How many calories can you burn with indoor exercises?

If you’re looking for a place to exercise where there’s air-condition comfort, the latest fitness machines and even shower facilities, then the gym is for you.

“To lose weight, you should target to do moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at least 250 minutes weekly. Pick a workout that you enjoy doing and you’re more likely to stick with it,” advises Ms Cindy Ng Li Whye, Principal Physiotherapist at the Department of Physiotherapy and LIFE Centre, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group.

Below is a list of common indoor exercises found in most gyms and the number of calories burnt per 30 minutes. For simpler understanding, we’ve compared these figures to foods commonly found in Singapore.

Remember, to lose weight, you need to consistently burn more calories than you consume. For every 3,850 calories deficit, you can lose half a kilo (or 3,500 calories per pound). So pick up an exercise you like and burn those calories away!

Values are tabulated based on a person’s average weight of 70kg. As always, it is advisable to check with your doctor first before starting any new exercise programme.

Stair machine

Whether you’re looking to burn calories or tone y​our legs, the stair treadmill is a good option. Like the elliptical trainer and stationary bicycle, it exerts little impact on your knees.

Calories burnt (in 30 min) Roughly equivalent to…
2231 bowl of soto ayam (219 kcal)

Stationary bicycle (moderate pace)

Cycling on a stationary bike lets you burn calories without having to worry about the weather. Stationary bicycles also come with a host of features including heart rate monitors.

Calories burnt (in 30 min) Roughly equivalent to…
2601 bowl of wanton soup with chye sim (258 kcal)


If you are looking for a fun way to lose weight, try Zumba! This energetic, dance-aerobic exercise combines Latin music with easy-to-follow dance moves to give you a full body workout.

Calories burnt (in 30 min) Roughly equivalent to…
2871 roti prata with egg (288 kcal)

Bollywood aerobics

Bollywood aerobics is gaining traction among indoor exercise options. It combines both high and low-impact moves to kick-start your fitness and weight loss regimen.

Calories burnt (in 30 min) Roughly equivalent to…
3001 ;McDonald'​s cheeseburger ​(30​0 kcal)

Elliptical trainer

The elliptical trainer gives you a great all-round cardiovascular workout, while having virtually no impact on your joints. Dual handlebars and pedals allow you to exercise both your arms and legs all in one synchronised motion. Given that it is low-impact, it is also an ideal machine for seniors.

Calories burnt (in 30 min) Roughly equivalent to…
3351 pork floss bun (337 kcal)

Need help adopting a better lifestyle? The LIFE Centre at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) has a multidisciplinary team of experts who can provide you with guidance on weight management, exercise and diet.

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