What are the Different Types of Fitness Calculators?

B. Miller

There are hundreds of fitness calculators to be found online, many of them for free. Each of these calculators is designed to help someone meet his or her individual fitness and health goals. In general, a user will enter personal information, either once or on a regular basis, and the fitness calculators will return personalized advice, charts, and information about how to best achieve one's goals. In addition, a fitness calculator may also refer to a device worn while exercising, such as a pedometer or heart rate monitor.

A pedometer.
A pedometer.

One of the most common types of free online fitness calculators is a calorie counter. A user may be able to enter all the foods and drinks he or she consumes in a day, and the calculator will tell him how many calories he consumed and where he could cut back in order to meet weight loss or fitness goals. Some food calculators such as this focus on all food groups, while other calculators specify individual concerns, such as the amount of carbohydrates, sugar, protein, or fiber in a diet. This type of highly specific calculator is helpful for weight lifters or those training in a sport with specific nutritional needs.

Some fitness calculators keep track of exercise activities, such as swimming.
Some fitness calculators keep track of exercise activities, such as swimming.

Other fitness calculators are simply meant to be a starting point for exercise. A Body Mass Index calculator simply estimates a user's BMI based on values entered in a form. These generally include height and weight, as well as body measurements such as waist or hip circumference. This measurement can be a great way to determine if someone is at a healthy body weight for their overall size and body type.

Other types of fitness calculators allow the user to keep track of his or her activities, and the calculator will then create a chart to view. For instance, if one jogs for 30 minutes on Monday, followed by one hour of yoga on Tuesday, and 45 minutes of swimming on Wednesday, all of this information can be entered into the fitness calculator. The user can then easily keep track of his or her activities.

These are just a few of the fitness calculators to be found online. Fitness calculators that may be used during exercising include a pedometer, which measures steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned; a heart rate monitor, which keeps track of heart rate while working out; or even a personal GPS, which may be able to track distance while running, among other things. Fitness calculators can be a great way to keep track of information and note progress over time.

Runners often use devices such as heart rate monitors.
Runners often use devices such as heart rate monitors.

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Discussion Comments


@Fa5t3r - Health and fitness calculators are crucial if you're training for something specific though. My sister has done the Iron Man race a few times and she almost made herself sick during training at one point because she wasn't getting enough nutrition. She couldn't afford a private trainer or a nutritionist, so she used some of those free calculators and drew herself up a plan on how she should be eating.

There are some amazing calculators online that will keep track of everything, like mineral and vitamin levels as well as calories and so forth.


@KoiwiGal - Honestly, I just think people shouldn't put too much faith into those fitness calculators in the first place. They are always going to be off in some way, either because everyone is an individual and burns calories in different ways or because they aren't using exact data.

It's not a bad thing to have a rough estimate of how many calories you burn per day and how many you consume but getting obsessed is only going to lead to unhappiness no matter what you do.


Make sure you know where the calculator is drawing its data from, because it might not be from an accurate source or from a relevant source. For example, if you put in something like a box of chicken nuggets, it might give you the generic number of calories rather than the number specific to a particular restaurant or brand.

Some of the fitness calculators don't take body weight into account either, which can make a huge difference to how many calories you are burning. Someone who has to lift two hundred pounds up a staircase is going to be burning a lot more than someone who only has to lift up one hundred pounds.

And that's not even getting into the fact that muscle burns more than other tissues, which is something that those calculators rarely take into account as well.

I'm just pointing this out because it can be dangerous if someone is obsessed with burning off too many calories. If they think they have consumed more calories than they have and exercised off fewer than they have they could hurt themselves. Likewise, it could end up being discouraging if someone calculates that they should be losing weight and they aren't.

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