The Early Bird gets the StairMaster

I always say: the early bird gets the french fry (who wants a worm?), but I have adjusted my mantra this morning. Today I have done the unthinkable... a day I thought would never come: I was at the gym before 8 am. Crazy? Yes, but life forced me againsted my will. I've have gotten to the point in my hectic college schedule that if I don't exercise in the morning then I won't have time the rest of the day. I feel like like a woman who works 8-5, goes home to make dinner for her cooking-illiterate husband, and then takes care of her 5 crying and pooping children. Maybe not exactly, but this is what a lot of people call life. And life is messy in which we have to adjust.

My way to adjust is going to the gym at 7:45 BUT there are positives to an early workout:

  1. I got the good StairMaster, the one that has the working television. Score.
  2. I was able to do my NIKE training ab work-out in the aerobics room without receiving strange looks because my phone is talking to me. 
  3. and finally, I was able to attend my 9:30 class and know I didn't have to go to the gym afterwards... though I was probably that one "smelly kid" in class (and I apologize to anyone in a 3 ft radius of me this morning).
But to get to the main concern of this post, let me give some background. This morning I was oddly hyper and needed to let it out via StairMaster... below is the result of my energy burst, but let me remind you this is not a commonality for me (though it'd be nice).

Now, this raised a question... how accurate are the calorie counters on cardio machines? Did I really just burn an exponential amount of calories or is Life Fitness lying to me? Well, I've done some research and this is what I found:

According to FitSugar (follow them on Twitter @fitsugar, they always have great fitness and health tips):

The calories burned readout on cardio machines are not known for their accuracy. Some machines are even known to bump up the calorie readout by almost 25% (apparently the feel good factor keeps us using their machines). Furthermore, machines do not always take into consideration all the factors in individual fitness levels and the specificity of the exercise and they're not often re-calibrated after hitting the gym floor, so things can get off set with time. Basically you can (and should) use the calorie readout only as a guideline but not as the end-all-be-all of how many calories you've burned.

Sigh. I feel I've just been told that there's no Santa Clause. Though depressing, this makes us rethink those feel good donuts for a job well done at the gym.

There are ways to help increase the accuracy of your cardio workout: Enter your weight.
Want even more accuracy? Use a heart-rate monitor which will give generate atop notch calorie reading.

But as the take away from this post, don't define your workout by a number. It's like your when you weigh yourself. Sure, it's a number that can fluctuate but it does not control how you feel about yourself. A number can't define a person's being; focus on being healthy and reaching your own personal goals.



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