Logging exercise

ReenieHJ
ReenieHJ Posts: 9,511 Member
My exercise of choice is walking. Well, it'd really be chewing but let's face it, it doesn't work as well.
Anyways, trying to figure calories burned when it's not quite a hike but part of it is, lots of uphill/downhill in my town, actual hiking trails plus street walking. Iphone says 1 hour and 2.5 miles but dang, all the huffing/puffing and burning of leg muscles tells me it's more than simply 2.5 mph walking.
How would you record something like that?

Thanks all!

Replies

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,825 Member
    To answer your literal question ("how would I do it"), not the implied one I'm inferring ("should hills be extra credit?"):

    I'd use the ExRX walking calculator, energy set on "net", and log the pathetically small number of calories that would estimate for flat ground. It will let you adjust for a grade, but I have no idea how to estimate grade, so I take the hills as a bonus, personally.

    I think my tracker's walking calorie estimate is too generous, whether based on HR or distance. I do try to make realistic exercise calorie estimates, not intentionally lowball them, but when truly unsure I will choose a lower reasonable estimate over a higher one.

    That's just me, though. Hills do burn more calories than flat, in reality; and the downhill calories don't arithmetically offset the uphill.


  • LiveOnceBeHappy
    LiveOnceBeHappy Posts: 260 Member
    I would assume that what goes up must come down and that if you went uphill, you went back downhill. I'd think those offset each other? Is that too naive of me?

    I don't actually log my walking in myFitnesspal. Since I don't even need to change my clothes or shower after walking 4 - 5 miles over the day, I just don't.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,379 Member
    I ignore elevation as well when logging and just consider it bonus burn. If I do a good hike or trail run, I may allow myself to go over my goal for the day, but usually not by a lot.
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,030 Member
    I would assume that what goes up must come down and that if you went uphill, you went back downhill. I'd think those offset each other? Is that too naive of me?

    I don't think it is that simple, from what I've read the increase uphill is larger than the decrease downhill.
    Also, at a certain incline it becomes harder work again because you have to hold back to descend safely.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,825 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    I would assume that what goes up must come down and that if you went uphill, you went back downhill. I'd think those offset each other? Is that too naive of me?

    I don't think it is that simple, from what I've read the increase uphill is larger than the decrease downhill.
    Also, at a certain incline it becomes harder work again because you have to hold back to descend safely.

    That's how I understand it, too: Partial offset arithmetically, not full offset, under most conditions.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,289 Member
    I've been logging food and exercise for - what - 14 years?

    I've never worried a whole bunch about elevations, and I live in Washington State, a hilly place.

    I've just used a flat 300 calories for an hour of moderate exercise, no matter what the exercise is. My daily walks are 95 minutes sometimes on flat terrain and sometimes hilly and I log 350 calories. So far that works really well for me. Yes, I know that math doesn't work (you would think I'd log 450 calories, right? Meh. Error factor.)
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,428 Member
    I would assume that what goes up must come down and that if you went uphill, you went back downhill. I'd think those offset each other? Is that too naive of me?

    I don't actually log my walking in myFitnesspal. Since I don't even need to change my clothes or shower after walking 4 - 5 miles over the day, I just don't.

    Doesn't really work that way, other than your potential energy as a physical object. (Also, if you're doing it right, it takes more energy to descend a significant grade on foot than it does to walk on a level surface.)
  • HoneyBadger302
    HoneyBadger302 Posts: 1,679 Member
    I'm struggling to figure this out with new jobs that are a lot more active - some days are just a lot of steps, some are fairly physically demanding, others are just a day at the desk. Weekend gig (new) is very physically active.

    I bought a FitBit Inspire2 to help me determine if I'm remotely in the ball park or not. A few more weeks of data should help, in the meantime I've upped my kcal limit a modest amount, but the new physical activities and subsequent soreness are making it difficult to tell if I'm remotely on target or not, so using the fitbit data to see if it's at least in the ballpark. So far, it seems pretty close for me, as I had a solid number before the new jobs and knew my daily needs.
  • sarabushby
    sarabushby Posts: 651 Member
    I definitely wouldn’t be logging anything additional for any elevation. It’s just walking and the difference will be so minimal it’s not worth worrying about and even if it works in my favour then it’ll simply offset that bite of whatever I forgot to log or the extra few grams of cereal I didn’t accurately weigh etc etc etc
  • ythannah
    ythannah Posts: 4,187 Member
    For both walks and hikes I let MapMyWalk do the logging. It doesn't care about elevation changes, just distance travelled over time.

    After one particularly hilly hike I did check the Fitbit to see what it thought of all that, and it had given me 77 flights of stairs. It all just gets factored into Fitbit's idea of my TDEE, which is roughly what I eat toward, although I will log separate exercise like snow shovelling just as a reminder to get more calories in.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,353 Member
    edited May 10
    ythannah wrote: »
    For both walks and hikes I let MapMyWalk do the logging. It doesn't care about elevation changes, just distance travelled over time.

    After one particularly hilly hike I did check the Fitbit to see what it thought of all that, and it had given me 77 flights of stairs. It all just gets factored into Fitbit's idea of my TDEE, which is roughly what I eat toward, although I will log separate exercise like snow shovelling just as a reminder to get more calories in.

    The Map My series is probably the worst out there as it overstates more than most, and displays gross calories while you want net calories. But it won't matter much for short walks.

    I also underestimate and use 0.42 * weight/kg * distance/km. My walks tend to be mostly flat to slightly hilly, and I know that I walk in a very energy-saving manner. The website mentioned above would probably give me a few more calories. But that's fine with me. Only when I walk really hilly area do I round up to the next 100 or so. In my opinion, being bipedal being with legs, walking is what we do naturally, and as such calorie use is fairly moderate compared to many exercises. Oh yes, both Garmin and Fitbit massively overstate walking calories for me as well. I mean, 1500 calories for a 20km walk as a normal-weight woman of certain age you don't talk about? Fitbit also overstated running cals, and I never tried cycling. Garmin is doing quite well with running and likely understates cycling a bit. But that's me.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 10,704 Member
    edited May 10
    Individual results will vary. Because of degree of logging accuracy. Because of individual differences and how close we track to the averages.

    Timelines matter. A single 40,000 step exercise is ultimately meaningless. 15,000 steps a day for 90 days are not.

    You asked how I would record it? I wouldn't. I just take the fitbit average. I apply an off the top mental 5% correction for the purpose of my own brain management and make decisions on that basis.

    Even if your own number is 10% or 15% as long as you're consistent with your logging you can make meaningful decisions.

    Note how even for myself month long "results" CAN appear to be relatively variable... yet longer term they still blend to under 5%

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  • DaffyGirl88
    DaffyGirl88 Posts: 2,980 Member
    @PAV8888 I have to ask, where did you get that spreadsheet? Is it something that you made up, or did you export it from somewhere? Thanks!
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,626 Member
    On the basis that reasonable is good enough for purpose.....

    I'd use the exrx.net calculator and use net calories for a flat walk and flip it to gross calories for a hike that was significantly more intense for the same speed/distance. For me that would give a difference of about 80cals for your 2.5 mile example.

    If walking for exercise was a regular thing for me I'd divide it down to come up with a per mile calorie estimate for convenience.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 10,704 Member
    edited May 10
    It's own data. From MFP (2020+ from crono), trendweight, and Fitbit.

    The macro/ fiber/ sodium etc columns are hidden for the snip.

    Used to select all, then copy nutrition data from bottom of web food log page on MFP, paste in excel, run macro to find total calories eaten and logged macros and place in second excel page, then another macro to get averages.

    Doing so also helped me find entries that were getting logged with wrong macros, which were more obvious when total calories didn't match with logged macros. I don't remember exactly now I think it was 7% that would make me look for bad entries. Above doesn't capture alcohol calories directly in the macros. For me they represent a small enough category that it was a non issue.

    Point remains that I don't think that exercise and activity should be ignored. But once a reasonable ballpark figure is in play...

    Any exercise logged specifically requires MFP BMR * 1.25 deduction to get net MFP calories (1.4/1.6/1.8, if base mfp setting is not sedentary)

    Trackers when synchronized correctly do not require extra math... at midnight. They do before midnight. (Fitbit does work with mfp and that is one of the reasons I ended up using it)
  • ythannah
    ythannah Posts: 4,187 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    ythannah wrote: »
    For both walks and hikes I let MapMyWalk do the logging. It doesn't care about elevation changes, just distance travelled over time.

    After one particularly hilly hike I did check the Fitbit to see what it thought of all that, and it had given me 77 flights of stairs. It all just gets factored into Fitbit's idea of my TDEE, which is roughly what I eat toward, although I will log separate exercise like snow shovelling just as a reminder to get more calories in.

    The Map My series is probably the worst out there as it overstates more than most, and displays gross calories while you want net calories. But it won't matter much for short walks.

    Oh. Yippee. Good thing I don't rely on it then because I'm lucky to get 200 calories for a brisk 60 minute walk (3 - 3.4 miles, depending on how much time I waste waiting to cross streets). Although it did an update recently and now it regularly rips me off as much as half a mile, it starts mapping quite a while after I leave my office. :/
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,621 Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    My exercise of choice is walking. Well, it'd really be chewing but let's face it, it doesn't work as well.
    Anyways, trying to figure calories burned when it's not quite a hike but part of it is, lots of uphill/downhill in my town, actual hiking trails plus street walking. Iphone says 1 hour and 2.5 miles but dang, all the huffing/puffing and burning of leg muscles tells me it's more than simply 2.5 mph walking.
    How would you record something like that?

    Thanks all!

    I know I do 3 mph on flat. Hills/hiking slows me down. In your example, I would use 50 minutes of "Walking, 3.0 mph, mod. pace" and 10 minutes of "Hiking, cross country."