Calorie counting is a task that thousands of Americans take part in every single day.

You may even count calories yourself. You may count calories to know how much you eat - or how much you need to exercise to burn off what you ate! So, how many calories do you need per day to maintain your weight?

Everyone’s needs for calories are different. How many calories you need are based upon your height, weight, age and activity level. A 25-yearold woman who is 5-foot 5-inches and 130 pounds, training for a marathon, needs approximately 2,300 calories per day. A 25-year-old woman who is 4-foot 10-inches and 130 pounds, who doesn’t do much physical activity, only needs 1,470 calories per day to maintain her weight. If you’re interested in learning about how many calories you need per day, there are plenty of calculators online where you can plug in the numbers and learn how many you need.

Now that you know how many calories you need, how can you keep track of them?

Keeping track of calories comes easy these days thanks to technology. There are tons of apps that help you keep track: MyFitnessPal and Fitbit are two of the easiest to use since you can just scan the barcode of the food you are eating and it enters it for you. It only takes a few minutes out of your day to figure out how many calories you’ve consumed. So, you’ve figured out how many calories you’ve consumed through the day and found that you are 250 over what you were supposed to have eaten. Now you are tasked with figuring out how to burn off those calories.

There are a ton of options to choose from. You can go to the Centre and lift weights, take a group fitness class, go for a walk or run, ride your bike, or anything that gets you up and moving. Each activity will burn a different amount of calories based on your effort level, weight and height. If you want to figure out which will burn the most, again there are online calculators where you can put in your numbers and get the most accurate calorie burn read. Conveniently enough, if you are using the MyFitnessPal or Fitbit app, they calculate your calories burned for you. Enter in your activity,effort level and minutes you exercised and there you have it.

What seems like a daunting task can be made simple and easy and can lead you to live a healthier lifestyle where you are aware of your intake and what kind of exercise is best for you.

Are you interested in putting those calories to good use? Print a registration form online at www. or fill out a registration form at the Centre for the Million Calorie Burn Challenge (Aug. 20-26) for the chance to put your calories toward one big community goal. 

Written by Kayla Bertram, workplace wellness manager, New Richmond Area Centre.