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Why are the calories different?



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Author: Message: Sort First Post on Top


UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
4/18/12 3:05 P

A 1% incline produces only a minute increase in burn. You wouldn't be very wrong to record that without incline. I wouldn't worry about it.



PATIB13
SparkPoints: (4,852)
Fitness Minutes: (5,279)
Posts: 104
4/18/12 11:05 A

Thanks for all the info. I was doing a 1% incline but I was going through the 5k training program and it does not allow for the incline....so I guess that changes it a little. I will @ a heart monitor, I may look at what my hubby has and see if there is something I could use.



MOTIVATED@LAST
Posts: 13,910
4/17/12 10:16 P

As a VERY rough rule of thumb, you could expect to burn about 130-140 calories per mile of running. So if you are running 3+ miles, then your treadmill is probably right.

If you are running 2+ miles, then the fitness tracker is probably the best estimate.

I agree with Unident - many pieces of gym equipment (including treadmills) are notorious for significantly overestimating calories burned.

Other possible explanations include:
* you were using some incline, which the treadmill included, and Spark did not.
* you selected the wrong speed in the Spark tracker (the min/mile thing can be confusing)

M@L



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (56,157)
Fitness Minutes: (14,204)
Posts: 9,569
4/17/12 8:24 P

As a recommendation, I just picked up a decent HRM with a chest strap at Walmart for $50... about half the price of any other chest strap HRM I've researched. So far, I love it, and the reviews for it are pretty good. It's a Sportline chest strap HRM. Really comfortable, and I wore it for two hours at the gym this morning and barely noticed it. My only complaint thus far is that the metal contact on the front for manual arm readings is really sensitive, and I keep hitting it when I'm trying to fiddle with my watch.



PATIB13
SparkPoints: (4,852)
Fitness Minutes: (5,279)
Posts: 104
4/17/12 1:43 P

I am going to have to invest in some kind of monitor. It is somewhat disappointing for them to be so different, I like the higher number of course since it makes it seem like you burned so much more. I figured the incline had something to do with it, when I log in my 5k training it does not specify an incline or anything just minutes and miles.



LUCKYNUMBER23
SparkPoints: (9,202)
Fitness Minutes: (10,607)
Posts: 402
4/17/12 1:24 P

I use my heart rate monitor because the machines are wrong. If you increase the incline or level, it throws the machines off.



SMERRIMAN7
Posts: 296
4/17/12 8:36 A

How many calories your burn depends on your intensity level. Neither the machine nor Spark really know what that is. But Spark tries to be realistic in estimating.

I am not using a heart rate monitor these days - but have in the past. Spark tended to be a little low on calories estimated when I was walking, pretty close when I was running. Fitness machines are almost always on the HIGH side.

The # of calories is not particular important unless you're actually burning a good bit more than your Spark program shows. Because then you may need to take in more calories to support the higher activity level. If its just a small difference, it probably won't change anything.



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
4/17/12 2:08 A

Because they don't use the same formulas.

Bear in mind that a treadmill manufacturer wants you to buy their brand. If you think you "burn more calories" using their brand, they'll sell more. They can't have their brand reporting less of a burn than a competing brand! But Spark has no financial vested interest in selling you anything - no reason to inflate the figures.

www.sparkpeople.com/community/ask_the_expe
rts.asp?q=57




PATIB13
SparkPoints: (4,852)
Fitness Minutes: (5,279)
Posts: 104
4/17/12 1:33 A

I have been running on my treadmill, the calories burned on there show 468, when I put the info on my fitness tracker is only 268? Anyone have any ideas, I know both are more of an estimation and I would need a heart monitor or something for it to be accurate...but why such the big difference.



 
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