Although some workouts can be enjoyable, the bottom line is that most people exercise in order to attain the health related results that it can bring. While many take part in strenuous activities for the purpose of muscle building, it seems that the great majority are really seeking to shed a few pounds.
One way to gauge just how much your workouts are benefitting you is to determine how many calories you are burning during a given exercise or routine. This can help you to alter your activities in order to improve or increase your optimum results.
How Calories Work – And How to Know When They Are Being Burned
When exercising, the calories that you burn will increase as your heart rate increases. Ideally, when your heart rate is between 90 and 150 beats per minute, or bpm, you can achieve better workout results.
However, the amount of calories that are ultimately burned will also depend upon your gender, age, and weight. Therefore, given all of these essential components, you can come up with a calculation for predicting your weight loss ability.
Here’s how to get started:
Step 1 – Get your beginning or initial weight. In starting out, it is important to weigh yourself with a scale that uses pounds.
Step 2 – Next, when exercising, be sure to wear a heart monitor that has the ability to record your average heart rate. When you notice that your beats per minute is above 90, turn on the heart rate recorder. This will allow you an actual reading, and will also let you know when you should either slow down or speed up in order to keep your heart rate between the range of 90 and 150 bpm throughout the whole workout.
Step 3 – When you have stopped your exercise routine, keep the heart rate recorder on until it falls to at least below 90 bpm. This way, the monitor will store the average rate of your heart during your exercise.
Step 4 – Compute your calorie expenditure:
In calculating the calorie burn, males and females will use differing formulas. Females, for example, would use the following calculation: [(heart rate x 0.4472) – (weight x 0.05741) + (age x 0.074) – 20.4022] x time / 4.184. So, if you are 26 years old, have an average heart rate of 137 bpm during a 33 minute workout, and your weight is 142 pounds, then you can come up with the amount of calories burned by the following calculation: [(137 x 0.4472) – (142 x 0.05741) + (26 x 0.074) – 20.4022] x 33 / 4.184 = 273. Therefore, during this particular exercise, given your average heart rate, you burned 273 calories.
Because males and females have different body structures as well as differing rates of calorie burns, the formula for men varies slightly from the one above. For males, the calorie expenditure calculation is as follows: [heart rate x 0.6309) – (weight x 0.09036) + (age x 0.2017) – 55.0969] x time / 4.184. Therefore, for a 31 year old male who is 178 pounds and who works out for 35 minutes, the calories burned would be computed as: [(125 x 0.6309) – (178 x 0.09036) + (31 x 0.2017) – 55.0969] x 35 / 4.184 = 117. In this case, then, you would have burned 117 calories.
Just For Fun
While calculating the amount of calories that you burn during exercise is important information, you could take it even one step further by determining how many calories you are working off each minute!
Using a similar formula as above and using the example of a 43 year old female with a weight of 132 and an average heart rate of 122 bpm, the rate of calorie expenditure per minute of exercise is determined as follows: [(132 x 0.0574) + (43 x 0.074) + (122 x 0.4472) – 20.402 / 4.184 = 10.7. So, in this particular case, the exercise yielded a loss of approximately 10.7 calories per minute.
Other Calorie and Weight Loss Considerations
Certainly, along with heart rate and exercise, it is important to maintain good healthy eating habits. This way, the calories that are burned are more likely to stay off. While it may seem like a nice “reward” to have a pizza or chocolate shake after a hard workout, it will truly defeat the purpose of all your hard work.
Therefore, for those who are committed to losing weight, building muscle – or both – remember to stick to foods that will actually compliment the exercise that you have done. Foods that contain natural sugars and other nutrients can help you in staying energetic – which will in turn, allow your workouts to yield even more positive results.
Janet Lynch is a fitness and health Fanatik! When she is not writing for her favorite fitness blogs she helps people find easy solutions for diet delivery meals from Chefs Diet.