I don't aim for calories burned. It's too inaccurate to try to measure that number (even with a HRM). Exercise is for fitness, not weight loss (i.e. calories burned).
If I look at exercise as a way to burn calories, I end up a) not wanting to do it and b) making decisions about my calorie consumption and daily activity on a faulty estimate and c) choosing exercise that claim to burn more, even if my own body works harder or gets more benefits at other types of exercises.
I think this last point is important. Strength training doesn't burn as many calories as running, but if I made my goal "calories burned" I would opt to run. But strength training is critical for health and fitness. Same with yoga. Moderate and mild yoga sessions do not burn nearly as many calories as a hard yoga session, or running. But they are critical for improving balance, flexibility, and strength- all necessary for avoiding injury during runs and usual daily movement. If "calories burned" were my goal, I would gravitate away from yoga and just get on the elliptical or treadmill.
I aim for 3 hard workouts (run, lift, hard yoga) and 2 restorative (walking, light yoga) a week. That helps me reach my fitness and health goals.
Last edited by indiblue; 10-12-2011 at 10:46 PM.