If every minute of your business trip is booked solid, then it’s probably safe to say that when you do squeeze in travel workouts, they need to be as effective as possible. As a result, you should care about your target heart rate and getting it up into the right target heart rate zone.
Unfortunately, relying on hotel gym cardio equipment and their internal heart rate monitors is probably not the best way to go. Often, your heart rate won’t register properly, if at all. Instead of getting frustrated by the hotel gym cardio equipment and the variances between hotel fitness centers, use these quick and easy methods to evaluate if you’re within your target heart rate zone:
- Take Your Own Pulse: Take your pulse for ten seconds. Multiply this number by 6 to get your pulse for 1 minute. Refer to our target heart rate table(your target heart rate is charted based on your age), to see if your heart rate falls within an optimal target heart rate zone of 65% – 85% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). You can find your pulse either through your neck or your wrist:
- Your Neck: Take your index and middle fingers and place them right below your ear. Slide them down into the hollow of the side of your neck, right under you jawline. You should feel your pulse at this point.
- Your Wrist: With your palm facing upwards, place your index and middle fingers on your wrist to find your pulse.
- Talk Test: Although it is unlikely that you are going to strike up a conversation with a stranger while you’re on gym cardio equipment, the ability to hold a conversation is a good way to understand if you have reached your target heart rate. If conversing is just as easy as it is when you aren’t exercising, there is a good chance you are not exercising intensely enough. If, on the other hand, it is really difficult, then you are probably working very hard…maybe too hard. To be in your target heart rate zone, you want to find a middle ground where talking is challenging, but not impossible.
- Personal Heart Rate Monitor: Depending on how serious you are about monitoring your heart rate and other fitness metrics while exercising, there are some great devices out on the market that can give you tons of biometric feedback. You can get as complicated as the Garmin Forerunner 305 Personal Trainer – optimal for a triathlete or more serious minded exerciser – or the F6 Polar Monitor – which tends to be much more basic. Otherwise, check out other heart rate and biometric devices here on Amazon.
The more you exercise, the more likely you’ll be able to tune into your body to know if you have reached your target heart. The main point, however, is it is important to rely on oneself in gauging your exercise intensity…not the hotel gym’s cardio equipment.
How do you gauge your level of exertion?