Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rating my heart

I finally got my hands on a heart rate monitor. It was one of my Father's Day gifts, along with an array of much-needed kitchen supplies.

My watch is fantastic. It serves as a regular old-fashioned wrist watch and stop watch, which I needed anyway. But the best thing is that I can now keep track of my heart rate, which I did on Monday.

The only minor drawback is that I need to wear something around my abdomen while I work out in order for the watch to read my heart rate. It's a strap that goes around my back and then connects to a plastic device that runs across my torso. It's pretty thin and snug and I wore it for several hours yesterday and worked out just fine. I felt it on me but it wasn't uncomfortable. It's actually worth whatever bit of discomfort or whatever other feelings I had initially about it. I suppose it's a small price to pay to be able to read my heart rate.

Some of the better features of this watch:

- It keeps track of your heart rate and records both the average and maximum heart rates during your workout.
- It lets you set your target heart rate zone and alerts you when you get to it and drop out of it. That way you can adjust your workout accordingly.
- It records the total time of your workouts and the total time you spent in your target heart rate zone.
- It keeps track of your calories burned during your workout.

That's just what I've learned following one workout and studying the manual a bit when I first got the watch, on Sunday. I actually wanted to work out as soon as I got the watch in my hands but had to wait a day to do so.

I've got to do some research into my target heart rate zone. The watch suggested 122-160 for me, as I input my data (age, gender, height, weight, etc.) before using it. I adjusted it slightly higher, to 125-165 but I need to find the exact heart rate because even 5 bpms can be a big difference.

I'm going to keep track of my workout totals, including Monday's which I'll post in a second. So expect to see more details from my runs/workouts.

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