How to Calculate the Number of Calories Burned Running and What This Really Means

How to Calculate the Number of Calories Burned Running and What This Really Means
The number of calories burned running or during any exercise varies considerably depending on factors such as what methods or exercise you use, how often, and at what intensity.
By running you have chosen an activity that's an excellent way to burn calories. In fact it's second only to cross country skiing which is not something that's available to most people.
The amount of calories that running burns per mile varies from person to person depending on factors such as your sex, weight, and running speed. The most important factor is your weight because the heavier you are the more you'll burn due to the extra energy that's required to the carry this weight over a certain distance.
The following equations can be used to calculate the number of calories burned running:
Gross burn rate per mile = 1.65 x weight (kg)
Net burn rate per mile = 1.39 x weight (kg)

Gross burn rate per mile = 0.75 x weight (pounds)
Net burn rate per mile = 0.63 x weight (pounds)
The gross burn rate is the total number of calories burned during running which includes your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). BMR is the amount of calories your body burns per day when at complete rest in order to keep your vital organs, muscles, and skin functioning.
In other words the gross burn rate includes the calories that you would have burned even if you hadn't run. For example, your gross burn rate may be 350 calories for a 30 minute run. If your BMR is 2000 calories for the day, then you would have burned 42 calories during the same 30 minutes even if you had chosen to rest rather than run.
The net burn rate can be thought of as the extra calories burned by adding running to your daily living routine. In the above example this would have been 308 calories. This is the best way to measure the calories burned running because you obtain a much better representation of the effect of the running undertaken.
Many people believe they're burning more than they actually are because they unknowingly use a gross figure without taking off what they would have burned even without running.
Most books, websites, and online calculators only use figures for gross burn rate without any explanation which also encourages people to overestimate the amount of calories burned running.
Therefore use the equations provided above to estimate your overall net burn rate or to estimate how much extra you can burn by running for longer distances.

However, try not to get caught up in the "more miles are better" mindset which many people do. This is far from the reality!
There are other running methods that are shorter, quicker, and have more variety that you can progress to and vastly improve your calorie and fat burning ability.
This is due to other factors which cannot easily be calculated such as burning more calories after the run, maintaining more muscle, and improving your fitness and running ability quicker which means an increased ability to burn more energy.
So remember that you can estimate the calories burned running using these equations, but this is only part of the running and weight loss picture.
James Porter is a qualified UK Athletics Coach and has been an active runner since 1997. He specialises in helping people use running to lose weight and make a real difference to their life in the process. To discover exactly how you can use running to lose weight, visit:
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