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Whether you want to lower your blood pressure, lose weight, boost your energy or improve your mood, regular exercise can help you achieve this. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting at least 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise on five days of the week and performing strength training on at least two days of the week. Understanding which factors determine how many calories your body burns during exercise can help you maximize your workout.
Exercise Intensity and Duration
The harder you exercise, the harder your heart has to work and the more calories you burn. The CDC states that two minutes of moderate-intense exercise is equal to one minute of vigorous-intense exercise. This means that you can cut a moderate-intense cardio session in half if you exercise at a more challenging intensity. When exercising at a moderate intensity, you can still have a conversation but not sing. When working out at a vigorous intensity, you can't complete entire sentences and are breathing heavy and sweating.
Gender and Age
Your gender and age partly determine how many calories you burn when exercising. Because men generally have more muscle tissue and less fat than women do, they burn more calories during exercise. When you exercise, muscle tissue is active while fat is passive and just sits there. According to the Fitness Magazine website, a man's metabolism is about 10 to 15 percent higher than that of a woman. Age also affects caloric burn, because you lose muscle tissue, which slows down your metabolism. To combat this, maintain muscle tissue by performing strength-training exercise on at least two days of the week.
The more you weigh, the more calories you burn when exercising, because your body has to use more energy and work harder to move itself. According to MayoClinic.com, a 160-pound. person can burn about 423 calories by swimming laps for one hour. A 240-pound person can burn about 632 calories by doing the same exercise for the same duration.
Choice of Exercise
The type of exercises you perform determine how many calories you burn. For instance, walking for 30 minutes on an even surface burns fewer calories than jogging for 30 minutes on the same surface. There's also a difference in caloric burn when it comes to cardio and strength training. When compared to cardio, strength training burns fewer calories in the moment. Because strength training maintains and increases muscle tissue, it promotes caloric burn in the long run, even when you're at rest. Each pound of muscle sustains itself by using about 35 calories a day, while each pound of fat uses only 2 calories.