Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Calculate the caloric value of your swim workout

I'm sort of a techie nerd and got myself on the mailing list for wolframalpha.com early this year when it rolled out. If you don't know what wolframalpha is, it is a "computational knowledge engine" - i.e. a search engine that is extraordinarily good at doing calculations. This means that you can ask it stuff and it kicks back replies based on the calculations it does behind the scenes. What does this have to do with swimming, you ask? Well in today's year end newsletter, the web site announced it has a fitness calculator. This is the cool part. I typed in "swimming 55min" and it kicked back a screen showing energy expenditure, fat burned, oxygen consumption and metabolic equivalent. It defaults to a body weight of 160 lbs, but you can enter your own weight and it will give you these results for your profile. If you're across the pond, you can have the results in metric equivalents.

Don't know if this will help anyone for the upcoming holidays, but here's something I calculated that I found useful for my 210lbs profile. WA says I burn 550 calories in my workout (at a leisure pace). That means I can eat two doughnuts at 224 calories each, and still be ahead! Awesome!


  1. Hi,
    I just started swimming laps again after decades (I'm 62) and came here because of your goals.

    I love the Wolfram Alpha deal! I knew of it, but would not have thought of it in a million years for calories burned while swimming!!!

    Thanks and good luck!

  2. Thanks for the comment and making me feel validated. It's rare! Since you liked the Wolfram Alpha post, here's another along the same line that I just posted last week.
    Keep up the good workouts!


Comments are welcome and can be a great contribution to this blog, but comment spam including those with links to external promotional sites may be deleted.