So here’s the deal; I have a membership at a local gym. At this gym, there are some really nice elliptical machines with bright red digital displays. So as you’re working out, you can simply look at the panel to see how fast you’re “running”, how far you would have gone were you actually running, how many calories you’ve burned, and most importantly, your heart rate, monitored by two metal plates in the hand grips.
Now, this little heart rate counter has been at odds with me before. I wish I had a dollar for every time I would get on one of those machines to start running… and not see my heart rate. So I start running harder. Nothing. I grip the metal plates until my knuckles turn white. After two minutes, the machine gives up on ever finding a pulse in me, and tells me that it’s switching to manual mode. So now that I’ve pedaled my little brains out for two minutes, I have to switch stations and start the whole process over again. Let me tell you, it’s not particularly motivating when you’re throwing all your energy into your workout and your machine can’t tell that you’re even alive.
So me and these heart rate monitors are not on the best of terms to begin with. But they have managed to snub me yet again.
Now, when you get on the machine and push the “Cardio” button, it begins asking you personal, very un-lady-like questions about your age and weight. Calculating this information, it then provides you with a safe target heart rate. Since I’m about to “graduate” this year of my life, as I got on the elliptical tonight, I figured, why not. I’d tell it that I’d aged a year. In response, the machine told me that my target heart rate was one beat per minute lower than it was last time I went to the gym.
Wow. Thank you, inanimate object, for making me feel old.
They should have a little digital readout that scrolls across your display, “Happy birthday. Congratulations; you are now one BPM closer to having a heart attack on this workout setting.”
Oh well. At least it found my pulse.