I’d been considering buying a heart rate monitor for a couple of years before I finally bought one this winter. It was a Christmas gift (well, I used Christmas money to buy it, so same thing really). Lots of my friends had the Polar brand monitors. But when I found a Garmin GPS watch that had the option of a heart rate monitor–and a pedometer, to boot–for just a bit more than a sole heart rate monitor would cost, I thought it’d be a better way to go 🙂 So I bought a Garmin Forerunner 15.
And the other day, I had one of those ah-ha moments that just made me realize why buying a HRM was a good idea. Not to beat a dead horse, but breastfeeding Madi is really important to me. And while I’ve never had a supply issue–I’m actually going through the process of donating extra milk to a milk bank–I am very careful that I take in enough calories every day. I eat 2000 calories, which is 1500-1700 with breastfeeding. If I burn calories by working out, I always make sure I eat those calories earned 🙂 (And I try to make them healthier calories.) I went to the gym and wore my HRM as I did a hill workout on the treadmill. The treadmill told me I burned about 270 calories for the 45 minutes I walked. But when I checked my HRM, it told me I burned 430 calories–and it was about 470 calories by the time my heart rate returned to normal. THAT’S A BIG DIFFERENCE!! True, it probably wouldn’t have affected my supply at all. Or at least I would’ve noticed the effect. But even so. Just knowing more accurately about how many calories I’m burning, regardless of breastfeeding, is nice to know.
And, conversely, I like when my HRM tells me how few calories I burn. Like a couple of the shorter PiYo workouts–specifically, the Define Upper and Define Lower workouts–really don’t burn that many calories. I use up about 70-80 calories for each 20-minute workout. But if I was to look it up online, it would say “on average”, which is affected by all the other harder workouts. So I’d be overeating the calories I thought I’d earned.
So, in my opinion, a HRM is a very good investment for anyone interested in losing weight 🙂