Inertia and Ranges

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I finally talked myself into getting out of the house this morning. Since I retired I have a terrible time getting anything done in the morning. I love the freedom of the 1 hour breakfast and coffee BUT I have lots of things I'd like to get done. I woke up this morning and knew I should get some cardio in. I had planned on a bike ride. I finally got out on the bike but it wasn't until 10 AM and I was up at 7:30 (ok it does take 15 to 30 minutes to get the gear, sunscreen and tire inflation together but still ...) I did get a ride in, slightly longer than the last ride but I was in some brisk wind and I managed to get in the door just as the sky opened.

I like road biking because the scenery changes and I can stay on the bike for long periods. It also gives me a good chance to let my monkey brain wander. Amazingly, I was thinking about why Spark was so good for me and my thoughts were exactly repeated in the comments Nusl8t left while I was out on the bike - eerie. There is a discussion about calories while bike riding on one of my teams. I realized that what I loved about this approach IS the fact that I have a range and if I go over a bit I don't feel like a failure. It only means that I went over a bit. If I am under a bit I don't need to head to the kitchen. Both don't happen very much and they balance themselves out. If I'm in starvation mode after a long bike ride I don't worry about consuming an extra 100 to 200 calories since I know I burned much more than that. The caveat is that I am skeptical of the spark calories burned - today it says 700. Maybe it was that high but if I go over if I am truly hungry it won't be by that much.

My focus on protein seems to be helping me get into my range. I've snacked on low-fat string cheese and it seems to help. It also seems to help me get into my calcium range. I love the fact that I can look back at the nutrient graphs over time, see the food log for any point, and adjust what I am doing.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi Sara,
    Good for you getting out and getting going. I too love to exercise out instead of exercising in. (Just can't get going on a treadmill or exercise bike--too boring and I just don't last!)

    On the calories burned, I too think that the spark site might overestimate them. I think that they are based on met values. Before I found spark I was trying to figure out how many calories I burned with exercise and found the following table called the Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide--
    It lists METS of various activities--the metabolic exertion factor of any given activity. It's 12 pages long, so lot of activities are included. For bicycling, for example, there are 9 levels of intensity listed, and then another 6 for stationary bicycling. When I search under Spark, there are only 8 total levels to choose from.

    You might get a more accurate estimation of calories burned by looking at the MET value. You then have to plug it into a formula: kcal burned=(MET VALUE X BMI divided by 24) X duration of activity in minutes.

    Maybe the exact number isn't all that important, but it helps me in terms of trying to create the calorie deficit I want for slow steady progress.

    Have a great day and keep it up! emoticon
    4776 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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