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Know your total energy expenditure: physical activity


The components of expenditure by physical activity

The components; Does physical activity have “components”? Yes, or at least that’s the way it likes to be recognized among the purists who address these issues. In this way taking a bit of the radish for the leaves the experts recognize on the one hand the expense derived during the sports practice or the exercise carried out to maintain the physical form and; on the other, the energy consumed in the activities of daily life that they call: thermogenesis by activity not related to exercise . That is to say, that according to them one can and must distinguish between sports spending and that of everyday life, that is, the one that refers to that produced during working hours, going shopping, walking or cycling … and even chew gum (do you remember the chewing gum and its influence when losing weight ?)

How much does physical activity influence total spending?

At this point it is important to emphasize and make clear that it is precisely this expense, the derivative of physical activity, either sporting or daily, the only one over which you have an important control . That is, you can control what you move or do not move when it comes to doing more sport or when having a more or less relaxed or moved life .

When quantifying it in general figures, this data is tremendously variable as can be seen from considering different people based on the physical activity they perform daily. Thus, in a very generic way , it is estimated that the expense due to physical activity can range from 100 kcal / day in extremely sedentary people (in continuous rest I would say) to 3,000 kcal / day in especially active people.

Elements that affect spending by physical activity

Image result for physical activityThe main one of them is the body size , especially the relative to the muscular mass, to more muscular mass, more expense . It is like comparing the consumption of two engines both at 150 km per hour but one of them with much more displacement than the other. The larger displacement will consume more, then the same with muscle mass.

And all this influences to consider that in general lines the expense for physical activity is higher in males than in females (due to the greater proportion of muscular mass) and that it also declines with age when lean mass also declines.

You spend more when you do sport and also, sitting, after doing it

Good news that results in the benefits of sports activity. I explain. It is clear that between two people virtually identical, one doing sport and the other does not, the first will spend more calories than the second while that difference in activity is evident. But what you may not know is that later, when those same two people are sitting in an armchair, the first will continue spending more than the second for a certain time not small for at least 24 hours. This is due to the so-called increase in post-exercise oxygen consumption . It is a “pleasant” side effect that is propitiated after the exercise so that people who have exercised have higher metabolic rates (and therefore more expense) after performing some physical activity.

Estimation of expenditure by physical activity

From here I have to tell you that there is no very accurate way to estimate from mathematical models the expense derived from the practice of a certain physical activity. However, and in order to leave here some practical information suffice it to say that it is estimated that:

  • The sedentary activities are carried out with an approximate cost of 2.5 kcal / min
  • The light activities of 2.5 to 5.0 kcal / min.
  • Moderate activities from 5.0 to 7.5 kcal / min
  • The heavy activities of 7.5 to 10.0 kcal / min and;
  • Very heavy activities of more than 10.0 kcal / min

I feel for these vagueness but it is what there is … maybe you are interested in making the calculations from this type of tables that use more variables such as sex and weight and, moreover, are more specific when cataloging the various activities. With them, with these tables I have estimated that the cost of my person (74 kg) at the time of writing this article has been about 200 kcal .

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