It seems that ever since recreational exercise became mainstream for the general population, we've often equated working out with burning calories. Now, all forms of exercise will create some kind of addtional calorie burn, beyond the calories expended by simply breathing and doing day-to-day activities. While burning calories isn't necessarily a negative side effect, it certainly isn't the only reason to exercise. It might be tempting to evaluate your workouts by that number on your treadmill or smart watch, but here are some other effects to pay attention to and take into consideration:
- Strength training might not burn as many calories during the workout, however the muscle you build will help to burn more calories overall during regular life - that's often creating additional calorie burn for 23 hours of your day!
- Exercise reduces stress, and that benefit has little to do with how many calories you burn - notice how your mood improves when you're exercising regularly and you'll see what we mean :)
- As you become fitter, your body's efficiency will improve - awesome! But this also means it will take more work to burn the same number of calories, so chasing the numbers may become more difficult over time. Instead, enjoy how much more easily you can walk up 5 flights of stairs, play with your kids, or put your full effort into your next strength training workout.