A popular topic with fitness is making sure to track your workout with your watch! But let’s dive into some need to know info about those 🙂
First of all, activity trackers are great tools for helping us become more active! They help us move more, get in more steps and remind us to get moving when we aren’t.
However, what you need to know is that when your watch tells you how many calories you’ve burned during a workout, this MUST be taken with a grain of salt. These numbers are based off your height, weight, movements and sometimes an inaccurate heart rate, which are plugged into an algorithm to give an estimated guess on calories burned.
So many factors go into how many calories you burn each day, not just during a workout but all daily movement. Food intake (macro breakdown, portions, nutrient timing), hydration status, caffeine consumption, sleep the night before, stress, metabolism, health issues, heart rate throughout the day, medications, even heat and oxygen levels of the room) will all effect calories burned.
Your heart rate alone can also be falsely increased due to physiological parameters outside of movement like: temperature of the room, anxiety levels, stress, lack of sleep, caffeine intake, medications, etc.
For example, let’s say two women who both weigh 150 pounds perform a workout at the same time. They each lift the same amount of weights, same amount of reps, same amount of intensity. They will NOT burn the same amount of calories as the other person. It may be close, but won’t be exact because of other conditions going on in each individual body.
Also, do NOT think that just because you burned 500 calories during a workout, that you can now eat 500 extra calories that day (food tracking apps like myfitnesspal are very misleading on this!).
Exercise is meant to move your body in a way that works for you, not as a punishment. I know not everyone loves to exercise and that’s ok! But exercise should never be done as a punishment for what you ate, what you plan to eat, for not liking your body or for the desire to look like someone else.
Exercise because you want to feel good, build a stronger body with muscles, have stronger bones, improve your health, fit better into your clothes, have more energy, help with mental health, feel more confident and live a healthier life!
Not just to increase the number on your tracker.