Calorie Counting, Cardio and POTS

This video covers issues of exercise equipment calorie counts and why they’re never accurate, along with some information about heart rate and POTS. The second subject, I cover in depth in my article on POTS and exercise, but I wanted to cover a little of it video format for my YouTube page.

For your convenience, I’ve included the Heart Rate chart shown in the video so you can determine your ideal range. Remember, it is very important that all people with any form of dysautonomia monitor their heart rate during exercise to ensure they stay within safe limits. For more tips and information, see my post on POTS and exercise.


If you’re looking for a good calculator to help you determine how many calories you’re burning, try this one, which has quite the variety of exercise options and allows for full user statistical input:

I also feel like I should correct something I said that’s not accurate. When I shot this video a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I’d hit “my first 100 miles” on the bike, which isn’t entirely accurate. I’ve probably done twice that. However, my bike resets after a week of inactivity, so this is the first time I’ve clocked 100 miles before it reset on me due to inactivity. As of yesterday, I hit 155. This is important, not as a point of pride (though I admit, there is that), but because my PT helped me to realize how much I was setting myself back by taking long breaks when I went into flares or fell ill, so I’m not doing that anymore. Instead, during flares, I do a reduced work out, getting in what I can. My usual work out is a fairly hard hitting 90 minutes. When I’m flaring, I might do closer to 60 or even 30 if that’s all I can manage. I’ve done as little as 10 minutes of cardio and surprised myself by doing as much as my full 30. Don’t underestimate yourself. Once you manage to start exercising on a regular basis, you’ll be delighted by how much more energy you have, even during flares, especially if you take antioxidants and/or bioflavinoids.

If you need a boost to your energy levels, take a look at our supplements page!


2 thoughts on “Calorie Counting, Cardio and POTS

  1. Do people with POTS burn more calories exercising? I burn a ton when I exercise but I’m not sure if it’s because my HR monitor belt assumes that I have a normal resting HR and to have my HR go so high, it assumes I’m burning that many calories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is such a complex and confusing subject for us, isn’t it? I’ve never found anything that states that we burn more or less calories on average and I think you’re probably right about the inaccuracy of your monitor’s calculations. It’s better to calculate it ourselves using one of the sources available online -vs- relying on heart rate monitors to do it for us. That being said, it’s still very important to monitor your heart during exercise if you’re a POTSie, so that you know for sure if and how often you’re triggering tachycardia. If you’re triggering your tachycardia frequently, you may need to get better control of the condition through medication first and of course it’s always best to clear any exercise regimen with the physician treating the condition.


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