Badminton comes from the ancient game of battledore and shuttlecock, which likely originated more than 2,000 years ago, according to Purdue School of Science. You might be surprised to learn that today badminton is one of the world's most-played sports, second only to soccer, claims Pledge Sports.
If you're among the many fans of badminton, you'll be happy to hear that playing it can help you burn calories to manage your weight or even lose a few pounds. How many calories you burn depends on the intensity at which you play, your current body weight and other factors.
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Estimating Calorie Burn
Many things can play a role in how many calories you burn on a daily basis and how many you will burn playing badminton — including your individual physiological make-up, your sex, your muscle mass, your age and your body weight, according to the Mayo Clinic.
So, it's only possible to estimate how many calories the average person will burn performing a particular activity, and the factors generally used to determine this estimation are intensity of the activity and body weight.
Intensity correlates with the amount of energy, or calories, needed to power the activity. Most people are familiar with the amount of energy it takes to run up a flight of stairs versus walking up a flight of stairs just by the feeling. That feeling translates roughly to energy burned.
How hard are you working when you play badminton? That's going to make a big difference.
How heavy or light your body is also makes a difference. Theoretically, it takes more energy to move a heavy body through space than it does to move a lighter body. The difference is relatively minimal, however.
Calories Burned Playing Badminton
To estimate your calories burned playing badminton, a calculator such as the one provided by Orange Regional Medical Center is useful. This calculator offers two different intensities of play — recreational or competitive.
The assumption is that competitive players will play badminton at a higher intensity and therefore burn more calories. But you can be the judge of your own intensity and choose the category that best fits your level of activity.
For recreational players playing at a lower intensity, a person weighing 125 pounds can expect to burn around 310 calories per hour. If you weigh 150 pounds, you'll only burn a little more — 312 calories per hour. If you weigh 175 to 200 pounds, you'll burn approximately 315 to 317 calories.
You'll be pretty surprised to know how much upping your intensity can increase your calorie burn. If you weigh 125 pounds and play at a competitive intensity, you could burn 597 calories per hour. At 150 pounds, you'll burn 600 calories, and at 175 to 200 pounds, you'll burn 603 to 605 calories.
You can maximize your calorie burn while playing badminton by keeping yourself moving. If there's downtime between plays, jog in place or run back and forth across the court. You can also do lateral shuffles or grapevines, to not just burn more calories, but also improve your agility — your ability to move quickly and easily change directions, according to the American Council on Exercise — which can make you a better badminton player.