# Polar heartrate monitor question

#### gigemaggs99

##### New Member

I have a Polar A5 heartrate monitor. I have a question about one of the values it records. It can measure you calories burnt durning a workout. It measures them in kcal. Is this kilo-calories? I did a 40 mile ride yesterday and the watch said I burnt 3013 kcal. Does this mean I burnt 3013 calories? That seems like a lot. I have my height, weight, age, data, etc, entered in the watch so I hope it is calculating it correctly.
I checked the Polar website and all it says about this feature is how it works and explains concepts like running/jogging will burn more calories than walking if all variables (time, duration, etc) are kept the same. I understand that part of burning calories. I just wondered if anyone would know if kcal is the same as calories or do I need to convert the units similar to the difference between meters and kilometers.
I'm trying to lose weight and I am trying to burn more calories than I take it or close to it.

Thank you!

#### gooders

##### New Member
gigemaggs99 said:

I have a Polar A5 heartrate monitor. I have a question about one of the values it records. It can measure you calories burnt durning a workout. It measures them in kcal. Is this kilo-calories? I did a 40 mile ride yesterday and the watch said I burnt 3013 kcal. Does this mean I burnt 3013 calories? That seems like a lot. I have my height, weight, age, data, etc, entered in the watch so I hope it is calculating it correctly.
I checked the Polar website and all it says about this feature is how it works and explains concepts like running/jogging will burn more calories than walking if all variables (time, duration, etc) are kept the same. I understand that part of burning calories. I just wondered if anyone would know if kcal is the same as calories or do I need to convert the units similar to the difference between meters and kilometers.
I'm trying to lose weight and I am trying to burn more calories than I take it or close to it.

Thank you!
sounds a bit strange, I also use a Polar HRM and it does measure in Kcal....even if you were flat out you wouldn't burn that many. I average 800-900kcal/hr when working hard. Was your HRM reading correctly thoughout?....sometimes mine gives bad readings if not positioned correctly or if the batteries are on their way out.

#### gigemaggs99

##### New Member
gooders said:
sounds a bit strange, I also use a Polar HRM and it does measure in Kcal....even if you were flat out you wouldn't burn that many. I average 800-900kcal/hr when working hard. Was your HRM reading correctly thoughout?....sometimes mine gives bad readings if not positioned correctly or if the batteries are on their way out.

I thought about this, my heartrate monitor is about 1 1/2 years old. Is there a way to tell if the battery is low? I checked on Polar's website for this as well, they just give information on how/where to get the battery replaced.
I think my battery may be low, if I use the screen that shows my training zone and it's supposed to show my heartrate in terms of a blinking circle and it adds more circles the higher my heartrate is, well if I get my HR up to the high end it doesn't always fill the circles, they come and go. Any thoughts on this?

#### gooders

##### New Member
gigemaggs99 said:
I thought about this, my heartrate monitor is about 1 1/2 years old. Is there a way to tell if the battery is low? I checked on Polar's website for this as well, they just give information on how/where to get the battery replaced.
I think my battery may be low, if I use the screen that shows my training zone and it's supposed to show my heartrate in terms of a blinking circle and it adds more circles the higher my heartrate is, well if I get my HR up to the high end it doesn't always fill the circles, they come and go. Any thoughts on this?
sorry gigemaggs not a clue take it in to your local dealer and see what they reckon.

#### str8shooter

##### New Member
gigemaggs99 said:

I have a Polar A5 heartrate monitor. I have a question about one of the values it records. It can measure you calories burnt durning a workout. It measures them in kcal. Is this kilo-calories? I did a 40 mile ride yesterday and the watch said I burnt 3013 kcal. Does this mean I burnt 3013 calories? That seems like a lot. I have my height, weight, age, data, etc, entered in the watch so I hope it is calculating it correctly.
I checked the Polar website and all it says about this feature is how it works and explains concepts like running/jogging will burn more calories than walking if all variables (time, duration, etc) are kept the same. I understand that part of burning calories. I just wondered if anyone would know if kcal is the same as calories or do I need to convert the units similar to the difference between meters and kilometers.
I'm trying to lose weight and I am trying to burn more calories than I take it or close to it.

Thank you!
I too have a Polar A-5 I often wondered what a kcal was and why it was such a high value.
Before I got the Polar I found this website to calculate burned calories, it might be a little general but right now who knows what the standard is. Check out the: Activity Calorie Counter section.

http://primusweb.com/fitnesspartner/index.html

#### Polarteam

##### New Member
When you push the light button and the digits fades away, then it's a good time to change the battery

#### Polarteam

##### New Member
gigemaggs99 said:

I have a Polar A5 heartrate monitor. I have a question about one of the values it records. It can measure you calories burnt durning a workout. It measures them in kcal. Is this kilo-calories? I did a 40 mile ride yesterday and the watch said I burnt 3013 kcal. Does this mean I burnt 3013 calories? That seems like a lot. I have my height, weight, age, data, etc, entered in the watch so I hope it is calculating it correctly.
I checked the Polar website and all it says about this feature is how it works and explains concepts like running/jogging will burn more calories than walking if all variables (time, duration, etc) are kept the same. I understand that part of burning calories. I just wondered if anyone would know if kcal is the same as calories or do I need to convert the units similar to the difference between meters and kilometers.
I'm trying to lose weight and I am trying to burn more calories than I take it or close to it.

Thank you!
It all depends at what intensity you are training at.

#### Whitney

##### New Member
Sounds pretty darn high to me, but I have often wondered the same thing, exactly what do they measure? Heart rate as a measure of exertion? Speed?

Where I live, I do 30 - 40 mile solos pretty regularly at around 18 - 19 mph pace. These rides include several pissers of hills, with usually 2000 - 3000 feet of climbing, and usually a good bit of wind.

i will usually see 1300 - 1800 or so Kcal. on Polar.

Sometimes I will do 65 - 75 milers that have some Really ugly hills, and 5000+ feet of climbing and will break 3200 - 3600 or so.

For me at least, burning more than 3000 kcal in a ride really feels like a SERIOUS workout. I am pretty weak and dopy the rest of the day.

Then again I am 43 years old, and pretty weak and dopy even in the best of times

The Kcal thing, by the way is just what we have always been talking about when we talked about calories. An actual calorie is a very small unit, the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water one degree, or something like that. Anyway, when we talked of burning calories, it was always a kilocalory, it's just that nowadays, the write it kcal, cause it's more correcter!

Anyway I am constantly angry at my Polar for one thing or another, but at the moment I had to send it off to be fixed, and I really miss it badly! Life's tough!

Whit

#### atomicrc11

##### New Member
What many people don't realize is that a calorie is a very small amount of energy. On the back of food, they list Calories with a capital C which is equivalent to kcal. Thus it creates confusion. I hope this helps.

#### Stanners77

##### New Member
atomicrc11 said:
What many people don't realize is that a calorie is a very small amount of energy. On the back of food, they list Calories with a capital C which is equivalent to kcal. Thus it creates confusion. I hope this helps.

Yep, my understanding was that 'calories' is simply the abbreviated or short way of saying Kilo Calories (or kCal).

#### sdorrity

##### New Member
gigemaggs99 said:

I have a Polar A5 heartrate monitor. I have a question about one of the values it records. It can measure you calories burnt durning a workout. It measures them in kcal. Is this kilo-calories? I did a 40 mile ride yesterday and the watch said I burnt 3013 kcal. Does this mean I burnt 3013 calories? That seems like a lot. I have my height, weight, age, data, etc, entered in the watch so I hope it is calculating it correctly.
<snip>

Thank you!

There is an article Here that goes into the research behind the OwnCal function its a bit deep for me but I get the impression that its not perfect but its better than almost anything else that mortals can get hold of (without a sports lab anyway) I find that mine gives me a consistant reading so it helps me to guage how my workouts have gone, I suspect that its a bit high on the actual kcals expended but I have no scientific way of proving that.

Its probably worth remembering that unless you are weighing your food religeously you will be taking in more than you think.

Steve D