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P.S. to Heart Rate Monitor blog -

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hi, everybody! I promised to blog about the performance of my new toy - hrmmph I mean the Heart Rate Monitor - when I tried it at water aerobics.

I wore it at the pool Monday night 2/25. The class lasts 55 minutes (give or take 5 minutes). The first 15 min. or so is warming up, then 20 min. or so of cardio, then resistance with noodles or buoys, then cool-down. I try to get in early (depending on how many folks are swimming laps - sometimes it's too crowded) & get warmed up before the class starts. I was able to do that last night.

The monitor says my workout lasted 68 minutes 50 seconds, & that I used 238 calories. My average heart rate was 73% of maximum and my highest was 90% of maximum.

The monitor calculates an Energy Pointer for the wearer - a point usually at about 69% of maximum heart rate, according to the Polar website. The part of a workout on the lower side of the energy pointer is less intense, but increases fat oxidation. Working out at a rate above the energy pointer strengthens the heart and increases blood circulation. So my workout last night was 25 minutes in "fat burning" mode and 43 minutes in "fitness mode".

* There were no real problems using the monitor at the pool. Several people were curious about it so I was explaining it to folks.
* During the workout, I thought the chest band was slipping at one point, but it wasn't - it stayed right in place. It's not uncomfortable to wear.
* The alarm was set to tell me when I reached 90% of max. heart rate but I didn't hear it - there's too much noise at the pool, so I'll turn the alarm off.
* I can't see the display without glasses, so I have to memorize the buttons better to start/stop recording - then I can look at the numbers later. I actually worked out longer last night but stopped recording & decided not to bother trying to re-start it because I couldn't see the screen. emoticon
* I wasn't sure if it's ok to wear the monitor in the hot tub so I took it off after swimming; I will try to find out about that tonight.
* So far the number of calories burned according to the monitor is substantially lower than the number the Sparkpeople tracker gives. I am more interested in minutes, trusting the calories to take care of themselves - but the number on the monitor is probably more accurate.

My next experiments are to wear the monitor during strength training and also while swimming laps. I'm eager to see how the data looks over time and if I can make good use of it to get more bang for my exercise buck.

That's it for now!
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