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Questions on Elliptical machine

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How do they calculate "miles" on an elliptical machine? I do 4 miles a day but it feels much easier than a 4 mile run. Also, what's the consensus on the calories stated on EM? I hear that they are way overstated but I don't have any cites or proofs for the claim.


Think Thin :bcb_march

 

Height: 5' 5.5"

SW:164 CW:164 GW:150

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I would like to know about this too. I ordered an elliptical from HSN. It should be here tomorrow!! My knee is so bad that I can't do much else, so I'm really excited about it.


Deborah

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Also, what's the consensus on the calories stated on EM? I hear that they are way overstated but I don't have any cites or proofs for the claim.

 

Well, I would definitely take the stated "calories burned" on your machine - ANY machine - with a grain of salt. It's hard to say how inflated, or not, the numbers are. Let's just say that, whatever calories the machine says you burned, the calculation is based on some formula that assumes a lot of things about a certain population of people.

 

It's much better to use the PointsBooster, together with your perceived exertion (easy, moderate, or high intensity) to estimate your Activity Points earned.

 

For one thing, it's easy to calculate. For another, it's based on YOUR own PERCEIVED exertion - unique to YOU - rather than based on some algorithm programmed into a machine.

 

Just my .02

 

- Jennifer

 

PS Ever since WW added the exercise component (e.g. Activity Points and the PointsBooster), I don't bother counting calories burned...


ACE-certified Personal Trainer

& WW Lifetime Member

 

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Thanks Jennifer!

 

I've been lurking around this thread as it's a question I've had myself.

 

One thing I've done with the elliptical is to go by heart-rate. It has 65% as light intensity and 80% as high intensity so if I work around the 80% rate for my age (low 140s), then it's high intensity.

 

I also tend to stick to a 1 mile=1AP so I'll count 6APs if I do 6 miles on the elliptical. The machine might say I burned 800 calories but I just knock it down. I normally call running 6 miles 8 APs (or 800 calories burned) but 6 miles on the elliptical is much easier than 6 miles on the TM or running outside. That being said, I do sweat just as much doing 6 miles on the elliptical, it's just easier on my joints so I consider it less strenuous on the whole (which may or may not actually be the case-- kind of like how swimming doesn't seem as intense as running but in reality actually maps fairly closely in calories burned).

 

I do wonder though if using your arms with the elliptical is a factor in raising the calories burned. I also wonder if it's calculating extra calories for the resistance (I use a fairly high resistance). I wouldn't say that either of those particularly add lots of calories burned in reality but may be a key factor in the calories burned calculation for the machine.


Kimberley

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I do wonder though if using your arms with the elliptical is a factor in raising the calories burned. I also wonder if it's calculating extra calories for the resistance (I use a fairly high resistance). I wouldn't say that either of those particularly add lots of calories burned in reality but may be a key factor in the calories burned calculation for the machine.

 

Yeah, I don't know how adding in the upper-body movement (and/or more resistance) figures into the machine's calculations....BUT it DEFINITELY increases your PERCEIVED exertion, which in turn figures into YOUR calcuation of APs using that PointsBooster.

 

That's the beauty of perceived exertion. It doesn't really matter HOW you achieve a certain level of intensity, so it's a simple and elegant (and actually rather accurate) measure.

 

- Jennifer


ACE-certified Personal Trainer

& WW Lifetime Member

 

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i agree with kimberley on all points. i too have questioned calories burned on elliptical, compared to TM. 250 or 300 cals burned on the elliptical certainly seem easier than the same cals on the TM. (i've never done 800 cals - wow! at my gym , time on a machine is limited to 30 minutes and i usually stick to that). however, like kimberley i am also sweating the same as on a TM, and easily able to reach my desired target HR (145) for the duration of my workout by using a combination of resistance and speed. I do like the smooth action of the elliptical and it seems easier than tm on my joints. no matter, i know i'm achieving fitness and the weight loss is a nice bonus if it happens.


Mowho33

 

SW(Dec07)212.5

:bcb_yuck:

 

CW(July 2010)165

:bcb_grrrr

 

 

 

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I have an elliptical and love it!

 

When I use it, I do make note of the calories burned, but only for general purposes. I tend to go by time and heart rate in order to calculate my AP. It seems to work better for me.

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