Have you ever been sweating through a strenuous workout and wondered just how many calories you were actually burning? Here are a few popular exercises and the average amount of calories we're burning. 


I always forget the freewheeling nature of riding a bike. It's so easy and carefree, but riding a bike can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. New York City based Paula Procida is a personal trainer and she says that if you're really engaging your core and getting the full range of motion, your ride can burn way more calories. If you take it easy and ride at 10 to 12 miles an hour, you're going to burn around 250 calories, but if you kick it up to 16 to 20 miles an hour, you're going to burn over 700 calories an hour. Bike riding season is winding down, but you can still take spin classes and that also burns over 700 calories an hour.


Sometimes if I'm not in the mood for a full on butt kicking work out or a long hot run, I'll just do jumping jacks or something and it turns out that calisthenics like jumping jacks or pushups aren't just a warm up to a more high impact workout. They actually build muscle and burn fat, too. If we do a routine of jumping jacks, pushups, pull ups and crunches we can burn over 250 calories in about a half an hour and because most of these exercises just use our own body weight as resistance, no heavy or expensive equipment is needed.


I dance very poorly, but I guess the main idea here is to just get moving, right? Well, that's better than not moving because dancing for 30 minutes can burn anywhere from 100 to 400 calories depending on your moves. If you're more into the ballroom dancing type like waltz, cha cha, or fox trot, those are on the lower end of impact so you'll burn fewer calories, but if you take a zumba or jazzercise class, those will burn closer to 400 and 500 calories.


I tend to incorporate all of these into my outside routine. Walking burns anywhere from 80 to 100 calories per mile, so if you’re out walking the dog or walking for fitness, make sure you’re going at a brisk pace to up your burn and Paula adds that you should also walk far enough to up your burn as well. Jogging at a pace of five miles an hour can burn over 250 calories an hour. If you’re going to run, run at a good clip and a steady pace for 30 minutes, that goes up to almost 500 calories in just a half an hour. Adding hills and stairs can also add to the burn.


I was a swimmer in school and have been swimming since I was an infant. I love it and swim every chance I get. Trainer Lance Cummings says that swimming is an excellent way to get a full body workout without wear and tear on your joints. If you swim for 20 minutes at a slow but steady pace, you can expect to burn about 225 calories. If you up that to a vigorous freestyle or breast stroke, Lance says that ramps up the burn to 320 calories. I used to swim at a good steady pace every day and within two weeks I had lost 10 pounds.

Also don’t forget about afterburn with all of these exercises. There's the initial burn when you're doing these exercises, but afterward, your body continues to burn calories. In fact, did you know that for every pound of muscle you gain, you burn 50 extra calories just by doing nothing.