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TOPIC: Do you trust treadmill calorie counts?

 
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September 12, 2008 11:45 AM
I log about 35 miles a week of treadmill walking. Bad knees and back prevent running. I usually have the treadmill at the highest incline - #15 and walk about 5 mph. The calorie count is usually about 1450 when I enter my current age and weight. Does this sound right or should I be discounting this count? Sorry, I posted this first on my wife's account.
September 12, 2008 11:56 AM
First off great job.... I to walk and run on my treadmill and It to has a program to add your weight and it will calculate the calories for me.... I have used a treadmill at a hotel and it be a different type and it would calculate totally different... I never burn more than 600 calories in lets say and hour... When I go log my workout I typically take 100 to 200 calories off the total that the treadmill says just to be safe.. The only real way to tell is if you have a heart rate monitor. I don't but I am hoping to get one soon.
Good luck.
September 12, 2008 12:19 PM
I wear a HR monitor when I use my treadmill. The treadmill calories are typically 2/3 higher than my HR monitor.
  73063
September 12, 2008 12:21 PM
I have been told by the trainers at my gym to cut the calories in half from what the machines say. I have noticed that their guestimate is pretty close after I started wearing my Heart Rate Monitor. Depending on how long I go for its usually pretty close to half of what the machines say, though maybe just a hair more than half. I would definitley not go with the total from the machine but go a little less. Hope that helps a little. Do what you think is best for you.
  10870
September 12, 2008 12:22 PM
I posted this in reply to the post on your wife's account:

Honestly, I always trusted the treadmill/elliptical/etc. calorie counters. I recently bought a heart rate monitor, which I strongly recommend, and it says that I burn more than the treadmill/elliptical/etc. had been saying. So, I'm not really sure. When it says 1450 calories, that's after how much time?
  11310
September 12, 2008 12:28 PM
QUOTE:

I wear a HR monitor when I use my treadmill. The treadmill calories are typically 2/3 higher than my HR monitor.


This is about what I find too... 2/3.
  72489
September 12, 2008 12:30 PM
Depends on the treadmill and you - my True is almost dead on to what my HRM says - the ones at the gym are off (Precors I believe). That calorie count seems high. 2/3 sounds closer.
September 12, 2008 12:41 PM
I'm really surprised to see that people are finding that the treadmill calories are over what their heart rate monitors are saying. I recently purchased a heart rate monitor myself. I usually do the elliptical, but yesterday I did intervals of walking and running on the treadmill. The workout room has no blinds and no AC so its always ridiculously hot in there which I definitely believe is a factor in the difference I found. But anyway, after my 30 min workout my heart rate monitor said I had burned 297 calories while the treadmill determined I had burned only 147. So I burned about twice the calories the treadmill counted. Its kind of a cheap treadmill though. You can't enter weight or choose a workout mode or anything, which probably also has something to do with the difference.

Great work though, sounds like you're really burning up the calories! flowerforyou
  84736
September 12, 2008 1:04 PM
If walking on no incline, the machine overreports.

If walking an incline, the machine is close.

If running, the machine underreports.


I heart my HRM.
  72489
September 12, 2008 2:11 PM
QUOTE:

I'm really surprised to see that people are finding that the treadmill calories are over what their heart rate monitors are saying. I recently purchased a heart rate monitor myself. I usually do the elliptical, but yesterday I did intervals of walking and running on the treadmill. The workout room has no blinds and no AC so its always ridiculously hot in there which I definitely believe is a factor in the difference I found. But anyway, after my 30 min workout my heart rate monitor said I had burned 297 calories while the treadmill determined I had burned only 147. So I burned about twice the calories the treadmill counted. Its kind of a cheap treadmill though. You can't enter weight or choose a workout mode or anything, which probably also has something to do with the difference.

Great work though, sounds like you're really burning up the calories! flowerforyou


Same situation for me...my heart rate monitor is usually 100 to 200 calories more than the machine that I am using.
  88581
September 12, 2008 2:33 PM
I put in 60 min, then a 5 min cool down, but typically I keep it at the same pace.
September 12, 2008 2:38 PM
That is so good to hear... I really thought that I was close... Just to make sure I understand correctly. So is it 2/3 lower or higher... I will start to use this method then just taking 200 calories off.
Thanks for posting this question I always thought I was close... I learn something new everyday on MFP... Thanks again.... Melissa
September 12, 2008 2:45 PM
give more faith to the heart rate monitor. Its math is working on you and you alone. The math programed in the treadmill is for every joe schmo on the planet....big, tall, skinny, large, and so on....

the tread mill also over time will need to be re calibrated because of the beating its taking....
September 14, 2008 8:14 AM
This is a great article about calories burned while running and walking: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-304-311-8402-0,00.html

"The men burned an average of 124 calories [per mile] while running, and just 88 while walking; the women burned 105 and 74. (The men burned more than the women because they weighed more.)"

I think this is a good yardstick for having a rough idea of what you burned if you don't have a HRM:)

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