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What exercise to log

CJ912020CJ912020 Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
Hi all, just curious if I should be adding in exercise for walking around the shops at a slow pace and lifting things at work? (I know the app doesn't count weights yet but still, I do a fair bit of lifting at work all day)

Would be better off getting a step counter or chest monitor and if I did, should I input those steps in as exercise for each day?

Im under the assumption that my daily calories is for if I just laid in bed all day and/or sat at home doing nothing, basically to just live, should anything extra outside of actual exercise be logged?

On a side note, I bought an elliptical trainer and man the first day was rough, but I did 1km. Have been taking a day break in between, but everything I get on I do a little more. 1km(6mins) 1.5km, 2km(12min but with a short break inbetween) and my latest best was yesterday 3km in 20mins Flat all in 1 run no break.

Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • AndreaTamiraAndreaTamira Member, Premium Posts: 111 Member Member, Premium Posts: 111 Member
    Well, what did you set your activity level at when you set up the account? If it is anything above "not very active" wandering slowly through the supermarket aisles may, basically, be already assumed in your movement. ( even if it is, monitor if you lose weight at the expected rate if you log your shopping trip and adjust what you lig as exercise if needed.)

    If you lift a lot of stuff at work and move around a fair lot you definitely should put your activity level at higher than "not very active" and, hopefully, have your daily work calories already added as an allowance from the beginning. Again, you can monitor weight loss and adjust as needed (after a few weeks, not directly within one week).

    Not sure about using the gadgets you mentioned, as I have no experience using them.
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 17,252 Member Member Posts: 17,252 Member
    Your calorie goal isn't just based on your estimated BMR (what you describe as sat at home all day doing nothing) it also includes an estimate for your usual daily activity (general moving about, working, chores etc...)
    What setting your activity level does is it multiplies your BMR by an activity multiplier. Even the lowest setting (sedentary or not very active) assumes some movement but from what you are saying about your job you should not be selecting the lowest setting.
    Your shopping and work related movement should be accounted for in your activity setting and not as exercise.

    Purposeful exercise isn't included in your initial calorie goal. Your elliptical for example.
    Walking can be one of those things that can be either part of your daily life or you could be walking for deliberate exercise.
    Either way a heart rate monitor (chest strap as you call it) is a very poor way to estimate calorie burns for walking.

    The exercise database does include an estimate for weight training (as exercise) but you have to look for it in the cardio part of the exercise diary. Strength training entry for slow paces, with significant breaks between sets, circuit training for fast paced with no or very short breaks. (The strength part of the diary is purely a journal with no calorie functionality.) As above the lifting things as part of your job is something you consider when choosing your activity setting.
  • CJ912020CJ912020 Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
    Yea so when I mean going shops, I don't mean grocery shopping, I'm talking about window shopping, walking around looking at different stores etc, something we don't normally do on a regular basis, should those be logged or just count it as regular everyday already logged in calorie intake number?

    I'll have to check what I set up the account as, I believe it was the one above not very active (forgot the name).

    Would it be better off just not counting any walking? If I go for a slow walk outside for exercise is it null and void if its the same speed people walk around doing grocery shopping? It doesn't make much sense to pick and choose what is "loggable" exercise if the thing you're doing isn't a regular thing.. should I be not counting a % of a jog because part of it should be allocated to the "initial daily intake"?
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 5,565 Member Member Posts: 5,565 Member
    CJ912020 wrote: »
    Yea so when I mean going shops, I don't mean grocery shopping, I'm talking about window shopping, walking around looking at different stores etc, something we don't normally do on a regular basis, should those be logged or just count it as regular everyday already logged in calorie intake number?

    I'll have to check what I set up the account as, I believe it was the one above not very active (forgot the name).

    Would it be better off just not counting any walking? If I go for a slow walk outside for exercise is it null and void if its the same speed people walk around doing grocery shopping? It doesn't make much sense to pick and choose what is "loggable" exercise if the thing you're doing isn't a regular thing.. should I be not counting a % of a jog because part of it should be allocated to the "initial daily intake"?

    So what distance are you walking? You could use weight (lbs) * distance (miles) * 0.3 to figure out how many calories you burn going window shopping. Quite honestly, if you walk less than 3 miles I'd not even bother.
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 17,252 Member Member Posts: 17,252 Member
    CJ912020 wrote: »
    Yea so when I mean going shops, I don't mean grocery shopping, I'm talking about window shopping, walking around looking at different stores etc, something we don't normally do on a regular basis, should those be logged or just count it as regular everyday already logged in calorie intake number?

    I'll have to check what I set up the account as, I believe it was the one above not very active (forgot the name).

    Would it be better off just not counting any walking? If I go for a slow walk outside for exercise is it null and void if its the same speed people walk around doing grocery shopping? It doesn't make much sense to pick and choose what is "loggable" exercise if the thing you're doing isn't a regular thing.. should I be not counting a % of a jog because part of it should be allocated to the "initial daily intake"?

    You have to decide what level of accuracy you choose to aspire to (but that effort is normally far more valuable applied to logging your intake accurately TBH) but no I wouldn't log general bimbling around window shopping as exercise.
    On the flip side I also wouldn't take off any calories for a bit of a lazy day either when I did less movement than normal. Smoothing an average over an extened period of time is perfectly fine.

    The speed of your walking can be a fitness factor but it's distance that is really significant for calorie burns. Some people do walk a long way for exercise plus adding movement to your life is simply very beneficial for your health long term - it's a great habit to cultivate. Walking really isn't a big calorie burner by time so not worth agonising over too much unless you are doing a lot of it. When I started on MFP the extra walking I built into my day meant although I had a desk job sedentary was too low an activity setting and I was easily lightly active.

    Jogging I would call exercise but I suppose if I'm running a short distance to catch a train rather than exercise I wouldn't bother.
  • CJ912020CJ912020 Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Hard to determine the exact amount of km/miles when window shopping unless I have a step counter i guess, I think if I go out for anything under 30min I won't bother, anything over 1hour of actual walking I will maybe cut down by half, again only if its something I normally wouldn't do.

    I've been increasing my runs by quite a lot since I started, today I did 60min 9km in 1 go. And a second workout later 4km 26min.

    On a side note, with the calories burned how accurate is it really? Like today's run put me with Soooooo many calories i couldn't eat it all as I fast for atleast half the day, by EOD I am like 1400 calories in deficit, should I take that number with a large grain of salt or rest easy with it being relatively accurate?
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 17,085 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,085 Member
    CJ912020 wrote: »
    Yea so when I mean going shops, I don't mean grocery shopping, I'm talking about window shopping, walking around looking at different stores etc, something we don't normally do on a regular basis, should those be logged or just count it as regular everyday already logged in calorie intake number?

    I'll have to check what I set up the account as, I believe it was the one above not very active (forgot the name).

    Would it be better off just not counting any walking? If I go for a slow walk outside for exercise is it null and void if its the same speed people walk around doing grocery shopping? It doesn't make much sense to pick and choose what is "loggable" exercise if the thing you're doing isn't a regular thing.. should I be not counting a % of a jog because part of it should be allocated to the "initial daily intake"?

    I think you're poking over the border into overthinking, here. You pick your activity level by considering what you normally do on average, over an average week. (Many people's jobs are 5 days a week, and weekends are different, but we don't urge people to change their activity level setting based on day of week, just sort of mentally average it out.) Activity level setting doesn't need to be perfect, but it helps if it's reasonable, i.e., someone whose job involves physical labor isn't sedentary, and even someone chasing toddlers at home is probably at least lightly active. Just make a good guess.

    There are a very few people here who like to set activity level very low, then try to log every little thing they do all day that isn't sitting/lying down. Personally, I'd find that fussy and annoying. I prefer to do what the MFP designers envisioned: Get a base calorie goal based on average daily life, then add intentional exercise. (It's worked fine for me through just under a year of weight loss, and 5+ years of maintenance since.)

    What we're trying to do with activity level (+ exercise logging) is just get a *starting estimate* for calorie intake, one that will likely yield weight loss, but not be so extreme as to create health risk, energy loss, "hanger", giving up, etc. Then, we follow the MFP estimate for 4-6 weeks, calculate average weekly weight loss, and adjust from there based on personal experience. (If the first couple weeks are very unusual compared to later, throw those out and go for a couple more weeks before adjusting. If premenopausal female, compare bodyweight at same relative time in at least two different menstrual cycles.)

    Underscoring: You're getting a *starting estimate* from MFP, which you test drive for long enough to get valid personal data, then use that personal data to determine calorie goal.

    In that context, I think it becomes easier to think about exercise estimating. In general, it's more important to be *consistent* than it is to be *exact*. Sure, it helps if you use an exercise estimating method that's likely to give you a *reasonable* estimate: For steady state cardio, a HRM if you have one; for cycling, a power meter if you have one; for machines that estimate in watts and know your age/size, the machine estimate may be decent; for walking/running on fairly moderate terrain a distance formula; etc. A reasonable estimate is plenty good enough. (If you're set up to lose a pound a week, you have to overestimate exercise by 500 calories daily - quite a lot - to wipe out your deficit.) Consider the relative size of the numbers you're working with, before worrying about chasing accuracy of estimates in ways that would require high effort (and extra angst).

    Close is workable, and being consistent (estimating the same exercise the same way every time, even if the basis is a little iffy) is what gives a person repeatable data on which they can base their calorie adjustment after that 4-6 weeks. If, instead, a person keeps switching up estimating methods and calorie intakes, tweaking it in a frantic pursuit of improbable perfection . . . all they get is messy data that is a less-valid guide to their future successful course.

    So: Relax. Make a reasonable stab at estimating activity level based on routine life. Make a reasonable stab at estimating intentional exercise on top of daily activity, then log and eat that (or a consistent percent of it, if you're worried it's overestimated and want to be super-cautious). Then stick with it for 4-6 weeks, monitor and adjust. It'll work fine.

    Best wishes!
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