In Fitness and BodyBuilding Calories Do count
Calories Do Count
If you're just out of shape but not overweight, working out to build your strength and endurance might be your formula for fitness. Most people are not only unfit, however;they also are overweight—and losing weight is the number one reason people resolve to get into shape. Landing the one-two punch—weight loss and conditioning—takes a change in eating habits as well as a workout program. Diet plans come and go, but one of the constants in weight management is the principle of burning more calories than you consume.
Diet controls caloric intake, but exercise controls how many calories are burned in a process called metabolism. This complicated biochemical process sustains life. At its simplest, you can think of metabolism as the process used by your body's engine (your digestive, cardiorespiratory, and circulatory systems) to burn fuel (food or
fat) to keep you going. Regardless of the food source (fat, carbohydrate, or protein), when it comes to metabolism, a calorie is a calorie. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 35 percent of American men and 40 percent of women who said that they are trying to lose weight are not tracking their caloric intake. Although they may be eating less fat, which is, on balance, good, they may be taking in so many calories that weight loss is not possible without a substantial increase in exercise.
The exact number of calories that you, or any other individual, will burn for any given exercise period depends on your body weight, your metabolic efficiency, the intensity of a specific aerobic activity, and even the air temperature during the workout. When you're reaching for that cookie or you decide to skip the walk, figure that a surplus intake of just 100 calories a day can add 10 pounds a year to your body weight. By
contrast, a brisk 20- to 30-minute walk can burn 100 calories. As a guideline when evaluating different activities, you can use the following chart,
which compares the number of calories that various fitness activities burn during 45 minutes of exercise. Your caloric burn may, of course, vary. This chart has been adapted from Fitness Partner's Activity Calendar. To calculate your calorieconsumption rate based on your body weight and the time allotted for these and other activities.
|In the Gym||110lbs||150lbs||180lbs|
|Stationary bike (vigorous)||416||459||454|
|High-impact step aerobics||396||540||648|
|Cross-country ski simulator||376||513||616|
|Rowing machine (vigorous)||337||459||551|
|Stationary bike (moderate)||277||378||545|
|Low-impact step aerobics||277||378||545|
|Rowing machine (moderate)||277||378||545|