Only 56% of Americans Have an "Active" Lifestyle?.. Read On!!

How many americans don't exercise? An estimated 81.6 million..are you one of 56% of Americans who have an "active to healthy level" when it comes to sports, fitness and recreation in America?  That was the percent of people the 2016 Participation Report by the Physical Activity Council estimates are doing high calorie-burning activities or going to the gym at least three times a week.

So which activities burn the most calories per hour?

  1. Cross Country Skiing
  2. Biking
  3. Running
  4. Jump Roping
  5. Boxing
  6. Canoeing/Rowing
  7. Squash
  8. Swimming
  9. Rock Climbing
  10. Soccer/Rugby

Does Intensity Play A Huge and Important Role?

Try and make time to exercise.  Dedicate an hour a day to get in your exercise.  You probably want to get the most from the exercise you do by engaging in activities that burn the most calories.

One measurement to look at is the MET (Metabolic Equivalent).  This is the ratio of the work metabolic rate to the resting metabolic rate. Now this is some technical jargon, but understanding the value of one MET helps you understand how hard you are working towards your goal.  One MET is defined as 1 kcal/kg/hour and is roughly equivalent to the energy cost of sitting quietly. 

Take a look at some of the MET values listed that can vary depending on the intensities in (for example) "running":

  • Running 5.5 min mile or 10.9 mph (17.12 MET)
  • Running 6 min mile or 10 mph (15.21 MET)
  • Running upstairs (14.26 MET)
  • Running 6.5 min mile or 9 mph (14.26 MET)
  • Running 7.5 min mile or 8 mph (12.85 MET)

The more intense you exercise, the higher your metabolic rate and the more calories you burn; however, watch your heart rate during training, be careful that it doesn't exceed 70% MAX for longer than 8 minutes, or you will burn more muscle than fat (which is why I don't support only running to get into shape).  Running can be ok, if you stop to do burpees or pushups every 5 minutes (allowing the heart rate to calm down by changing the constant frequency that "only running long distances" does NOT give you.

Why and How does it burn Muscle?: 

1g of Protein = 4 calories

1g Fat = 9 calories

When your body's heart rate exceeds 70% MAX for too long, it will try to preserve fat (the higher caloric value) by burning muscle you worked so hard to build (the lower caloric value). It saves the high caloric value because the body thinks it "needs to survive". A lot of people do not know this; I teach it to all of my clients so they don't get frustrated with toning, or reaching the goals they are trying to achieve by only "running" for their cardio.