Wow, I hadn't ever thought about it like that. Well, I mean, OF COURSE I realized that I was burning calories.. heck as long as we are still living we are burning calories. What I mean is that I never looked at my running as a way to burn calories. That has never been my intention. I love to run. I have goals to accomplish with my running which require me to train to become better. I run to improve my performance, not to burn calories. In fact, the more I run, the FEWER calories I burn doing it. No, that is not a typo. The more efficient I become, the better I am at covering a certain distance at a given speed, the less it costs my body to do so.
This little interaction highlighted a major error in thinking. Thinking about exercise as a way of burning calories for weight loss. Yeah, yeah, I know you burn calories when you exercise, but you burn calories just being alive and no one seems to look at THAT as a way to burn calories and lose weight (although we should).
I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Well, it isn't actually a secret, just something that most people don't know. When it comes to things that affect how many calories you burn in one day exercise is responsible for a VERY small percentage (maybe 12-15%). Want to know what IS responsible for the majority of calories burned? YOU!!! (60-70%) That's right, the cost of your just being alive is what burns the most calories. This should highlight AGAIN, the issue with our focus of 'calorie burning' during exercise for weight loss. What if instead we focus on ways to make ourselves burn more calories in every moment of our life, better yet, on ways to NOT store fat? That, my friends, is why we exercise and what we should be focusing on when we exercise.