If you've decided to throw away your oversized tubs of chocolate fudge ice cream and dedicate yourself to exercising, you've already made the important first step toward shedding some fat. Every type of exercise helps you burn calories at a different rate, and if you don't want to splurge for a gym membership, simple activities such as walking and riding a bike can help you burn hundreds of calories.
Although your body is constantly burning calories at a slow rate, you'll begin seriously burning calories to help you shed some fat when you increase the intensity of your activity, whether it's exercise or work. To lose fat, you must burn more calories than you consume. Burning 1 pound of fat requires you to burn 3,500 excess calories, according to MayoClinic.com. You can't burn 3,500 calories in a single workout; instead, try burning 700 extra calories per day for five days to lose 1 pound per week.
Walking Calories Burned
The more you weigh and the faster and longer you walk, the more calories you can expect to burn. If you weigh 155 pounds, Harvard Medical School reports that you'll burn 149 calories during a 30-minute walk at 3.5 mph. If you can increase your speed to 4 mph, you'll burn 167 calories in 30 minutes. A 4.5-mph pace will result in 186 calories burned every half hour.
Cycling Calories Burned
Even if you ride a bike at a relatively slow pace, you'll burn significantly more calories than you do while walking. Harvard Medical School notes that a 155-pound person cycling between just 12 and 13.9 mph will burn 298 calories in 30 minutes. If this person can increase her speed to between 14 and 15.9 mph, she'll burn 372 calories in 30 minutes. Cycling at more than 20 mph will result in at least 614 calories burned per half hour.
Aerobic Exercise Benefits
Walking and riding a bike are common aerobic exercises that provide you with far more benefits than just burning calories to lose fat. Regular aerobic exercise such as walking and cycling can boost your endurance, help you avoid illnesses, reduce your risk of serious medical conditions such as heart disease, improve your mood through the release of endorphins, strengthen your cardiovascular system and regulate your cholesterol levels. Walking is a low-impact exercise, but cycling provides even less of an impact for your lower-body joints because your feet remain on the pedals and don't contact the ground.
- MayoClinic.com: Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour
- Go Ask Alice: How Many Calories Does it Take to Lose One Pound?
- University of Miami Health System: Exercise
- MayoClinic.com: Aerobic Exercise: Top 10 Reasons to Get Physical
- MayoClinic.com: Walking: Trim Your Waistline, Improve Your Health
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.