A calorie is a unit of energy. One calorie approximates the energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 gram water by 1°C. A 145-lb. person walking 600 steps in 5 minutes at the rate of 3 mph, burns 26 calories, according to University of Maryland. If you weigh 150 pounds, you will work off an estimated 428.6 calories for 7 hours of sleep.
Our body needs calories to move from one point to another, but more importantly we need calories in order to stay alive. Our body needs more than 1000 calories every day just to keep our heart beating, our lungs breathing, and our brain thinking.
For better understanding of what actually a calorie is we need to look at where they come from. The food we eat travels into our stomach, where is broken down to smaller and more easier to work with substances-proteins, carbohydrates and fat. Then the smaller and more compact substances will travel through the blood to where energy is needed. Ones at the spot (for example our bicep muscle) the body can turn them into calories.
One gram of Carbohydrate will give you 4 calories, one gram of Protein will give you 4 calories and one gram of Fat will give you 9 calories. You can easily find out how many calories are in your food by looking at the food label.
It is very important that we recognize and separate our calorie intake just the way our body does. For that purpose here is how our body reacts and what kind of calories uses during exercises.
- Exercise that last less than 10 seconds uses ready energy, that has been stored inside your muscles.
- During exercise that lasts 10 to 120 seconds, your body converts carbohydrates into energy.
- During continuous exercise activity that exceeds two minutes energy comes from body fat, and liver carbohydrates.
You can see that our body uses the calories from fat and carbohydrates only during continuous activity. If your fitness goal is to lose weight you better reduce not the calories intake but the calories that come from fat and carbohydrates.
Between 50 and 65 percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates, 10 t0 35 percent from protein and 20 to 35 percent form fat. Your fitness goal is the one, that will dictate your percent of daily intake.
Calories are important part of our live, and we are lucky that we can choose how much, what kind, and when to get some in order to live better and healthier life.