A few years ago when I started biking to work it was primarily due to a desire to improve my fitness. I was working a lot of hours and found it difficult to find time to get to the gym. I figured that a little moderate exercise (like walking) to start and end the day would be a good way to ensure at least a nominal amount of physical activity each day.
I’ve continued to bike since that first trial and now bike for most of my daily tasks – groceries, meetings, work, etc. I’ve been pondering the exercise impact of the biking I do and wanted to do a rough estimate.
This online calculator is pretty handy to ballpark the calories burned biking. There are many others but the few I tried out gave similar results.
For a typical 3 mile ride in the city I burn about 200 calories so a round-trip would yield 400 calories burned. For a daily commute and with 2 weeks off for vacation that’d be an even 100,000 calories in a year.
If you’re looking for a way to get a bit of exercise each day, trying out bike commuting might be worth a try. Bonus: it’s really fun.
CORRECTION: After posting this I received feedback from a couple of people with more knowledge than I that calculators like the one used above overestimate the calories burned biking by quite a bit. Per their estimates, including a tracked ride, the rate per mile for biking should be around 25 calories.
Based on this number, the total for the 3 mile ride, 6 miles round trip would yield a total of 150 calories burned and an annual total of 37,500 (not 100,000).
I’m leaving the original post and this edit in case others have a similar issue regarding online calculators for this purpose.