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3/6/12 2:40 P

Everyone can self determine the intensity of their workout by using the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) You evaluate your degree of effort (exertion)by assessing the percentage of your ability at which you are working. For example you are jumping rope and your perception of effort is that you are at 60% of your ability. That percentage would be what it was if we were to measure it in a laboratory setting. Your RPE automatically recalibrates every day to adjust for you ability on that day. It takes a few times to get used to using this tool but soon it is easy and will be very accurate.

3/6/12 1:57 P


Edited by: CAMBIOESBELLA at: 3/6/2012 (14:00)
UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/6/12 1:50 P

Formulas that have you multiply BMR by some factor to account for how often you exercise are flawed and not as accurate as Spark's way of doing it.

Remember that Spark's BMR figure already is multiplied by 1.2, so it is normal to see it a little higher than other site's ones. Just divide by 1.2 if you want to know actual root "BMR" from that.

Since doing exercise 5 days a week instead of 3 days a week actually doesn't make your body burn more calories while digesting, it's flawed to attempt to calculate BMR that way. It's like saying you can calculate your car's MPG by how many days you drive it to work. No you can't.

So calculate actual root BMR, multiply for a sedentary/active (non-exercise) lifestyle, and then add actual averaged daily calorie exercise burn on top of that. Spark's estimate of a 1.2 mutlipler for all people is probably accurate for most modern lives but if your job is particularly active you may need a little more.

3/6/12 1:41 P

I'm kind of confused by what you mean when you say it doesn't matter. The formulas I have found don't ask for a specific number of calories burned. I know spark is supposed to do this for you by putting in your weight, age, height, and how many days a week you do cardio and for how many minutes, but it puts my BMR somewhere in the 1500s and everything else I have seen calculates it around 1300. So then you have to take that and multiply it by 1.375 for light activity, 1.2 for being sedentary, etc etc.

As for averaging it, I'm not sure if I have my calculations correct but to do it that way would be like,
1300 x 7 + 20% of 1300 for normal daily activity x 7 + 150 exercise calories x 5, and then divide all that by 7 and you get 1687 daily calories. Is that what you are thinking?

But then when you subtract out 500 to lose a lb a week, that only leaves 1187, which supposedly isn't enough.

Edited by: CAMBIOESBELLA at: 3/6/2012 (13:42)
JADOMB SparkPoints: (134,622)
Fitness Minutes: (68,349)
Posts: 1,708
3/6/12 1:25 P

To TRYINGHARD, I'm not sure how to take your last post. If you really just think it is wasting time, maybe you need to change your handle to GIVINGUP. ;-) The plan is 80/20, which means that while exercise and cardio is only 20% of the plan, it is VERY IMPORTANT. Yes, one can just sit around all day eating 1200 calories of excellent food sources and lose weight. But you will be missing the part about getting healthy. Healthy means getting your heart strong and getting your body strong.(which by the way, gets your brain strong in the process). So NO, you are not wasting time, even if it's a light workout and short walks. It is all for the greater good. So never think of any of this as wasting time. Wasting time is when one does NOTHING to better one's self. That is WASTING TIME. Keep the faith, and God bless.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/6/12 1:05 P

"I just meant in order to decide your calorie needs you need to know both your BMR and also how heavy your activity level is. "

Yes but you don't describe your exercise level as "moderate" or "light". The best accuracy is to simply calculate the actual calories burned using a tracker like Spark's one and average that over the week.

So it doesn't matter if you are exercising "lightly" or more actively, what matters is how many calories that burns.

JADOMB SparkPoints: (134,622)
Fitness Minutes: (68,349)
Posts: 1,708
3/6/12 12:49 P

Remember that nutrition is 80% of the equation. From what I read of your profile, you are still young and don't have much to lose. That's great, you just need to fine tune your lifestyle for the long run now and don't do like so many of us that slipped up somewhere along the way and lost track before regaining common sense.

Your workout does seem to be on the light side, but if you are wise and measuring, tracking and eating good foods, then it may be all you need if you are just wanting to lose a few lbs and want to have an easy plan to maintain for the rest of your life. Good on ya.

If you are NOT seeing any changes though, you need to reevaluate your intake and/or increase your exercise a bit(not much, just a bit). If you are really wanting to get in REAL good shape and actually gain a bit of muscle tone, then again, you will have to up your exercise routine and add more strength training. But be aware that you may actually gain muscle weight so don't be shocked. These are all options for all of us, but one that is much easier for young adults like you.

Anyway, just be honest and accurate with both sides of the equation and you'll see whatever results you are striving for. Keep the faith

TRYINGHARD54 Posts: 5,292
3/6/12 5:45 A

i dont exercise enough....when i do ,its mostly light, so maybe im wasting my time.

3/6/12 5:44 A

So even if my workouts aren't very high intensity, it will depend more on their frequency? I don't have a way to measure my heart rate so I can't really say for sure. I mean I get out of breath for sure but it all seems pretty relative.

I know what you are saying about BMR Unident, I just meant in order to decide your calorie needs you need to know both your BMR and also how heavy your activity level is.

Edited by: CAMBIOESBELLA at: 3/6/2012 (05:44)
UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/6/12 12:08 A

I agree - exercising most days is "moderate", "light" would be less often.

However, where do you want to use that information? Your BMR is completely 100% unconnected to how often you work out. That is inconsequential.

Your BMR is what your body burns comatose - just getting the blood moving, digestion happening, hormones produced, etc. That isn't affected by how often you exercise.

If you work out more, you'll burn more calories in the day, but that's "exercise" which goes on top of BMR for working out calorie needs. You add one to the other, you don't try to calculate your BMR based on how much you work out. That's like saying you can calculate your car's miles per gallon based on how far it is to your workpace! LOL

So work out your BMR, multiply by 1.2 for a sedentary lifestlye and about 1.3-1.4 for a highly active job (this is only considering your normal day to day everyday activities, NOT exercise), then add exercise on top of that.

That's how much your body needs to maintain your current weight. Subtract 500 for a pound a week loss on average.

(ETA: Just a note that exercise can actually change the BMR. Increasing your body's lean muscle mass increase your BMR. This is a very slow change and very minimal difference - but also very real.)

Edited by: UNIDENT at: 3/6/2012 (00:16)
SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
3/5/12 5:04 P


What are your goals? I think 3 days a week for 30 minutes a day is light exercise, whereas 30 minutes 5 times a week is more moderate.

According to US Dept of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, most people need

-2 hours 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate intensity activity a week OR

-1 hour 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous activity per week OR

A combination of the two. This is to maintain a level of physical activity.

When you increase the amount to 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate activity or 150 minutes (2 hrs 30 min) of vigorous activity per week OR a combo of both you will receive added health benefits.

Add in 2 sessions of full body resistance training per week and you should be good to go.

I hope this helps!

Coach Nancy

3/5/12 4:27 P

As you know, calorie intake depends on your BMR but also your activity level. But I am not sure where my activity level would be considered to fall.

I exercise 3-5 times a week. I typically do 30 minutes, but sometimes strength days can be less than that (15-20 minutes). My exercise is outdoor walking/running, elliptical machine, or circuit training for strength (Body Rock, Nike Training Club, Pyramid style exercises). Spark usually estimates I have burned between 150-250 calories doing these exercises. On Sundays I do about an hour of yoga.

Would you say that I exercise lightly or moderately??

Edited by: CAMBIOESBELLA at: 3/5/2012 (16:28)
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