Is The Calorie Count On Treadmills Correct? Find Out!
Is The Calorie Count On Treadmills Correct? Read on!
The number of calories burned by you in one exercise session varies with gender, age, weight, fitness and the type of exercise you are doing. Sometimes the exercise machine will ask you for your weight. You may even have the option of entering your age and gender. However, these variable are left out by most exercise machines. Even if you have the chance of entering your weight, there is a possibility that other variable are not being included. In such situations, the machine uses a base weight of about 155 pounds, according to factory settings.
How far are the calorie burn displays of treadmills accurate?
As you work out regularly and be more fit, your body will gain efficiency. Thus, you will burn less number of calories doing the exercise that your body is used to. Treadmills cannot account for the variations in running efficiency or running form. Something as simple as this can make a huge difference in the way calories are being calculated.
It has also been found that you will burn less number of calories on the treadmill if you lean on its handles. Similarly, your calorie expenditure will reduce if you lean forward on the stair climber or favour arm motion when on the elliptical.
The University of California conducted a study to see how far the calorie trackers of exercise equipment work.
- They found that treadmills are overestimating calorie expenditure by 13%.
- Elliptical overestimates an individual’s calorie expenditure by 42%.
- Stair climber machine overestimates the expenditure of calories by about 12%
- Stationary bikes are not found to be quite accurate as they overestimate only by 7%.
How can you calculate calories burned in a better way?
Now the question is whether there is a way to get an accurate calorie count or not! First, the newer exercise machines are better. The calorie expenditure count is more accurate when the intensity of the exercise is lower such as in slow speed walking.
High intensity exercises are better for long term calorie burning and cardiovascular health. To calculate calorie expenditure accurately, you should use a fitness tracker. These trackers are far better than the calorie trackers in the exercise machine for measuring calorie expenditure in high intensity exercise.
Heart rate monitors are also pretty powerful tools that calculate calorie expenditure as your heart rate is directly related to the calories burned by you. Heart monitors can be used for any type of exercise, be it resistance training or cardio. Lower the heart rate, lesser the number of calories burned.
There is a chance for error even with heart rate monitors. So, you need to use a heart monitor with the following features:
- Chest strap monitor instead of wrist strap or handheld one to get consistent readings.
- Ability to enter age, gender, weight, resting heart rate, max heart rate and also VO2 max.
- It should have proven software and algorithms that are tested on subjects having different fitness, gender and weight.
Can you depend on the calorie counts on the treadmill?
It would be great if exercise machines had the accurate calorie trackers. However, this is not the case. All you should remember is that the number on your treadmill is an overestimate. You simply cannot rely on it!
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