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Old 04-13-2011, 12:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Determining "effort" level

I've been using the stationary bike at the gym. It's an older model that doesn't have a lot of fancy display stuff. On FitDay, you can choose your effort level, like "light" or "vigorous". Each one has a wattage next to it, but I have no way of knowing that information.

Well, that's very subjective. I'm in pretty crappy shape, so I can only manage level one or two. I'm putting in a lot of effort, though.

So, do I burn more calories if I'm putting in a lot of effort? Or is it, as I suspect, a matter of how many times I make the pedals go around, regardless of how difficult it feels?

I went ahead and put "light effort", but I admit that is kind of irksome, because it was a lot of hard work!
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Evelyn--5'2"--age 43

Starting weight: 157 lbs.-- June 23, 2010
Current weight: 149 lbs.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for asking this because I'm wondering the same thing..even for things like calisthenics or other exercises..Like, I feel like I'm dieng by the time I'm finished, but I know according to a 'fit' person my efforts may be light or moderate though I feel they're vigorous...

Good question, I really hope someone can give an answer to it
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Elderwanda I tried to research how to decifer the activity level and found a few sites that calrify it a little bit. Here they are:

What is light, moderate and vigorous exercise?


Explains the talk test:

Light, Moderate and Vigorous Intensities - Physical Activity - Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

another site that explains a bit closer to the bottom:

Physical Activity for Everyone: Guidelines: Adults | DNPAO | CDC

I hope this helps =D
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for looking that up, Crimpet.

That is useful information.

The one thing it doesn't tell us, though, is about actual calories burned. I'm going to assume that, being an unfit person, I simply am not going to be able to burn as many calories at a fit person, because I can't do that amount of work.

I guess it's better to underestimate calories burned than to overestimate.
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Evelyn--5'2"--age 43

Starting weight: 157 lbs.-- June 23, 2010
Current weight: 149 lbs.
Mini-goal: 136 lbs.-- November 1, 2010
Target weight: 120 lbs.-- February 21, 2011
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Pretty subjective

"Effort" at least as measured by calories burned is a toughy. You are absolutely correct, that at first it seems like a huge "effort" and gets easier over time. But I think the difference is that at first we do not have much muscle, so the actual calories burned are pretty low. As we get stronger and can work out longer, faster, and/or with heavier weights the actual "effort" we feel might not be much different than our first time out, but we are getting a lot more work done and therefore burning more calories.

Perhaps it would be better if the changed the term from "effort" to something more measurable. I know that is what the running selections do: 11 min miles, 10 min miles etc., but it is a little harder to quantify "effort" with some of the other activities.

In the end, your comment about better to assume less calories is what I tend to do. That way I don't set my expectations too high only to be disappointed at weigh-in .

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