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What are METs?
METs (metabolic equivalents)
help you calculate your body's energy expenditure with various physical activities.
One metabolic equivalent (MET) is defined as the amount of oxygen consumed while sitting at rest and is equal to
3.5 ml O2 per kg body weight x min.
An activity with a MET value of 4 means you're exerting four times the energy than you would if you were sitting still.
Thus, a brisk walk at 3 or 4 miles per hour has a value of 4 METs.
What's the connection between METs and calories?
The more oxygen your muscles use, the more calories you burn.
FYI, you have to
burn about 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound of body weight.
Thus, if you reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 calories or burn 500 more calories each day than you consume, you may be able to lose a pound a week.
It follows that if you know the MET value of a particular activity, you can easily calculate how many calories you're burning.
The formula to use is: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute.
Important to remember:
1. Start moving right now.
The American Heart AssociationTrusted Source recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week for optimal cardiovascular health.
That's equal to about
500 MET minutes per week
, according to the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
2. Energy expenditure may differ from person to person based on several factors, including your age and fitness level.
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