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calculating calorie loss from exercise?

This is probably a really difficult question to answer, as there are obviously many factors at play, but does anyone know if it's possible to roughly calculate how many calories are burned during exercise? Like, 30 mins of aerobics for example, if you get your heart rate up and break a sweat... Is this an impossible question to answer? Even a rough guide would be good.

Thu. Apr 26, 6:01am

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I wear a heart rate monitor that calculates the calories burned. I think that's the most accurate since it does it from a direct measure of what you are doing. Taking it from charts usually way over-estimates it compared to what my watch says. If you get one, make sure you get one that has a chest bank. I use polar.

Thursday, April 26, 2007, 7:59 AM

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Try something like this


Thursday, April 26, 2007, 8:00 AM

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The technique called indirect calorimetry is probably the most accurate, but it's not practical for everyday situations. But if you want to learn how it works, Google will find you some write-ups on the net.
I'm not so sure if HRMs are much better than the electronics on machines, or not. Each has only partial information. Either of those avoids human error in mis-estimating effort level, and can make at least some adjustment for body weight. Many of the charts are based on pretty good data, but it's those problems of adjusting for weight and effort that make them inaccurate.

Thursday, April 26, 2007, 2:28 PM

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OP here; thanks for the info!

Friday, April 27, 2007, 6:08 AM

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I also found that when I hit a plateau and then started using a HR monitor, I found out I was over-estimating my calorie burn. The monitor gives what I feel is a decent read out (meaning I lose weight based on the HRM telling me I've burned 500 calories or so each day). It may be 10-15 percent off, but it is still close, and it's way closer than just guessing "I worked hard for the last 20 minutes, I bet that was about 300 calories" because according the HRM, it's only like 150 calories.

Friday, April 27, 2007, 3:52 PM

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