“The More You Know” Thursday: The Calorie Conundrum

by Janine@ThePurpleGiraffe on April 26, 2012

Good morning lovelies!

QUICK – how many calories do you burn running a mile?

Many people would answer “oh come on, Janine, everyone knows you burn roughly 100 calories per mile! Get with it!”

But how true is that “rule of thumb”?

The fact is that how many calories you burn running a mile depends on so many factors other than the distance! How much you weigh, how fit you are, whether you’re running on flat terrain or up a mountain – the list goes on!

When I first started running (about 35lbs ago), I was burning around 100-115 calories per mile… my heart felt like it was pounding out of my chest, maxing out around 180 bpm!

Fast-forward a couple of years to now – unless I’m doing interval training or hill sprints, my heart barely hits 155 bpm while running, and I’m lucky to burn 55-65 calories per mile!

WHY?I’ve dropped weight AND my body has become accustomed to the exercise. It takes less effort to run now, and therefore, less energy is expended. My body has become more efficient at doing the work!

So yeah – it’s a double-edged sword – to lose weight, you have to burn calories. But to continue to burn the same amount calories as you lose weight, you have to do more.

But Janine, I don’t have time to work out more than I already do!

I know. Neither do I!

BUT I have good news for you. You can burn more calories without adding a ton of time to your workout!

First, if you’re doing the same old workout every day – SWITCH IT UP! Try something new. Do a crazy new workout that you’ve never done before. Your body won’t know what hit it.

Second, if you’re loving your workout, switch up the INTENSITY! Running on the treadmill? Add some incline and boost your speed! Strength training? Grab some heavier weights!

beautiful muscular woman You can build a lean, muscular body with high-intensity training.

Finally, try INTERVAL training! Sometimes when I’m out for a run, I’ll pick up my pace by quite a bit for 30-45 seconds, then recover at a slower pace for 30 seconds before doing it again. It gets my heart pumping and burns considerably more calories than a leisurely jaunt along the same route at a steady pace!

Hope you all have a fantastic Thursday – I’m going to hit the pavement and enjoy a run in this gorgeous weather! Maybe I’ll even throw some hill sprints in for good measure!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit
Twitter: whitlikesfit
April 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I did a 30 min interval workout on the treadmill this morning. I have to be burning more calories doing that than if I ran at the same pace for the same time. I’m dying after an interval workout haha.


2 Jen Correa @ Mom's Gotta Run April 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Agreed. Your body gets used to an activity as well. You need to switch it up! I was a runner for many years before I tried anything else. Now I love yoga and do weight training at least twice a week.


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