Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Scary with a Capital S

So, I was talking with my friend Laurel on our online scrabble site. I mentioned that yesterday at the gym I got my heart rate up in the 190s. Laurel is an emergency flight nurse, and she got very concerned when I said this. Told me I could cause myself to have an MI, which is a kind of heart attack. Said that they often have had to use a defibrilator on people whose heart rate goes that high. Scared the you know what outta me!!! I want to get in shape, not kill myself!

She sent me this formula:
If you are 57, take 220-57=163 (max HR)

Low intensity cardio (start with ) 163x.65=106

Mid intensity (in a few weeks for 30 minutes) 163x.75=122

High intensity 163x.85=138

And recommended,
Never, never go over 163 for you. You are stressing your heart way too much and may precipitate a MI.

Sooooo, I'm rethinking my whole approach at the gym. Here I've been thinking that the more the better. This may be true in terms of length of cardio workout, but it definitely is not true in terms of intensity. So, in direct opposition to Emeril's standard advice, I'm going to
take it down a notch
..or maybe a bunch of notches. I was so scared, that today I didn't go to the gym. Instead I went to the beach and swam around for about a half hour.

I'm going to try to go to the gym tomorrow and really pay attention to my heart rate. Like Goldilocks, Not too fast, not too slow, I'm going to be shooting for Just Right. And maybe start looking around at some of those weight resistance machines, whatever they're called.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

oh, i meant to comment on your heart rate yesterday and forgot. the 190's struck me as really really really high. i'm no nurse but at 170 i start to feel that i am pushing it so i never go over 170. i wonder (hope) the machine was off and your heart rate wasn't that high. how did you feel when it was up that high? 163 seems like a reasonable limit. try another machine next time, just to be sure.