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Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

rewarding self for keeping to the program?

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Old 02-23-2007, 03:50 AM   #1
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Default rewarding self for keeping to the program?

Heya!

I just discovered an age old way of motivating oneself to going to the gym! Shopping! *lol*

Today is the 5th consecutive day in a row that I have gone to the gym. So I pondered how to reward myself. At first I wanted to get myself maybe a huge chocolate cake or something along those lines. Then I stopped and thought 'I need new workout clothes. let's get those instead'. And that was that.

So now I am all smiley and happy about my purchases. And guess what? Can't wait to wear my new clothes to the gym tomorrow! Weird huh? Anyone doing the same thing as well?

shockingp
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:41 AM   #2
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Hey P - that's awesome! Shopping is always my big motivator too ... and you'll feel great in your new gym clothes. Don't forget other fun gym toys to shop for, like an iPod and heart rate monitor.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:08 PM   #3
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Gym toys are addictive! I have started having to buy gym clothes, in bulk, on Ebay. - six well-fitting, basic breatheable cotton tees for 12 dollars, with shipping!

Gym pants are addictive too. And if I hit at least 5x a week going to the gym, plus at least 2x strength training, I buy myself 3 new songs for my mp3 player.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:13 PM   #4
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Meg, what do you take to be the advantage of the heart rate monitor? The ones on the machines at my gym are pretty hit and miss (sweaty hands and they will report a heartrate that suggests I might be half dead), but since I'm a bit confused by this "weight loss target" and "cardio target" HR business, I haven't been fussing about it. Should I be?
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:14 PM   #5
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That's a cool treat -new tunes. Motivates you to go to the gym, and then the new tunes motivate you to want to work out again/more. What a great cycle!
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baffled111 View Post
Meg, what do you take to be the advantage of the heart rate monitor? The ones on the machines at my gym are pretty hit and miss (sweaty hands and they will report a heartrate that suggests I might be half dead), but since I'm a bit confused by this "weight loss target" and "cardio target" HR business, I haven't been fussing about it. Should I be?
Baffled, I'm addicted to my HR monitor. The first reason is that not all of my gym's cardio equipment has built in HR monitors and I imagine I'm working harder than I really am unless I see the numbers and push myself (I'm inclined to be lazy ). Second, the cardio monitors built into the machines are grossly inaccurate and read wa-a-ay too high. My monitor is set to my age, gender, height, and weight and tells me I'm burning about 50% of what the machines say. That's a BIG difference!

I also use my HR monitor to do cardio intervals, working in different heart rates zones for defined periods of time.

One advantage mine has over the ones in machines is that it will track an entire workout - cardio and weights - and give a read-out on calories burned when I'm finished. I was thrilled to discover that my heart rate and calories burned are almost as high when I'm lifting weights as when I'm doing cardio. I can hit 90% of my max HR on a good set of squats or bicep curls.

As for the so-called 'cardio zones' and 'fat-burning zones' you see on the machines ... they're a myth perpetuated by machine manufacturers. Check out this recent thread for more info: Cardio versus fat burn? What we care about is total calories burned and the more intensely you exercise and the higher your heart rate, the more calories you're burning.

Some studies have shown that we burn the most fat mixing in some cardio intervals, like when you're jogging then sprint for a minute, recover, jog, sprint again etc. Do you use interval training in your cardio workouts now?
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Old 02-23-2007, 02:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
That's a cool treat -new tunes. Motivates you to go to the gym, and then the new tunes motivate you to want to work out again/more. What a great cycle!
Don't forget cheap! A new song costs under a dollar, so my self-perpetuating reward is only $3 a week.
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Old 02-23-2007, 02:29 PM   #8
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Hi Meg, thanks for the response. You are quite convincing on the subject!

I've always been a calorie-burning positivist--that is, I believe what the machine says and set myself calorie goals based on the machine read-outs. I thought my favorite machine at my old gym was reasonably accurate. The read-outs on the machines at my new, current gym are ridiculously high--not even I can believe them! (My fave elliptical runner will proclaim that I've burnt 850 cals after a 60 minute stint. Ridiculous). But this is a problem because I have always set my exercise goals based on calories burned--I try to stay above 10 cals/sec regardless of whether I'm moving faster or just going uphill and I can't do this when the machine is telling me nonsense. I want to burn 600 calories in 60 minutes of exercise, and I'll keep working as hard as I can to meet my goal (and go longer, if I need to). Your HR monitor sounds like an excellent solution.

I've long suspected that the cardio/fat-burn thing is a bunch of hooey. Working harder means burning more calories. Working less hard means burning fewer calories. I don't really use interval training on purpose. I do have to switch up my pace throughout the workout though-- I can't go full bore for 60 minutes--so perhaps this is interval training by default? When I do a stint on the treadmill (which I don't do often because I always hurt my knees), I aim to jog for 5-10 and then walk for 3. However, my ultimate goal is to burn calories and to get the exercise endorphin rush (and, ok, to get super-fit as well), so I don't fuss much about whether I burn fat calories or other kinds of calories.

Can you recommend a starter HR monitor, with calorie info?

Thanks again!
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:03 PM   #9
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I spend a lot of money on gym clothes; they are addictive! I just got a new pair of workout capris from Lands End and I am super excited to try them out today.

I also just bought myself an Ipod as a reward for keeping up with my gym membership for a year. After two years, I get a leather jacket, and after three years, I get a convertible (my SO thinks I am joking about this, but I am so NOT joking). In the meantime, I guess I'll have to start rewarding myself with Ipod tunes.

I would love a heart rate monitor, but have't been able to justify the expense. I want one that also includes a timer and a watch. Oh, and if it were waterproof so I could wear it when I swim, that would be a big plus. Maybe I haven't look hard enough, but it seems like it's hard to get all of these functions in one device (and I don't want to wear a whole armload of stuff).
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Old 02-24-2007, 06:51 AM   #10
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Baffled, besides imaginary calories burned ( ) another fun way to measure elliptical cardio is strides per minute. Let's say I have the resistance on 7 or 8 ... my goal is 5000 strides in 30 minutes, which means I have to do 500 strides every three minutes. It keeps me working hard to hit that target every three minutes ... and yeah, I know, it's all little games to keep us from being bored!

If you'd use a HR monitor with gym equipment, I recommend any one of the many Polar monitors because they sync up with many brands of gym equipment (it will say 'Polar heart rate ready' or something like that on the front of the machine). That way the machine will pick up your heart rate from the chest strap and display it without you touching the sensors - pretty nifty.

I have a Polar F6 which measures calories burned as well as heart rate. It's coded, which means that it won't pick up the HR of the person next to you in spin class if they have a monitor on too. Other Polar watches have all kinds of cool features for runners ... it all depends on your goals. Maybe check out the Polar site? Barbara, maybe there's one there for you with all the functions you're looking for?
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