Getting in Shape
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Heart rate monitor vs machine

For those of you with heart rate monitors, have you ever worn your monitor and used a treadmill, elliptical, etc to see how close the “calories burned” totals were to each other?  I know that I should break down and buy a heart rate monitor, but frankly I don’t really have the money right now.  Today while on the elliptical it said I burned 517 calories in 35 minutes.  That seems high to me, although I did have it on a high resistance setting.  Just curious!

Re: Heart rate monitor vs machine

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    I don't really think that sounds too high. Hunniapple wore her HRM for 30 minutes and burned 400 calories. Depending on your weight and resistance, 517 may not be too far off.
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    I think some machines might be more accurate than others.  We have lifefitness machines at the gym.  After a 50 minute run w/ a cooldown (about 5.75 miles), it will read around 600 calories which makes me much happer than when i look at my HRM readout and it says 450. Maybe see if you can borrow one for a few workouts just to get an idea of the accuracy.  Then use a ratio to estimate the actual (at my gym it is 75%)  
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    517 sounds way high to me.  The machines are notoriously wrong.  Think of it like this: if you weigh 150lbs you burn about 100 calories per mile of running.  Less when you bike or elliptical.  So 517 calories in 35 minutes would be like running 5 miles in 35 minutes or 7 minutes/mile.   If you weight more than 150 your calories burned goes up of course, but that is still a pretty high total in a short amount of time.  Heart rate monitors are great but many of them (even the expensive ones) are not accurate as to calories burned.  It's just a better guess than the machines.  I would focus on the length of your workouts.  If you elliptical on a high resistance for 60 minutes you're going to burn a heck of a lot of calories.  No need for expensive equipment. 
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