Monday, August 16, 2010

Sweat Equity

I've been trying to up my aerobics a bit here of late -- in the spring when I had a cold go down into my chest and had to go to the doctor, my lung capacity wasn't as good as I wanted -- just a hair above "normal."

Normal? The hell you say!

That won't do. I've gotten my resting pulse down to 58, but I'd like to expand the Oxy/CO2 exchangers a bit. Blowing up eight or ten balloons every morning seems to help, but it's not enough.

Want to see how little air is generally in your lungs? Take as deep a breath as you can, use your diaphragm, pull it way down, then exhale it all into a twelve-inch balloon. In my case, that makes a ball a little bigger than a cantaloupe -- and smaller than a bowling ball. I can do better.

Thing is, when it's 97ยบ outside as it currently is here, working up a sweat doesn't take any more than walking out the door, and the huffing and puffing starts a lot quicker ...

I'm going to do it anyway -- djurus, sambuts, maybe a bit on the punching bag, and the little strider thingee my wife uses that lets you walk in place like a demented cross-country skier. But I'd rather do it when it's seventy degrees, I have to admit ...


Mike Byers said...

So how does that machine work when it comes to measuring how far you've gone, how much work you've done, etc.? Or do you just go for a certain amount of time? I'm not sure how accurate the computer is on my Schwinn Airdyne, but it is sort of neat to look a calories burned, Watts produced and so on. And I've noticed that since the Airdyne works on air resistance (drag), there's a definite effect from temperature and humidity. After a week or so of high humidity and temperature, we had a nice, cool morning and I managed to get my ten miles in a little less than 49 minutes. I suppose the human body is somewhat like a race car, in that the best time to make a qualifying run is in cool weather when there's a little more oxygen in a given volume of air. Sounds like a good theory, anyway. And I was pleased to get my resting pulse up to 60 from 30. It took some hardware to do this, though.

Steve Perry said...

We've had several at-home devices like this over the years -- rowers, ellipticals, stair-stepper. Pretty much the only computer aspect of them I ever trusted was the timer.

This one has a session-steps counter; a total steps counter that rolls over at ten thousand; a steps (swings)-per-minute counter; a calorie-counter; and a timer. Only one I use is the timer -- I don't think the steps matter, and I don't believe the calorie counter has anything to do with reality. Size, age, that makes a difference, and the only way this thing can calculate calories burned has to be steps/min and time, and it tells me I'm burning it up at a much higher rate than is generally accepted for runners or cross-country skiers -- and having been a runner, I can say it isn't working me that hard.

In fact, swinging your legs back and forth and pumping your arms takes a while to raise your heart rate into the aerobic zone. You can use just your legs or just your arms to vary it, and do a couple of push-only or pull-only things to work the upper body. What it mostly works is your butt and calves, and after twenty or thirty minutes, you do have to breath harder.

We've had better machines, a big elliptical one in particular, but Dianne didn't like the noise, and I didn't use it, thinking I didn't need to. We gave it to the kids.

What I really need is a ROM -- see the next post on the blog.