Between everyone’s Apple watches and trendy new workouts that completely revolve around target heart rates, it’s become common knowledge to track your calorie burn when you train. But here’s the thing – calorie burn isn’t the end all, be all of a workout. If your goal is reaping health benefits – stuff like muscle gain, fat loss, anaerobic activity – then you need to pay attention to what you’re eating and the quality of your sleep, too.
What’s the deal with burning calories, anyway? And how accurate is that leaderboard or your watch? Your body burns calories just keeping you alive – normal bodily functions will burn a certain number of calories. During a workout, your calorie burn is related to what you’re doing, how hard and long you’re doing it, and your current body weight. The more you weigh, the more calories you burn doing the same workout as someone who weighs less, because a larger body expends more energy.
As for the accuracy of that fitness tracker, well, without lab testing and calculations of your specific max heart rate to determine your heart rate zones, they can’t be accurate. How off are they? It’s hard to say. Instead of focusing on the number itself, consider using it as a baseline for judging your progress. And try listening to your body. If you walk out class with noodle arms and quivering legs, you done good! Don’t let your watch – or the leaderboard – tell you otherwise.
If your goal isn’t just improving your health but actively losing weight, you need to incorporate a nutrient-rich, calorie-conscious diet. Actually, diet trumps exercise when it comes to losing weight simply because you can’t out-train a poor diet.
This all comes back to our post from last week – whatever form of fitness you’re doing, the secret to consistency, which is pretty damn important, is that you’re enjoying yourself enough to keep going back for more. And with that said, we invite you to try a free class at Freestyle Fitness here in Reno. Between our heavy bag kickboxing, boot camp, MMA-inspired conditioning class and yoga, we have the kinds of workouts that work you over. So stop stressing about your calorie burn, and get in here already.