08/03/2012 08:51 am ET

How To Burn Calories Like An Olympian

A week into London's 2012 Olympic games, we at Healthy Living are hooked, watching live streams from our desks and re-watching the broadcasts from the couch at night.

But while we've been, um, sitting, our favorite athletes have been torching serious calories on their way to the medal stand. Not to state the obvious, but as those flawless abs, strong shoulders and rock-solid thighs illustrate, our Olympians are in tip top shape, blasting thousands and thousands of calories, all in a day's work. In fact, Mayo Clinic researcher Michael Joyner told The New York Times that elite athletes can burn 15-20 calories a minute (then multiply that for a four, five or six hour training session).

While we mortal desk jockeys can't compete, why not take a page from our favorite athletes this weekend, allowing their feats of fitness to inspire us to get up off the couch and get moving? Whether you're moved by soccer stars or record-setting swimmers, we rounded up 15 popular sports from the summer Olympics, along with the amount of calories we (non-Olympians) can expect to burn in a half hour spent on each activity. All counts are approximate and based on a 150-pound person, unless otherwise noted. Let the games begin!

Calories Burned From Olympic Sports