Calories In – Calories Out – Nutrition and Energy Expenditure

Students visiting McGrath

This is a project that includes physical activity and journaling. 

As students participate in physical activity during class or outside of class, they will keep a record of calories expended or burned.  For example, riding an exercise bike for 30 minutes at a rate of 16 mph burns approximately 200 calories.  The student would progress this distance toward Nome.  During the time there are mushers and teams on the trail between Anchorage and Nome, there is no limit as to how many times a student can “calorically” travel the Iditarod Trail.  In their journal, students will create a daily chart to compare the number of calories burned during exercise with snack calories consumed during the day.  Snacks would be considered any food or beverage consumed other than at mealtime.  When entering the snack information, the students should also make a note as to why the snack was consumed, was it hunger, lacking energy, boredom, etc.  Ask the students to make a note of how they felt before consuming the snack and after the snack at 30 minutes and 60 minutes.  The final phase of this activity would be to address snacking behaviors and the amount of exercise it takes to burn off snack calories.  Compare the caloric values of “junk” snacks to “healthy” snacks. After the first week of Iditarod, ask the students to make a conscientious effort to eat only healthy snacks and continue to enter information in their journals.  When the Red Lantern has been awarded, ask the students to respond to the following questions –

1) How many calories did I burn each day through exercise?

2) How many snack calories did I take in during the first week of Iditarod?

3) How many snack calories did I take in during the second “healthy” week of Iditarod?

4) How did calories expended and calories consumed balance out for each week?

5) How will this information affect your exercise and snack habits?

View the Lesson Plan.