If you go a bit overboard on your daily calories, you could gain weight. But you can burn off those extra calories through exercise; choose the activity you enjoy most that will give you the right calorie burn in the amount of time you have available. In general, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends about 30 minutes of physical activity each day, but you may need to do closer to an hour a day if your goal is to lose weight.
Effects of Body Weight on Calories Burned
People who weigh more burn more calories per hour at any activity, since it takes more energy to move larger bodies. Thus, a smaller 125-pound woman will have to work harder to burn off 400 calories than a larger 240-pound man. This is one reason that, as people lose weight, they can't just continue with the same diet and exercise plan and expect to keep slimming down. As you get lighter, you need to either increase the amount of exercise you do or further decrease the number of calories you're consuming to continue losing weight.
Gym Exercises That Burn 400 Calories
The more vigorous the exercise, the faster you burn 400 calories. A 155-pound person will burn about 400 calories by vigorously riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes, but only about 200 calories during that same amount of time doing low-impact regular aerobics. A 125-pound person needs 45 minutes of high-impact step aerobics, or almost an hour doing low-impact step aerobics or high-impact regular aerobics, to burn 400 calories. A 185-pound person can burn 400 calories in 30 minutes on an elliptical machine, but only about 200 calories doing moderate calisthenics for that same amount of time. Someone who weighs 200 pounds can burn about 400 calories in 30 minutes on a stair treadmill.
Sports That Burn 400 Calories
It can be easier to get yourself motivated to exercise if you do something you enjoy, so you may want to participate in a sport rather than trying to get all your workouts at the gym. For a 125-pound person, an hour of ice skating, rollerblading or playing soccer or tennis burns more than 400 calories, as will 30 minutes of running at 8.6 miles per hour. A 155-pound person can burn slightly more than 400 calories by rock climbing, swimming the butterfly or the crawl or running at a 9-minute-mile pace for 30 minutes. If you weigh 185 pounds, you can burn 400 calories in 30 minutes by running cross country or running at an 11.5-minute mile pace or sparring in the boxing ring with a friend. A 200-pound person burns about 400 calories golfing while carrying their own clubs for an hour or downhill skiing for an hour.
Daily Activities That Burn 400 Calories
A combination of daily activities can also add up to 400 calories. Thirty minutes of playing with kids plus 30 minutes of rearranging furniture adds up to about 400 calories for a 155-pound person. Raking the lawn for 60 minutes and chopping wood for another 30 minutes add up to 400 calories for a 125-pound person, and carrying boxes for 30 minutes and cooking for 30 minutes add up to about a 400-calorie expenditure for a 185-pound person.