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SLYSAM SparkPoints: (43,184)
Fitness Minutes: (110,991)
Posts: 1,474
9/9/13 9:40 P

I would most likely trust the HRM the most for your exercise--assuming your heart rate responds in "typical ways" and your settings are correct. One setting that can really mess with this is the "maximum heart rate". For some the formulas will estimate high or low so this really can add to the margin of error. A lot of calorie burn formulas factor in what percentage of your max heart rate you reach. If you are routinely exceeding the maximum, it may be overestimating for you. I don't have high blood pressure, am not on any meds,have a fairly low resting heart rate and have a really hard time getting my heart rate anywhere near what the standard formula estimates for me (during a tough workout I use to be 40bpms below, I eventually changed my max hr setting to 10bpm higher than the highest heart rate I see during intense intervals). My HRM calorie burn estimates are usually the lower than most calculators or machines I have seen. Perhaps if it is in error, it is erring low (I hope) which I think is "safest" to log. Of course lowest doesn't always mean most accurate. Just keep in mind they are all educated estimates at best. I prefer whatever device/calculator factors in the most details about me and the specific workout. In my case it is the HRM for cardio--if I am exercising in a comfortable environment (not too hot) than an inflated heart rate is due to exertion. If I am phoning it in and not giving it the intensity that also is reflected by a lower heart rate than usual for that activity (and me).

BARBANNA SparkPoints: (108,384)
Fitness Minutes: (85,068)
Posts: 3,415
9/8/13 7:11 P

Spark-people is unparalled it offers a lot of reports and information that connects to your exercise.

AGILEDOBE Posts: 428
9/7/13 12:38 P

Thanks for the input. I believe the Polar HRM is most consistent with my treadmill work.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,456
9/7/13 2:58 A

All calorie calculations are estimates, and most methods have at least some limitations.

Many pieces of gym equipment (including treadmills) are notorious for significantly overestimating the calories burned.

But walking is generally a well-studied and understood exercise, and online calculators are generally a reasonable estimate for this activity. However, they can be misleading for other activities where the intensity of effort is harder to judge objectively.

High blood pressure and some medications can lead to a faster heart rate than the exercise itself warrants, and this can lead to HRM's significantly overestimating the calories burned.

Unless you are using incline on the treadmill, I would go with the more conservative of the estimates.


ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
Fitness Minutes: (7,415)
Posts: 1,299
9/6/13 11:02 P

I think that is a good question. I often wondered about that when I first started using my Airdyne Evolution exercise bike. Back in the days when my Polar HRM worked, I compared it a few times to what the module on the Airdyne read. The Polar always came up only 90% of what my exercise bike registered for calorie burn. I had put the same basic data into each device. I thus decided to choose the HRM over the bike module, as I felt the bike module was too generous.

AGILEDOBE Posts: 428
9/6/13 10:08 P

I am still a newbie at cardio/ treadmill exercise. The treadmill always reports more calorie/ fat burned than that reported when I enter my time and distance, speed on my fitness page.
How can I tell which is most reliable. I also use a Polar HRM at times. Would it be a reliable source for calorie count?
Well I think I found the answer to my question in the freq asked questions, but I am open to all input. I will start using the HRM everyday

Edited by: AGILEDOBE at: 9/6/2013 (22:14)
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