Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I always get comments about how many calories I burn. I am a fan of a practice some don't care for and that is using numbers to motivate me to reach my calorie burn goals for the week. I know that according to a bunch of different websites that what I burn vs what I eat needs to be around 4200 (apparently not over because it always bites me in the butt.) I know that for me to reach that goal, I need to burn 840 calories on all of the days I workout minimum. I also know that for my body it likes to have a rest day before weigh in day. That means I need to fit in my "formal" exercise in Sunday through Thursday which is where the 840 comes in. I know if I look down at my heart rate monitor and I've got 240 calories to go before my 840 then I don't stop until I hit it even if my DVD is over. It is very rare I will stop for anything less than 840 calories unless I know I have some sure fire 1000 calorie burners planned the rest of the week. (Or if my body has been put through the wringer and I need the rest.) For at home circuits, I require myself to burn 900-1000 because I just feel better about it if I do. I know some people disagree with that way of thinking because they think it causes you to become numbers obsessed but for me, I find it motivating and the only way to keep me on track to meet my goals for the week. I know that intensity makes a huge difference in the amount of calories burned and I don't trust websites are remotely accurate for an activity as vague as "high intensity aerobics" using averages. I know HRM's aren't 100% but they're much better than hoping what a tracking site says I burned is close and finding out the hard way it's not.
All of those numbers above mean something to me. From my starting weight of 494 to my lowest weight I ever reached when dieting in my adult life (220) to the high end of the "healthy" range for me at 170. Of course my 4200 goal I need to reach to the 840 I need daily to meet that goal to the 1800 being the low end of my calorie range. For someone who hates math, I sure have a lot of numbers that are significant to me! I don't mind though because numbers keep me on track and 99% of the time, keep me honest and personally, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Do you use numbers to motivate you in exercise or figure any activity is good activity no matter how much you burn?
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