The stupid, it burns - The Lyorn's Den
Sat May. 8th, 2010
11:18 pm - The stupid, it burns
As I've been doing some exercise now I have started to look around for what people are writing, and occasionally crunch some numbers. Which is not good for my blood pressure. (Although, what is not good for one's blood pressure in general is probably good for mine, because mine needs some raising.)
Latest installment of fail: Thursday at the gym I'm taking a short break and read (for lack of better things) a women's magazine. And my eyes, as always magically drawn to numbers, latch on the line "10 minutes of climbing the stairs every day will make you lose 10 kilos over a year". My first reaction, and probably that of any person who has ever done any exercise or ever tried to lose weight is "yeah, pull the other one". This fails a reality check just as hard as the claim that only those 3-Euro Lattes every Saturday keep you from becoming a millionaire.
But, being as number-obsessed as I am, I got me a calorie burn calculator, and an envelope... so, let's see. Ten kilos of fat converts to about 75,000 kcal of energy. Dividing that by 365 gives you 205. I now ask the calculator... to use 205 kcal when climbing stairs for 10 minutes, you need to weigh 150 kg.
You also need to not become hungrier by that exercise, not become more fit (though that might work both ways, muscle mass using more energy and all that), not lose weight, and not trigger any of the highly evolved regulation systems that have kept your ancestors from starving before they could reproduce, back to the time when they were living on trees and climbing a lot of branches every day.
But, Oh, if you just took the stairs you'd be thin in a year! It's so easy! Everyone can do it! And give up the lattes while you're at it and you'll be a millionaire some time in the 23rd century!
Related: Why Everything's Harder Than You Think.