How are calories burned on elliptical trainers different than calories burned
been using treadmills for the past few years and I know that every 30 minutes I
burn around 500 calories. I was recently advised by my doctor to use a
non-impact machine, so I've started using a Precor and LifeFitness elliptical at the gym.
While I burn 500 on a treadmill, it looks like only 300 calories burned on elliptical
I sweat a lot more on the treadmill so it definitely seems that I burn more calories than
when using an elliptical, or am I just totally confused here? By the way, I am a 37 year
old woman and I weigh about 135 pounds. Thanks for the help!
No cardio machine really "burns more than the
other." You will get out what you put in on any cardio machine, meaning, how
many calories you burn, depends solely on your effort.While on some cardio machines it may be easier to get your heart rate
up, hence burning more calories you could always work harder on an "easier"
cardio machine to increase your caloric expenditure.
the amount of calories burned on any cardio machine is going to be a rough
estimation at best.
To get a truly accurate measurement of the calories
burned on elliptical or any other cardio machine, you will need to be hooked up
to a "metabolic cart" (pictured) which collects all gasses you expel during an
As you can see form the photos above, it's
not something you would do every day, and not a pleasant experience in general.
There are many factors that could influence the
calories burned on elliptical trainers, treadmills and all other cardio
Just because the cardio machine has a readout that
shows the calories you burn does not mean it's accurate. Cardio machines
may calculate estimated calories burned during exercise differently.
ensure the machine's estimates calories burned on elliptical trainers most
efficiently make sure to enter as much data about yourself as the machine
allows. The same goes for treadmills, recumbent bikes or any other
cardio machines. Use the programs which allow you to enter variables such
as your weight, age, gender and height when using cardio machines.
2. Your Biomechanics
The way your body moves may be limited or changed by
the motion of an elliptical trainer compared to that of a treadmill or other
cardio machine. Factors such as flexibility could cause you to burn less
calories on an elliptical than on a treadmill with the same perceived exercise
3. Rate of Perceived
Since the exercise performed on elliptical trainers
and treadmills is different, you may need some time getting used to the
elliptical trainer motion. It is possible your Perceived Exertion (RPE)
for the same intensity exercise on the elliptical may be greater than the
treadmill. This would mean you think you're exercising as hard as you
usually did on the treadmill but you're really not and thus your calories burned
on elliptical would be less. Print out the following RPE chart and monitor
your intensity while on the machine. Are you really exercising the the
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