Pick the best exercises by fitness level and calories burned.
Metabolic Equivalent (MET)* can tell you the amount of energy burned with just about any type of physical activity or exercise. Below are MET charts for sports/hobbies, at home activities and formal exercises. The charts compare the calories burned for 30 minutes of each activity.
Definition of metabolic equivalent
The energy burned at rest, which is 30-38 calories for every 30 minutes
The energy burned with moderate exercise: 90-225 calories per 30 minute workout. (Moderate exercise is intense enough to meet health standards for the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines.)
Calories are calculated for the average adult in the US, weighing 165-190 lbs, Your exact
calories burned during exercise
may vary due to differences in muscle mass or level of effort during the activity.
More sports and leisure activities
Softball / baseball-- (5.0 MET)-- 150-188 calories
Hiking without a heavy pack-- (6.0 MET)-- 180-225 cal
Downhill skiing, moderate effort-- (6.0 MET)-- 180-225 cal
Horseback riding, trotting-- (6.5 MET)-- 195-244 cal
Tennis, singles-- (7.0 MET)-- 210-263 cal
Raquetball, casual-- (7.0 MET)-- 210-263 cal
Volleyball, competitive-- (8.0 MET)-- 240-300 cal
Touch or flag football-- (8.0 MET)-- 240-300 cal
Mountain biking--(8.5 MET)-- 255-323 cal
Rock climbing-- (11.0 MET)-- 330-413 cal
More 'At Home' Activities
Light gardening--(2.3 MET)-- 69-87 cal
General cleaning and straightening up--(2.5 MET)-- 75-95 cal
Washing dishes, clearing table--(2.5 MET)--75-95 cal
Putting away groceries--(2.5 MET)--75-95 cal
Scrubbing floors-- (3.8 MET) -- 114-143 calories
Multiple household tasks all at once.
vigorous effort (4.0 MET)-- 120-150 cal
Gardening / weeding-- (4.0 MET) -- 120-170 cal
Mowing the lawn-- (5.5 MET) -- 165-206 cal
Shoveling, moderate-- (7.0 MET) -- 210-263 cal
More 'Formal Exercise' Routines
Walking 2.0 mph-- (2.8 MET) -- 84-106 cal
Walking 3.0 mph-- (3.3 MET) -- 99-124 cal
Walking in sand-- (4.5 MET)-- 135-171 cal
Water aerobics-- (5.3 MET) -- 159-201 cal
Health club exercise
(stairclimber,elliptical trainer)--(5.5 MET) 165-206 cal
Stationary bike, 100 watts-- (5.5 MET)-- 165-206 cal
Walking 3.5 mph uphill-- (6.0 MET) -- 180-225 cal
Circuit training-- (8.0 MET) -- 240-304 cal
Swimming freestyle, vigorous-- (12.0 MET) -- 360-450 cal
Running 8 min/mile (7.5 mph)-- (12.5 MET) -- 375-469 cal
Still missing the metabolic equivalent for your activity? Find the most complete list
Think of the calories burned on the Metabolic Equivalent charts as an average. Raking the lawn can be done at a slow pace, which burns less energy, or it can be done more vigorously which burns more calories. In the same way, a light game of 2-on-2 basketball is a lighter workout than a highly competitive game of 5-on-5.
Need more guidance in picking activities? Take the
Rockport walking test.
Once you have your fitness rating
you can pick the activities that best match your fitness level. Click the chart to take the test. As you become more fit, you'll be able to add higher calorie- burning activities to your routine.
With this in mind, during whichever type of exercise or physical activity you choose for your workout, pace yourself according to your ability level. If you are a beginner, or if you need a lighter workout today, keep your effort moderate. If you are a (well-rested) fit person looking for a harder workout then you can work at a high intensity.
The Exercise Effort Scale
will help you maintain the best level of effort for your next workout.
Using metabolic equivalent allows you to include all kinds of activities in your workout plans. Sports, playing with children, yard work and dancing can all be part of your plans to get in shape. All you need to do is keep moving and maintain a moderate effort during the exercise.
Refer to the pages below for further info. They will open in a separate window so you can flip between pages.
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Rockport walking test
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