Burning calories is the means to maintaining a healthy weight. According to a recent Harvard study of 17,000 people, burning an extra 700 to 2,000 calories a week by walking, playing sports, or doing some other form of exercise increases life span. The health benefits seem to level off at about 2,000 calories a week, which is equivalent to walking three miles a day.
Because the amount of calories burned during a workout depends on a person's weight and the intensity and duration of the activity, researchers suggest finding personal benchmarks based on individuals weight and lifestyle. For example, exercise standards for a 155-pound person say walking for 30 minutes at four miles-per-hour burns 150 calories. Heavy cleaning for 45 minutes burns 250 calories, and an hour of singles tennis burns 300 calories.
The report explains that intensity makes a difference. The authors say for an activity to benefit your cardiovascular system, the intensity must be enough to increase heart rate and speed up your breathing. Depending on your free time and preferences, brief sessions of intense activity can burn the same number of calories as longer or more frequent sessions of a less intense activity.
For an inexpensive and accessible option, researchers suggest walking as a good exercise. Apart form burning calories researchers say that walking is a weight-bearing exercise that can also prevent osteoporosis.