We’ve talked quite a bit about calories in, food tracking and the quality of the calories we find in our food, but what about calories out? When it comes to workouts, we all want the biggest bang for our buck, but Mackenzie Clark, MS, LAT, ATC, shows us, it might not be as simple as comparing a stationary bike to a rowing machine.
“Everyone wants to know which exercises burn the most calories,” she said. “But there are several factors that go into knowing which exercises and activities can burn more calories than others. It’s important to know your fitness level and determine what your fitness goals are before determining an exercise plan. Are you looking for cardiovascular endurance to run your first 10K? Are you interested in losing weight? Are you recovering from an injury or surgery?” All of these factors would play into not just sweating off the sweets, but also achieving a bigger goal.
“After you determine your goals and understand your fitness level, you can then look at the FITT principle to establish which exercises are going to be beneficial to you and burn the most calories. The FITT principle stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time (duration) and Type (mode). The intensity of the exercise determines how many calories you can burn in a certain amount of time. Short, quick, bursts of high intensity exercises, like sprinting and jumping, can burn more calories than jogging or walking. Also, the duration of the exercise can determine the amount of calories burned. Again, short, high intense exercises for just a few minutes can burn more calories than walking or jogging for a longer period of time.”
A solid plan can mean big success for your daily burn. Of course, there are always additional factors to take into consideration. Mackenzie does caution that weight, gender and metabolic rate can determine how many calories you burn during exercise, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach.