Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Calorie Counters On Workout Equipment May Not Be Giving You An Accurate Reading [video]

“Eric Gerber is a trainer at the Beverly Hills Health Club. He says the machines are within 20-percent of being accurate. Eric says weight-bearing machines like treadmills, and stair climbers are going to burn more calories in shorter amounts of time. He says the bikes would probably be next on the list. Then ellipticals. The exercise machines get their estimates from metabolic equivalents – or METS – which measure how much oxygen your body uses. Dr. Barry Franklin of Beaumont Hospital says this is critical. According to Dr. Franklin, ‘Oxygen level during exercise is really the key to energy expenditure. I say in many respects it is the crystal ball of medicine. For the most part the more oxygen you can take in the higher your MET capacity, the better your survival, the better your longevity.’ The equipment you use for cardio at a health club or at home uses information on the number of METS it takes for you to do a certain exercise, plus your weight. It then gives you an estimate on the number of calories burned. We decided to find out how accurate the calorie count a regular treadmill would be versus a medically controlled test on a treadmill. On each, I walked for five minutes at a rate of two miles per hour on a 7% incline. On the gym treadmill I burned about 4.5 calories per minute versus 4.97 in the control test – about a 10% difference. Bottom line, machine or no machine, you can use this intensity gauge for how you feel when working out. If you want to burn more calories you simply have to work harder and longer. And if you’re like Wayne, set a high goal.”


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