Asking how many calories you'll burn during a 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 like your age, weight, gender and intensity level.
Leslie Sansone's line of walking programs is no different. The fitness instructors don't ever give an exact number, but for this program they're willing to admit to a 100- to 150-calorie burn for every mile you walk.
Leslie Sansone doesn't divulge how many calories are burned with one of her workouts — but depending on factors like your weight and intensity, you can burn between 100 to 150 calories per mile.
Walking Program Averages
According to Harvard Health Publishing, 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.
Adding Toning Moves
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 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 to burn 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, according to ExRx.net, 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, says the Cleveland Clinic, 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 a formula presented in an article published in March 2005 in the Journal of Sports Science that 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
- Walk at Home: "The Original Walking Workout With Leslie Sansone"
- Harvard Health Pubglishin: "Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Pulse and Heart Rate: Test Details"
- Walk at Home: "Calorie Burn per Mile"
- ExRx.net: "Target Heart Rate Range"
- ResearchGate: Journal of Sport Sciences: "Prediction of Energy Expenditure from Heart Rate Monitoring During Submaximal Exercise"