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Meet the METs

Updated: September 01, 2008

Most of us think of exercise as burning up calories. But exercise researchers think in metabolic equivalents, or METs.

A single MET is the amount of energy you expend when you're sitting quietly. An activity is rated at 2 METs if it requires twice as much oxygen as sitting, 3 METs if it requires three times as much oxygen, and so forth and so on.

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