Last week, I bought myself a Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor. I saw this when I was browsing through one of my favorite blogs, and I was immediately curious about it. It only took me about a half hour to read through the reviews on Amazon and complete my purchase.
I first used it for a quick run I did the day I got it, but I wanted a whole day to try it out for a better review. So Saturday, I put it on around noon. Ben and I finally replaced the floor in our downstairs bathroom (well Ben did most of the work since measurements and numbers make my eyes glaze over and I travel briefly into another dimension). I had to clean the "cats room", which is a closet area in our laundry room/bathroom where we keep the cat boxes. This required a lot of heavy duty scrubbing and shopvacing. Any cat owners will know that cats love to shower litter about the house (despite how much you clean). Once I got done doing that I had to make my oil change/tire rotation appointment so I threw my bike onto the car rack and rode my bike home from the dealership and then back up to the dealership when it was all done (this was only about 5 blocks total). I helped Ben a little bit more with the floor where I could, and then went back out on the bike for a 6.46 mile ride. When I got back, I cleaned up the house a little bit. So total, I had the monitor on for around 4 hours, and burned 879 calories.
How it works: The watch itself is pretty much self explanatory. You program it with your personal information (height, weight, age, etc). It will tell you your heart rate, as well as your calories. To make the watch work, it comes with a small strap and a sensor that you wrap around your chest area (mine fits perfectly right under my sports bra). There is a sensor that snaps in place, which will sync with the watch. All you do is hit the start button and it will start your session. I was a bit disappointed with this at first, because working out isn't the most comfortable activity as it is, and now I had to wear a strap around chest too? But once I had it on, I didn't even notice. You wet the two spots indicated in the directions and fit it to your body. It's a stretchy material so it's not an actual leather belt or anything. Can you imagine? Ouch.
So, I would 100% recommend for those of you who would like to track an accurate calorie count during your workouts. I actually bought this used (but like new) off Amazon for $55. It was one of the best buys I've made for myself in awhile (not including all the make-up I've bought recently). It really encourages you to want to work out more, and it's so addicting to watch the calories tick by. By the time I took this off, I felt so accomplished. Also, for any of you who like to run at night, it lights up too.
As far as my workout goes, I really have no set workout. My favorite form of cardio is definitely riding my bike. I love zipping around town, getting a sunburn, feeling the breeze. It's such a nice change from staying put on the treadmill in the boring spare room. I also try to switch up the routine on the treadmill. I have a Nordic track treadmill with programs on it so I switch it between a 3k (EDIT: I oroginally had 2.89 miles, but it's 1.89), and a program called Death Valley, which is a 43 minute inclined fast paced walk. Do not be deterred by the word 'walk'. This will getting you sweating purty quick. After 10 minutes, I'm ready to get off. So finishing the whole 43 is such an accomplishment for me and burns calories quicker then the run! I will do one or the other depending on how I'm feeling that day. I try to get a walk or a run in at least 3-4 times a week. Sundays are my free days (free meaning, free of work, free of plans, etc.) so I really push myself on Sundays since I have the time.
For the strength aspect of it, Jillian takes care of that for me. I don't use her workout as recommended (which is every day for 30 days), but I will use it for a week or so, on and off, while doing my treadmill workouts or biking too. I'm sure weight training would be more effective, but I have no interest in going back to a gym. As you know, I did the whole gym thing awhile back and it just got boring for me. Plus, I hated all the meatheads in there. Sorry guys, but girls (most girls anyway) don't find it attractive when you are lifting and grunting, and leaving your slimy man magazines all over the gym and checking yourself out in the mirrors. Of course, working out in the gym does leave you feeling like you got more done (I think it's the whole idea of being IN a gym that gives off this effect) but I found workouts that work for me, and those do not include a gym. Plus I save myself month every month.
My top workout songs on my Ipod (these are perfect for cardio):
1. Thing Called Love - Above and Beyond feat. Richard Bedford 2011 Extended Club Mix (One of my personal favorites)
2. Sundown (radio edit) - Chris Lake
3. The Other Side - Jason Derulo
4. Body Work - Morgan Page (Also one of my personal favorites)
5. In The Air - Morgan Page, Sultan + Ned Shepard, and BT feat. Angela McCluskey
6. Breakn' a Sweat - Zedd/Skrillex & The Doors
7. Bangarang - Skrillex
8. If I Lose Myself - One Republic
9. Pressure - Starkillers
10. Turn up the Music - Chris Brown
These are my favorites anyway. Everyone has their own preference in work out music, but I personally prefer techno just because it helps keep me moving.
Any comments or questions, add below.
Disclaimer: I purchase all of these products on my own, and am not paid for my opinions on these products. With the exception of the pictures I personally take, the pictures are simply used for enjoyment and I do not take any rights or own any of the stock photos used.