In Two Hours of Soccer Practice How Many Calories Do You Lose?
When it comes to burning calories, soccer is one of the best activities you can choose, according to a study published in "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" in 2011. The quick-burst nature of the sport makes it an excellent interval-training workout. Soccer practice will mean more downtime than during a game, but you’ll still find plenty of opportunities for burning calories. Of course, how many calories you burn is also dependent on how much you weigh: Doing the same activity side by side, heavier people will burn more calories than people with a slighter build.
A skills-oriented practice will have frequent breaks. You may be working on your dribbling skills, shots on goal, or practicing plays or strategy. In a practice like this, there will be plenty of starts and stops where you’ll be listening to your coach. Still, the calorie burn can be pretty impressive: A person who weighs around 130 pounds will burn about 820 calories over a two-hour practice. A 150-pound athlete will use closer to 1,000 calories. For someone who weighs 180 pounds, the calorie burn is about 1,140, and a 205-pounder can expect to work off about 1,300 calories.
When you’re building your stamina in practice, you can work harder than you might during an actual match. Someone who weighs 130 pounds will burn around 1,180 calories; 150 pounds equals about 1,400 calorie burn; a 180-pounder will burn 1,640 calories; and a 205-pound player will use up 1,860 calories.
Getting More Out of Practice
If you want to get a better calorie burn during a skills-oriented session, try bouncing on your toes or hopping slightly from foot to foot when your coach is talking to keep your heart rate up. And look for more opportunities to run and sprint. When you’re practicing shots on goal, for instance, sprint after your shots to collect the ball, or jog halfway down the field and back before you take your next shot.
Don’t Cancel Out Your Calorie Burn
When you’re not on the field, take care to make smart nutritional choices by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein like chicken or turkey. Avoid high-calorie treats like candy bars. Just one king-size candy bar could add back all the calories you burned during practice.
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities: A Second Update of Codes and MET Values
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: Compendium of Physical Activities: An Update of Activity Codes and MET Intensities
- NutriStrategy.com: Calories Burned During Exercise, Activities, Sports and Work
John Hastings has written and edited health, fitness and science stories for magazines, websites and iPad publications. He has held senior editorial positions at "O, The Oprah Magazine," "Reader’s Digest" and "Health." He has also contributed to magazines such as "Men’s Journal" and "Bon Appetit."