Bad news New Years Resolutionites: looks like all that work you are doing at the gym isn’t quite as impressive as you have been lead to believe. Nor will it lead to the extreme or quick results you have been counting on. A recent article in the New York Times is claiming that the calorie counters on your favorite machines – especially the cherished, Elliptical – are wrong. Sometimes way wrong.
This news isn’t a total shock to most people – I mean, unless you are slightly delusional or in denial, you should be able to tell that a 30 minute stint on the cross-trainer could not possibly burn 500 calories – but it is still a little disconcerting. What is the point of having calorie counters on machines if they are so off? And how many calories am I burning during my workout?
According to some, that shouldn’t matter. Instead of counting calories while working out we should be focusing on the fact that we are getting exercise, helping our bodies and prolonging our lives.
That is all well and good, but as a girl who is continually trying to lose a few pounds, calorie burning is what my workouts are about. I don’t necessarily eat the exact amount of calories I burn during my morning workout – which is a good thing now that I know the numbers on the machine could be as much as 3X the actual amount I am burning – but I do work out in order to burn more calories and lose more weight.
So, besides investing in a BodyBugg that I so clearly cannot afford right now, what can I do to ensure I am getting the most out of my morning workouts and not waking up at 5 AM just for the hell of it?
And, can someone please pass this information on to the 50 billion people that recently joined my gym as part of their New Year’s Resolutions? Maybe this will make them realize that the gym is not the best idea and I can spend an extra ten minutes burning calories on the treadmill instead of waiting for it.