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Question
Posted by: Al | 2010/12/13

Calories burned

Hi Doc,

I am curious to get an indication of how many calories I burn doing certain cardio exercises at the gym. I know this is influenced by a multitude of factors and virtually impossible to calculate exactly, but surely you can give me a ball park figure at least?

I am a 25-year old woman, 1.64m tall, weigh 52/53kg and do +-30-45min weight training and 1h cardio per day. How many calories do you estimate I burn when I:
1) run at 12km/h for 20min
2) use the stepping machine (properly) for 20min at max intensity
3) row at 13.8km/h for 10min (2300m in 10min)?

Your guidance will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you and regards,
Al

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Al

yes, ballpark figures are certainly possible.

Running is quite well established, and there's a "rule of thumb" that says you burn 1 Kcal per kilogram per kilometer. So, if you run 20 minutes at 12km/hour, then you are covering 4km, and if you weigh 52kg, then you're burning 52 x 4 = 208 kCal in 20 minutes.

The stair machine is less simple to guess, but there are tables for this. There's one on the health24 site. If you go to this site: http://www.health24.com/dietnfood/Calorie_corner/15-469,20643.asp

And then look on the top left, you'll see a "burn-o-meter" which will give you some indication. Your hour is going to burn roughly 500 kCal, I'd estimate.

The key is to avoid this kind of numbers game. You can't maximize your results by sticking only to what burns the most calories, because you're better off doing what you enjoy, because that's the one you'll enjoy more.

And also, because they're only estimates, don't get too hung up on the calories. Imagine those estimates say you burn 500 kCal in your hour at gym, but the true value is 550 kCal. Those 50 kCal (which could go either way) would swing your weight loss/gain by an enormous amount over a year. The body is pretty good at balancing out, so the more important thing is to make healthy food choices, keep training and let the calories take are of themselves.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2010/12/15

Hi Al

yes, ballpark figures are certainly possible.

Running is quite well established, and there's a "rule of thumb" that says you burn 1 Kcal per kilogram per kilometer. So, if you run 20 minutes at 12km/hour, then you are covering 4km, and if you weigh 52kg, then you're burning 52 x 4 = 208 kCal in 20 minutes.

The stair machine is less simple to guess, but there are tables for this. There's one on the health24 site. If you go to this site: http://www.health24.com/dietnfood/Calorie_corner/15-469,20643.asp

And then look on the top left, you'll see a "burn-o-meter" which will give you some indication. Your hour is going to burn roughly 500 kCal, I'd estimate.

The key is to avoid this kind of numbers game. You can't maximize your results by sticking only to what burns the most calories, because you're better off doing what you enjoy, because that's the one you'll enjoy more.

And also, because they're only estimates, don't get too hung up on the calories. Imagine those estimates say you burn 500 kCal in your hour at gym, but the true value is 550 kCal. Those 50 kCal (which could go either way) would swing your weight loss/gain by an enormous amount over a year. The body is pretty good at balancing out, so the more important thing is to make healthy food choices, keep training and let the calories take are of themselves.

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