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How Many Calories Are Burned on a Stepper?

By William McCoy

Burning calories through exercise is central to weight loss, and finding the right machine can help you shed those unwanted pounds. A stepper machine, which is also called a stair stepper, can provide a significant caloric burn and, provided you spend enough time using the machine, can be instrumental in your attempt to transform your body. The rate that this machine burns calories depends on a number of variables, including your weight, body composition and the intensity of your workout.

Burn Hundreds of Calories

Your body weight plays an important role in determining how many calories you burn while using the stepper. The heavier you are, the higher your caloric burn. A person who weighs 125 pounds burns 180 calories during a 30-minute workout with this machine. A 155-pound person burns 223 calories during a workout of the same length, while someone who weighs 185 pounds burns 266 calories in a half-hour stepper workout, according to Harvard Health Publications. A muscular person burns calories faster than a person with significant body fat, as muscle is more metabolically active than fat.

Step Toward Weight Loss

Regular stepper workouts can significantly improve your ability to achieve a caloric deficit, which is necessary if you wish to lose weight. Your body reaches this important deficit when your caloric burn over a given period of time is greater than your caloric intake. Achieving a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories results in the loss of a pound of fat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's possible to reach this deficit in a week, provided you average a daily deficit of 500 calories.

Increase Your Intensity

Although a stepper workout can help you burn a few hundred calories, provided you devote enough time to the exercise, this machine doesn't burn calories at an overly high rate. Using an elliptical trainer, for example, can burn more than 100 calories more per 30 minutes. Increase the efficacy of your stepper workout by elevating the machine's resistance; as your body works harder, your caloric burn increases. Another approach is to use wrist weights. Although these accessories can carry a risk if they're too heavy, the American Council on Exercise reports that 1- to 3-pound wrist weights can increase your caloric burn more than 10 percent during cardiovascular exercise.

Get Enough Exercise

A simple way to burn more calories with the stepper is simply to commit to longer workouts. At minimum, the average adult should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise every week, which equates to five 30-minute stepper sessions per week. For greater fitness benefits, including a higher likelihood of losing weight, increase your weekly cardio to 300 minutes, or five 60-minute stepper sessions per week. If you're short on time, use the stepper at a vigorous pace and aim for 75 to 150 minutes of cardio per week.

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