Still doing cardio to burn calories?

May 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

You spend a lot of time and energy trying to burn calories.  Shouldn’t you be doing what is most effective?

Let’s break down the caloric requirements of steady state cardio, or aerobic exercise.

Running or jogging requires around 100 calories per mile. The body also requires around 100 calories an hour just to be alive.

If that runner ran four miles in an hour that’s 400 calories.

Let’s subtract that from the one hundred, the standard hourly caloric burn.

We are at a deficit of 300 calories.

But what happens after an hour of cardio ?  You are going to be hungry, and tired.

Throw down a PowerBar and bottle of Gatorade will put back that three hundred calories instantly.

Because you are now pretty tired, you may consciously or sub-consciously chose activities that burn less calories.

Studies show that non-exercise physical activity (moving around, fidgeting, standing, ext.) can play an important role in maintaining healthy body compositions.

So now you put back all your calories, and may be burning less calories throughout the day.

So what’s the solution to all this?  What can you do to maximize caloric burn through exercise.  Check back for part 2.

Brad Gatens, CSCS

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Baker, E. J., and T. T. Gleeson. EPOC and the energetics of brief locomotor activity in Mus domesticus. J. Exp. Zool. 280: 114–120, 1998.

Schmidt, Wilfred Daniel (1992). The effects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on resting metabolic rate, thermic effect of a meal, and excess postexercise oxygen consumption. Ph.D. dissertation, Purdue University, United States — Indiana. Retrieved March 30, 2011, from Dissertations & Theses: Full Text.(Publication No. AAT 9301378).p


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