Asking how many calories you're going to burn during any workout is a very loaded question indeed. Instructors for specific fitness programs don't tend to provide an exact number of calories you'll burn, because calorie burn is so dependent on factors including your age, weight, gender and intensity level. Leslie Sansone's line of walking programs is no different. The fitness instructor doesn't ever give an exact number, but for most programs you can expect to burn between 100 and 150 calories for every mile you walk.
Walking Program Averages
According to Harvard Health Publications, a 125-pound person can expect to burn about 120 calories by walking for 30 minutes at a relatively slow 3.5 mile-per-hour pace. A 185-pound person can expect to burn roughly 178 calories walking for the same amount of time at the same pace. Sansone's workouts also include moves such as side-stepping, high-knees walking and kicking moves, which add more intensity and result in more calories burned. While age, gender, and intensity level always come into play, it's safe to assume that Sansone's walking programs are, at the very least, equivalent to low-intensity walking.
In more advanced programs, Sansone incorporates upper-body and lower-body toning moves with the use of her "toning belt" as well as resistance tubing or bands and "booster" activities like squats. The act of moving your limbs against resistance is a form of strength training. Strength training burns calories in itself -- and when performed while you're walking means more calories burned than if you were only walking. These workouts will have another, perhaps more long-lasting effect as well: muscle burns calories more efficiently than fat, so by building muscle, you'll have the potential of burning more calories even when you're not actively engaged in exercise. According to Sansone's blog, you can expect to burn roughly 100 calories per mile walked without boosters, and about 125 to 150 calories per mile when using boosters.
Ways to Gauge Intensity
If you want to get a more accurate assessment of your calorie burn, start by wearing a heart rate monitor while you do the workouts. The ideal range for calorie burning and fat loss is a heart rate that is between 60 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, so if you're within that range, you'll know you're exercising at an intensity that will yield at least some results. The most general way to calculate your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220, though a doctor or exercise specialist can help you get a more accurate reading.
Calories Based on Heart Rate
For an even more accurate assessment of the number of calories you've burned during your workout, note your heart rate during the workout, and then enter it into the following formula, which assesses your calorie burn based on age, gender, weight in kilograms and heart rate:
Men: Calories per minute = (-55.0969 + 0.6309 x Heart Rate + 0.1988 x Weight in Kilograms + 0.2017 x Age) / 4.184
Women: Calories per minute = (-20.4022 + 0.4472 x Heart Rate - 0.1263 x Weight in Kilograms + 0.074 x Age) / 4.184