Friday, January 28, 2005

go go gadget heart

I love gadgets. There's nothing like a gadget to inspire you to do something.

Every couple of years work gives me a health check... a sort of MOT where they check your blood, hearing, eyesight, breathing and, if you're lucky stick their hands up your bum whilst wearing marigolds. Well mine is due in a few months and if they did it tomorrow it wouldn't look good. I'm so unfit!

So I've decided to do something about it. I've been eating healthily, tons of fruit!! Each lunchtime this week I've taken my life in my hands and completed a brisk 2 mile walk around the scary new town where I work (not been menaced by crack-whores yet... it's only a matter of time). Today, I went for a run. A run!

What's that got to do with gadgets? Well I got myself a heart meter. It's Nike watch that comes with an extra sort of rubber strap with a transmitter in it. You put the strap round your chest and set off running, or cycling or whatever you do. Your watch then records your heartbeat as you exercise and prompts you to exercise harder/slow down, etc. First though you've got to 'train the watch' so that it understands what you're capable of, or not, as the case may be. You do this by setting a programme on the watch which tells you to exercise 'EASY' for five minutes, then do 5 minutes at 'MEDIUM' before 3 minutes 'HARD' and 2 minutes 'COOL DOWN'. It then plots your heartbeat for each of these 'zones' so you can then train in the appropriate zone in the future. Still here?

Well, 'EASY' is meant to be such a comfortable pace that you feel you could easily keep it up for an hour... so I set off for my first 5 minutes at what I felt was a plod. The second 5 minutes, 'MEDIUM' is meant to be at a pace that you could keep up for, say, 20 minutes. By the time I got to this point, I had decided that my 'EASY' pace was probably my 'MEDIUM' pace after all, but nevertheless I stepped up a gear as prompted by my beeping watch. By the time it came to beep me up to 'HARD'; I was seriously uncomfortable, I stepped up the pace again but after a minute of that I was knackered and stopped. I then dawdled home, disgruntled. I took off my watch but kept my strap on for a while.

I might try again tomorrow. Then again, I might drive to the chippy.