Does anyone have experience with wearing the chest bands while exercising, whether cycling or swimming? How comfortable/uncomfortable are they, especially with the summer heat and humidity that’s currently on the upswing?
urodocus: yes, there’s always the time with a watch approach, but, um, I don’t have a watch … I guess I could always take out my phone and count. But when I was measuring my pulse yesterday, it seemed like my heart rate slowed down quite quickly after peak exercise (that’s probably a good sign, right?). At the end of what felt like a pretty intense swim set, I measured my pulse as 129 (using the pool clock, which fortunately includes seconds), which only seems to be at the lower end of what my exercise heart rate “should” be. Who knows, maybe this is just how my heart works - I was reminded of my childhood swim team, when our coach suggested I was being lazy because my heart rate wasn’t as high as it “should have been”, yet I felt like, no, I had absolutely nothing left.
On the other hand, I was rereading parts of Gretchen Reynolds’s The First Twenty Minutes, and she explains how there’s very little concrete good research around heart rate zones (finley, you’ve posted on this before, right?), and that what seems to be best is just to judge by how hard you feel like you’re working. That is admittedly a problem with both swimming and flat-road cycling - for both, it’s quite easy for me to lazily exercise. Strava’s segment function is helping with that at least.
On the salt pills: I’m wondering what on earth my father’s trainer was talking about. One possibility is that my father misremembered and told him/her my heart rate was 37 rather than 57. A bit of research online indicated that extra salt is sometimes used for low blood pressure (which isn’t a problem), not for a low heart rate. I didn’t see anything suggesting increased salt intake for a low heart rate, although I didn’t look too hard. And while I’m definitely cooking at home far more than I used to (thanks, Taiwan food scandals!), I’d be very, very surprised if I’m not consuming enough salt.
Sigh. I knew I shouldn’t have gone for a health check. Now I’m thinking too much about something that really isn’t that hard. My exercise habits are fine, my general breakfast/lunch/dinner is OK, but I have got to cut down on the casual snacking. I knew that before, and I know that now.