ranges left and right while fielding her position gets more of a workout.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.