When we talk about burning calories through cardio, it’s important to know that this will always be dependent on a number of factors. These factors include the duration of the exercise, pace or intensity as well as your weight and current level of fitness.
So generally speaking, the heavier and less fit you are, the more calories you’re going to burn.
Let’s take a look at some activities over a 30 minute period and see how they measure up and compare. Bear in mind that we are always factoring in intensity and your weight so some of these measures are an estimate and range.
This tends to be one of the higher calorie burning activities as it is weight bearing and high impact. Running can also take many forms – you can focus on endurance by going for a longer run at a slower pace or to get more bang for your buck, you could tackle some interval sprints, hill work or some stairs.
30 mins (10km/hr pace): 330-490 calories burned
This style of workout has taken the world by storm and can take many forms – F45 cardio sessions, GRIT Cardio and Sprint with Les Mills, Tabata or 12WBT Express Workouts. Many people enjoy the nature of these workouts with the intense bursts of energy followed by short periods to recover.
30 mins: 250- 400 calories burned.
So often we see boxers (who are some of the fittest athletes around) doing skipping drills to help them with their hand-eye coordination and cardiovascular fitness. It is high impact, requires stamina and is such a great full body workout.
30 mins: 230-340 calories burned.
Cycling can also pack a punch as an accessible everyday calorie burning activity. Similar to running, cycling can also be performed as an endurance activity or one that includes hills and sprints outdoors. RPM, Les Mills Sprint and other cycling classes have made cycling accessible indoors.
30 mins (vigorous): 350-460 calories burned
Your calorie burn for swimming will always vary depending on the intensity as well as the stroke that you’re doing. Butterfly is always the biggest calorie kicking
30 mins (vigorous freestyle laps): 300-440 calories burned
Renowned for being an activity that has a tendency to burn fewer calories during the workout itself, research has shown that you burn more calories in the hours following a weight training session.
30 mins: 180- 260 calories burned
Less intense than running, walking still stands as an activity that can improve your fitness, is kind on your joints, burns calories and has wonderful mental health benefits.
30 mins (7km/hr pace): 150-220 calories burned.
The key is often finding the mode of exercise that works for you and that you enjoy. If you are time poor, consider training for less time but at a higher intensity, hence burning more calories. Alternatively choose activities that are less intense but be aware that these types of activities might require a longer duration in order to get the same calorie burn.