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7/8/11 11:12 A

Yep, you're absolutely right. I've been using a lower resistance so I can go longer, but I do really need to bump up the resistance a bit. Thanks for the kick in the pants :) Will do that today.

DIS-BECKA SparkPoints: (25,656)
Fitness Minutes: (22,418)
Posts: 208
7/7/11 9:41 P

I just did 20 minutes on my stationary bike and I too was shocked at the number of calories it says I burned here on SP. I was going about 14 mph which I guess would be in the moderate category but it still seems so high. It seems too good to be true and we all know the rest of that saying. I might have to look into another way to monitor calories burned.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,412
7/7/11 9:30 P

I think you commented earlier that walking feels more strenuous - and thus by implication the stationery cycling feels easier. Perhaps this is an indication that you are ready to increase the intensity of your cycling by increasing the resistance a notch or two? (And see what results this gives you on your HRM)


7/7/11 11:55 A

Thanks, again, for all the helpful replies. I'm an instant gratification person so I went out last night and picked up an HRM at Target and just used it while riding the stationary bike. And lo and behold, the total calories burned is in a much more reasonable range. If I use SP's calculator it tells me 100 calories for 10 minutes. But according to the HRM I burned 250 in 40 minutes. So a little disappointing, but I'm going with what the HRM tells me every day as it's the most accurate.

It's too bloody hot here to run (and I've been so lazy I can't seem to get my butt out of bed before 9am this week) so I haven't tested it out for that yet but am anxious to see the difference.

7/6/11 9:12 P

I seem to have the opposite sort of situation. I can walk for an hour and barely break a sweat - depending on the weather. I do not run, but I have a good power walk cadence. I walk 1/2 hour over my lunch its about 1 mile. Often I go again at night - tonight I took my dog - as a reminder of why I don't walk with my dog - he is just not good on a leash and there are too many bunnies he wants to chase down.

I ride bike for an hour and am in a dead sweat. I go on several local bike trails where there are hills and then there are hills. The wind takes my breath away sometimes, and the heat - well, I am sweating buckets! There's no doubt in my mind that I am burning way more biking than I do walking.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,412
7/6/11 9:01 P

A very rough rule of thumb is that you burn about 100 calories per mile walked. 120 calories for 1.5 miles seems reasonably consistent with that (given the roughness of this rule of thumb).

Stationery cycling can be ridiculously easy on lower resistance settings, but also quite capable of burning significantly more than 10 calories per minute on higher resistance settings. However, it is worth noting that the calorie calculators on stationery bikes (and many other forms of gym equipment) are notorious for significantly overestimating the calories burned.

How are you getting these calorie estimates?

Also, stationery cycling can 'feel' easier than walking and (especially) running because it is low-impact. And impact can be magnified for heavier people.


7/6/11 1:21 P

Thanks for all the advice! I'm definitely going to get an HRM. Like today :) Don't know why I didn't think of that myself.

REDSHOES2011 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (66,181)
Posts: 7,159
7/6/11 1:10 P

I did 5 kms in 20 minutes on a real flat dirt bike track sparks said I burnt 45 calories lol.. Use a HRM it is the only way to go.. All those calculators on this point are aprox. with regards to exercise are averages.. Under add mileage the bike setting is more than okay.. Sometimes I smile and say okay, I should have done several more laps of 5 kms lol.. My pedometer however says sparks is many times dead on..

Edited by: REDSHOES2011 at: 7/6/2011 (13:16)
LAETU5 Posts: 1,405
7/6/11 1:05 P

it looks like SP does not have a leisure option for you can't use SP to track it unless you are pushing yourself at at least a moderate rate.

The following calculator gives a much more accurate total for slow paced usage of a bike:

I've used a gps based app to estimate my cal burn on a bike and it should be about 300 to 400 per hour and the fastest I can go is considered leisure; so I won't be able to use the SP tracker unless I decide to push harder.....but for me the bike is meant to be a fun lighter exercise.

here is another calculator to use till you get faster:

7/6/11 12:33 P

I'm not using the calorie counter on the bike, I'm using the SparkPeople cardio tracker. I don't even have batteries in the bike counter so it doesn't work :)

TINA71268 Posts: 365
7/6/11 12:33 P

I would suggest getting a Heart Rate Monitor. It is a more accurate count of calories burned. I have been doing Sparkpeople and Curves for almost a month. When I plugged in the Curves Circuit Training into my fitness tracker, then put in 30 mins, Spark automatically calculated that I had burned 224 calories. So I was going with that every day for 3 weeks. However, today I wore a heart monitor, did the same exact work out, and the HRM said that I had burned 428 calories. My HRM only cost $20.

LAETU5 Posts: 1,405
7/6/11 12:31 P

Don't use the calories your exercise bike tells you. What happens if you use SP's tracker to estimate your calories for the same speed/time on a bike?

7/6/11 12:29 P

Using the cardio tracker on SparkPeople. I've used all sorts of calculators online to see if that walk really only burns 120 calories and my results show ranges between 90-150 calories so I go with what's on SparkPeople for 20 minute walk. For 10 minutes on the stationary bike it usually gives me about 100 calories per 10 minutes and the following SparkPeople article confirmed that 10 minutes on the bike = 100 calories:

It just doesn't seem that they can be equal when the walk is so much more strenuous, especially when I manage to run 5 minutes of it.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (183,870)
Fitness Minutes: (178,690)
Posts: 15,629
7/6/11 12:23 P

How are you calculating calories burned?

7/6/11 11:55 A

This has been bugging me for a while so I had to post this to get your opinions.

How is it that I only burn 120 calories when I walk 1.5 miles in 30 minutes, but I can burn the same for 15 minutes on the stationary bike?

For example, a few times a week I walk the trail around the stadium near my house. From door to door it's 1.5 miles and takes me 30 minutes. Some of the trail is uphill and I run about 5 minutes of that time. When I get home I'm dripping with sweat and breathing hard. All that results in about 120 calories burned.

But I can sit here on my behind on my stationary bike and burn 100 calories in 10 minutes? How can that be? Seems to me that propelling my 215 pounds around that track for 30 minutes would be more strenuous. Can anyone explain why this is?

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