My heart rate monitor is very useful (I have this one, though I’d love to have a BodyBugg if they weren’t so darned expensive and didn’t REQUIRE a subscription in order to get the data off the darned thing – frickin’ Nazis). During my workout, it shows how long I’ve been exercising, what my heart rate is (natch), and how many calories I’ve burned. After my workout, it provides a summary that’s useful for tracking my fitness progress – I know I’m getting more fit because my average heart rate for the same amount of exertion is getting lower, workout by workout. For example, 30 minutes on the elliptical at level 3 used to run me an average heart rate in the high 160’s – it is now running in the low 160’s or high 150’s for the same amount of time, effort, and calories burned.
So, there’s progress and then there’s progress. There’s more to fitness than scales and tape measures! My asthmatic lungs are doing me proud.
Today I wore the heart rate monitor for the entire duration of my workout – 20 minutes on the elliptical (I stopped 10 minutes early due to pain in my foot, which I’m learning to listen to!) and 30 minutes of weight training, plus ten minutes of stretching and cool-down. I burned nearly 450 calories, and would have topped 500 easily had I stayed on the elliptical for the extra 10 minutes.
So, that’s my new goal. To burn 500 calories every day via my workouts. Since I’m going to break my week up into days of cardio only (Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday) vs. days of cardio and weight training (Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday), I imagine it’ll be easier to achieve 500 calories burned on the weight training days. BUT, I burn around 300 calories in 30 minutes on the elliptical, so if I add additional cardio sometime in the day – say a brisk 30 minute walk around the AcronymCo campus – that’ll give me the total I’m looking for on my non-weight training days.
Monday and Saturday’s cardio/weight training workouts will be consecutive, thereby taking advantage of the extra calorie burning/increased heart rate that comes with following weight training directly after cardio. Wednesday’s will be broken up with cardio in the morning and weight training in the evening, but I’ve gotta believe that it’s not going to make THAT big of a difference that it’s not consecutive. Like I commented to Kim in an earlier post, it’s the total exercise that counts, not whether or not it’s back to back.
I’m going to TRY (I know, I’ve said it before) to drag my ass out of bed early enough before work to get my cardio in, Monday through Thursday (Friday being my rest day), so that any subsequent exercise I get during the day is just gravy. I’m always pretty tired by the time I get home from work so that it’s easier for me to blow off, or “phone in” (damn you, Jillian) my workouts. I’m hoping that if I establish the routine of at least getting my cardio in before work, I’ll be less inclined to skip.
I don’t know, there’s just somthing in my psyche that VEHEMENTLY protests getting out of bed if it’s any earliler than 6:45. I’m a damned wussy.
I’ve also discovered a strange way to motivate myself. I’ve been keeping a calendar in the weight room, and every day that I work out, I put an “X” on that day on the calendar. I like seeing more “X’s” than blank days by the end of the month, which motivates me to put those “X’s” on there! It’s an immediate, visual representation of the effort I’ve been putting forth, and there’s even a little zing of guilt thrown in there, for the weeks heavy on blank days.
Hey, whatever works, right?