Any activity which can be done without breaking a sweat like strolling, cleaning the house, doing dishes, gardening, washing the dog, general chores around the house and the like have a
minimal 3.5 calories per minute
expenditure for a 130 lbs. person. Working around this intensity will roughly put your heart rate at 55% of MHR. Now to calculate your personal AEE for an activity done at this level
just use this equation
[BW(in lbs)/ 130] x 3.5 x minutes you do that activity for. Let’s say I do chores around the house for 40 mins daily and i weigh 210lbs.
my AEE for this activity would be (210 / 130) x 3.5 x 40 = 226 Calories burned.
then I went on a long walk for one hour : (210/130) x 3.5 x 60= 340 calories.
why this formula if you ask. This research paper concludes that the calories expended while perfomring any activity is same for everyone if accounted per pound of LBW(lbm,fat free mass).
simply put, the amount of calories you burn doing anything is directly proportional to your LBW. Using body weight(BW) instead of lean body weight(LBW) evens out the aerobic efficiency disadvantage of fat people and the resulting accuracy is maintained..
The second classification is any activity which is in your dominant aerobic zone in which you oxidise mostly fat and little glucose, like jogging (< 5 mph), moderate cycling (10-12mph), rowing, shoveling snow, swimming, trekking , volleyball, wrestling, tennis, soccer, moderate rope jumping, boxing on a bag, basketball, and aerobics (Duh.) Say, any activity which you can perform without wheezing your lungs out. There will be intense moments but there will be recovery too. There is moderate effort required and you don’t have to really push (unless you’re horribly out of shape). working around this intensity will put your heart rate Around 65% of MHR. Your muscles will ache of fatigue maybe after 30-45 minutes but they won’t “burn”. Burn in muscles being used around 20-30 mins is a sign that you've surpassed the aerobic zone.
Such aerobic activities have an energy expenditure of 6.5 calories/minute for a 130 lbs person. Same formulae of (BW/130) x 6 x minutes of the activity performed, will do. Taking an example, a petite young lady weighing 110 lbs plays tennis for 25 minutes. 110/130 x 6.5 x 25 =138 calories burned = AEE for tennis. The third classification is for activities around your Lactate Threshold. Let’s talk about lactate a bit, because it’s crucial for defining both of the next two activity/intensity levels. See, as long as the intensity of any exercise is at a level that oxidation of fat and glucose is enough to sustain it, we have manageable lactate production in our muscles. (as in the 1st and 2nd activity classifications here).
Initially during increased exertion, muscle glycogen is broken down to produce glucose, which undergoes glycolysis producing pyruvate which then reacts with oxygen to releases energy. This is the aerobic pathway.
If the intensity of activity surpasses the availability of oxygen, carbohydrate is consumed more rapidly because the pyruvate ferments into lactate. Production of lactate increases rapidly with both, time AND intensity, resulting in Lactate buildup in the muscles and in the bloodstream too; and if the intensity is maintained or increased for a duration longer than 2-3 minutes, lactate buildup will result in sharp burns, nausea and vomiting. this is completely anaerobic pathway.
Interval training puts you purposely in that level but only for such short periods of time that you could recover by clearing out the lactate. This is why you can’t run 800 m dash with a 100 m pace.
Lactate Threshold is your thin line between aerobic and completely anaerobic metabolic pathways. We have talked enough about aerobic pathways. now, when you increase the intensity of any activity pushing your heart rate into 75% to 85% of your MHR, more and more glycogen from muscles is used along with fermentation making it more and more anaerobic and more and more lactate is produced.
At this level considerable motivation and efforts is required to maintain the intensity. Even if you’re a dedicated athlete you can’t go continuously for more than 30-40 minutes as the lactate buildup will cause a sharp burning sensation in the muscles and may lead to nausea and vomiting. This is the third classification. Think along the lines of Competitive sports, vigorous cycling (16mph), vigorous running (7 mph), boxing in the ring, martial arts, well-structured weightlifting program, circuit training with minimal rest and so. The easiest way to ascertain the intensity for this level is to target a heart rate of 75-85% of MHR.
Honestly, this is the realm of athletes and considerable fitness is required to even train at this level for longer than 10 minutes. Beginners are short of breath almost all the time and give up way early before the lactate buildup can initiate severe muscle burns. It has profound benefits though, upon which I will shed light in a different article.
Training at this level burns 10.5 calories/minute for a 130 lbs person. Say, a 23 year old guy weighing 210 lbs straddles a stationary bike, warms up for 5 minutes and then jack it up till his heart rate monitor reads 156 bpm. Which is around 79% of his MHR (220-23= 197 bpm| 197 x .79 = 156 bpm). Now he maintains this intensity for 15 minutes, from too much panting he chooses to recover for 5 minutes at a comfortable pace and then jacks it up again at around 150~ bpm(76% of MHR) for another 15 minutes. Let’s calculate the AEE.
1) AEE for the 5 minute warm-up: 210/130 x 3.5 x 5 = 28 calories.
2) AEE for the 15 minutes of near threshold training : 210/130 x 10.5 x 15 = 255 calories.
3) AEE for the 5 minutes of comfortable pace (dominant aerobic zone): 210/130 x 6.5 x 5 = 53 calories.
4) AEE for the last 15 minutes of threshold training: same as above: 255 calories.
TOTAL : 590 calories burned for 40 minutes of exercise. Not bad.
Now, you don’t have to be so scrupulous of the details like considering the warm up and such IF doing math is hard on you. Make it as simple as you like, you have the “FORMULA!”
Coming to the last classification of all-out effort, the completely anaerobic zone when your heart beats as if it will come out of your chest any second putting you around 95% of your MHR. Think 100m sprint or running for your life when a cheetah (hunting leopard) is chasing you which means you’re dead anyway if not from the heart attack.
Most beginners feel like they’re on this level when they actually are on the 3rd. Seriously, if you’re capable of training at this level safely then you don’t need to calculate the calorie expenditure or AEE. You’re in the realm of VO2 max perfection. You eat lighting and crap thunder. Got the reference?
jokes aside you burn anywhere around 20 to 35 calories per minute and since you can only hold that pace for few seconds to two minutes (35cal/min for few secs and 20 cal/min for 2-3 minutes) just lump it up any way you like.
I may or may not do a part 4 soon for summing it all, along with expert insight and recommendations. till then Check out Part 1 & Part 2
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