Monday, June 9, 2014

How do I calculate calories burned?

Calculating calories burned isn't easily found by using an easy equation, there are many factors that go into the number of calories burned -- weight, gender, age, resting heart rate & intensity level.

If you are looking for an accurate calorie burn, using the monitors on indoor bikes, treadmills and other equipment is not your the best - they are gross generalizations and can be off by up to 20%.  Some equipment is advanced enough to take into account age and weight, but factors such as gender, heart rate and intensity level are still unknowns (hey, a 6.0 might be a killer for me on the treadmill, but for the guy next to me it's just another walk in the park).

The most effective way to manually calculate calorie burn is to invest in a heart-rate monitor and use one of the formulas below.

  • Male: ((-55.0969 + (0.6309 x HR) + (0.1988 x W) + (0.2017 x A))/4.184) x 60 x T
  • Female: ((-20.4022 + (0.4472 x HR) - (0.1263 x W) + (0.074 x A))/4.184) x 60 x T
HR = Heart rate (in beats/minute)
W = Weight (in kilograms)
A = Age (in years)
T = Exercise duration time (in hours)

Or you can go to Shape Sense to plug in the numbers like I do!  

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