When calculating calories burned when walking or running, you need to apply certain variables and combine a few equations to find the exact amount of calories you burned.
Find Your VO2
You must first find your oxygen uptake, or VO2, by using a metabolic equation. A slow jog is considered to be around 6 mph by the American College of Sports Medicine. Find your VO2 by first multiplying your speed by 0.2. Then multiply the grade of slope or incline you're jogging on by your speed and 0.9. Then add 3.5. Your speed must be in meters per minute, which is determined by taking your mph and multiplying it by 26.8. The grade of slope is written as a decimal; for example, a 2-percent grade would equal 0.02. You should assume a grade of 0 while jogging on a track.
VO2 = (0.2 x speed) + (0.9 x speed x grade of incline) + 3.5
Calories Burned Per Minute
If you ran on a track at 6 mph using the above equation, you will find your VO2 to be equal to 36 ml/kg per minute. You must now attribute your body weight; as an example, use 150 pounds, or 68 kilograms. Multiply VO2 by your body weight in kilograms, and then turn this number into liters per kilograms by dividing by 1000. This will equal 2.45 liters in the example problem. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, 1 liter of oxygen consumed is equal to expending five calories. Using this information, multiply 2.45 liters by five calories to find 12.24 calories burned per minute.
Total Calories Burned
To find total calories burned, you need to know how long you were jogging at a certain rate. In this example, assume you jogged 30 minutes. Take 12.24 calories burned a minute and multiply by 30 minutes. You will find that the 150-pound individual, jogging at 6 mph, with no handrail support, on a flat track, burned 367 calories in 30 minutes.
- "ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 8th edition"; American College of Sports Medicine; 2009
- Wayne State College: The Use of Metabolic Equations in Exercise Prescription