Monday, February 25, 2013
First - I've been doing aerobics at the pool for several years and have been cleared by my doctor. If anyone wants to use a tool like this YAY! but if he or she hasn't been working out regularly see a doctor as part of starting to exercise!
OK, now the fun stuff! I bought a heart rate monitor today! I've been curious about these for a while. I read other Sparkpeople's recommendations on the fitness message boards, and today I bought a Polar FT7. (I paid a little too much - $109; it would have been cheaper online).
I went to the Polar website and watched the videos explaining how to set up the watch, and entered all my info. Then, of course, I just had to try it out!
I put on some Beatles and Rolling Stones, warmed up a little, and then danced for 25 minutes (short workout but I was curious - still worked up a little sweat...)
Well, i worked out for 27 min, 36 seconds. I burned 110 calories. My heart rate averaged 78% of maximum and at the highest was 91% of maximum. For 5 min 42 sec. of the workout I was in 'fat burning' mode - lower intensity; and for 21 min 54 sec. I was in 'fitness mode' - higher intensity.
The alarm was tweeting at me (very quiet, and that feature can be disabled) through-out most of the workout, because I'd set it to notify me if I exceeded 80% of my maximum heart rate. Since I'm old, ya' know - being cautious.
At the pool I count my pulse against the second hand on the clock. Often it seems to be around 140 - 150 beats per min., which is pretty close to my max (225-60=165) but I feel great and that's a pretty rough method of tracking heart rate, so I haven't worried about it. So from this workout I know I was at 91% of maximum. I changed the setting to beep at me when I get to 90%, & I will try to learn to keep it there. I think the watch will let me set more than one zone? Gotta read the instructions again...
There's a chest strap with a little snap-on transmitter which sends info to the watch. The strap is not uncomfortable, and it stays put. The watch holds a record of 99 workouts, and above that the oldest workout drops off. You can scroll through those records to see changes, progress, etc. There are some other bells and whistles if I want to spend more $$ - I can download my info and get more complete data. I haven't looked into that yet...
Downside? Well, the display is too small for me to read without my glasses, but when I get used to which buttons to push I won't need to look at the display during the workout. I think. And the buttons are tiny and a little stiff.
It's water resistant so I will try it in the pool tomorrow, and post a P.S. to this blog with my results.
Right now I am REALLY HAPPY with this investment in my health and wellness!