How to convert exercise to calories burned

Updated November 21, 2016

People exercise to build their fitness level, but also to burn calories and lose unwanted pounds. As you exercise, you burn a certain number of calories based on the duration and intensity of your workout. Other factors such as your age, gender, and weight play a big role in how many calories you will burn. You can easily calculate the amount of calories burnt during a workout by using a calorie counter or doing the math yourself.

Perform aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, biking or swimming to get your heart rate up to 90 beats per minute. You will need to engage in aerobic exercise at your target heart rate for an extended period of time to burn the maximum number of calories. Maintain a heart rate between 90 and 150 beats per minute for your entire workout.

Purchase a heart-rate monitor at a sporting goods store to wear during your workout. If you are using a treadmill or elliptical machine you may use the heart rate monitor built into the machine. By placing your thumb or hands on the heart rate monitor, it will instantly calculate the rate of your heartbeat during your workout. You will need to get your heart rate up to at least 90 beats per minute for your workout to burn calories, and maintain this rate for your entire workout.

Calculate calories burnt during exercise by using the following formula. You will need to know your heart rate, weight, age, and how many minutes you exercised.

For Men: [(0.4472 x heart rate) + (0.074 x weight) + (0.074 x age) - 20.4022] x time / 4.184.

For Women: [(0.6309 x heart rate) + (0.09036 x weight) + (0.2017 x age) -- 55/0969] x time / 4.184.

Design an exercise regimen that builds your heart rate up to an appropriate level for your age and general health. Engage in this exercise for the duration of time it will take to burn the amount of calories you need to lose weight or maintain physical fitness.


Most modern exercise machines will calculate how many calories you have burnt during your workout using of a calorie calculator built into the machine. Use this as a rough estimate of calories burnt. You may also use online calorie calculators to calculate calories burnt during exercise. You will need to enter your weight and the duration of your workout, as well as what type of exercise you engaged in to get an accurate count of how many calories were burnt during exercise.


Be sure to consult a doctor before engaging in any physical fitness program or exercise.

Things You'll Need

  • Heart-rate monitor
  • Bathroom scale
  • Treadmill and/or Elliptical Trainer
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