Have fun and burn calories
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Monday, July 23, 2012
7/23/12 at 3:42 AM
When you think of exercise, you might not consider horsing around in the pool or a game of Wii.
Quite a few summer activities that don't typically fall under the category of true cardio can be beneficial - at least more so than being completely sedentary.
We asked a couple of local fitness experts how many calories you can actually burn doing fun stuff, even activities inside on days it's too hot to play outside.
A few months ago, Jessie Smith, who's an exercise physiologist with Hillcrest Exercise & Lifestyle Programs, gave a presentation on video game consoles, like Wii and Kinect for Xbox. She was expressing the importance of physicians asking their patients if they owned such games, especially in the summer when it's too hot outside to be very active.
Smith tested out Zumba on Kinect and played the "Adventures" game that comes with Xbox, and it kept her heart in a cardio zone.
"It won't make you an athlete, but it will give you a workout," Smith said.
"It's better than doing nothing. You just have to keep moving, and you can't cheat."
Ann Walton, executive director of the St. John Siegfried Health Club, rates activities on low, medium and high levels.
Low-energy activities would be playing cards or a board came, playing Wii, taking a light stroll - doing stuff where you're moving a little bit, she said.
Medium-energy activities include bowling, playing catch, bicycling on a flat surface, even water-tubing, or getting in and out of the water when you're skiing at the lake - things that require a little more physical movement but frequent pausing. Playing Wii tennis could be a medium activity, as long as you're playing someone comparable to your own skill level, Walton said.
"Wii bowling? I don't see," she said.
High-energy activities involve more continuous, nonstop action, like playing water volleyball, flag football or tennis, or running.
With low activities, you're burning five to six extra calories per minute, Walton said. Medium is more like an extra seven to eight calories per minute, and high - with heavy breathing - is usually 10 to 12 more calories a minute.
Of course, the exact calories you burn depends on things like your age, weight, height, sex and health issues, Smith said.
"As we age, we start losing our metabolism," she said.
When she works out, Smith goes for an hourlong walk, which is about 3.5 miles, and burns about 300 calories. She's short and doesn't weigh as much as a guy, so she'll burn fewer calories.
Most people burn about 100 calories a mile, Smith said. But a man the same height as she is can burn about 100 calories more because men have more muscle mass.
"The more you weigh, the more calories you'll burn," Smith said.
If it's too hot to be outside, clean your house more frequently, Smith said. Dusting furniture and general house cleaning can burn about 148 calories an hour for a 130-pound woman.
"It's really about how much energy you're putting into it," Walton said.
Plus, what you do after the activity counts, she said. A big bowl of ice cream negates an hour of horseplay in the pool or flag football. Opt for watermelon or popsicles instead.
"If you go high-calorie right after it, it completely cancels it out," she warned.
Burn those calories
You might be surprised how many calories are used playing a game of pool or even brushing your teeth.
Quite a few websites offer calorie counters, such as HealthStatus.com, which list various activities from high-impact aerobics and cooking to fishing and playing golf.
Just plug in your weight, find the activity you're interested in, plug in the number of minutes you'll be involved in it, and voila - you have an approximate figure for how many calories you can burn.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's FastStats in 2011 said the average American man weighed 195 pounds and an average woman weighed 165 pounds. Those are the figures we used for the following activities and calories burned during 30 minutes.
High-impact aerobics: 262 female, 310 male
Cycling (12-14 mph): 327 female, 386 male
Bowling: 113 female, 134 male
Card-playing: 59 female, 70 male
Cooking: 99 female, 117 male
Football (playing catch): 94 female, 111 male
Gardening: 202 female, 239 male
Mowing (push): 163 female, 193 male
Rearranging furniture: 247 female, 292 male
Sex (foreplay): 54 female, 64 male
For dozens of other activities, check out tulsaworld.com/healthstatuscalories.
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483
MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World