Archive for February, 2010

Exercising without monitoring and adjusting your effort won’t be enough to get you an optimum workout – so let a heart rate monitor watch be your trainer.

We’ve written a few posts about exercising recently and the general shift away from the long slow aerobic and cardio training methods and instead focused on the short intense workouts of programs like PACE.

If starting to exercise is the first step then the second must be ensuring you’re doing it right. In today’s article Erika Slater will teach us about heart rate monitors and how they can help us exercise to get maximum benefit. You’ll want to read this one all the way through to the end.

Take it away Erika…

Like everything else in the 21st century life gets more complicated each year… and exercise has not been spared from this thirst for specialization.

Now we have aerobics and cardio workouts along with calisthenics and exercises on equipment that can feedback instantly how fast your heart is beating – actually, that’s good progress as you’ll see.

But whatever happened to slipping on some jogging shoes and running for an hour?

Well, we realized – and I love to jog – that long slow durational exercise is not so good for you. The human body isn’t designed to run for miles and miles everyday without eventually breaking down. And mine did. Ouch!

On the other extreme there is the interval regime that has us pushing our target heart beats towards 90%-95% of maximum for long intense bursts of explosive energy. But this is also a problem for our major organs that can be weakened or damaged over time under this kind of duress.

For those of us that want to see steady progression towards getting fit and need reinforcement we are on the right track to keep motivated then there is the heart rate monitor (HRM). This lightweight device measures our heart beat and sends it to the watch’s display. Most HRM devices come with a chest strap that transmits the beats per minute (BPM) to the watch.

A HRM is common on modern gym equipment but you can’t take a treadmill down to the track – so a heart rate monitor watch and strap is an easy and flexible alternative.

It’s one of those devices that’ll take a few uses to get comfortable with the operation while exercising, but once it becomes a habit, you’ll not want to leave home without it.

Our heart BPM is the best indicator to us we are getting an appropriate workout. As you get fit you’ll find your BPM will slow down for performing the same duration of exercise. This is what you want, but if you only focus on duration then this impedes you progressing and getting fitter. But if you aim for achieving the same heart BPM for the duration as you get fit then you’ll need to tax your body more and thus keep progressing.

BENEFIT #1: A heart rate monitor puts you in, and lets you stay in, your ideal workout zone.

It’s said very few people who start exercising are still doing it after six months. Much of this is due to not seeing the progress expected and so de-motivation happens and exercising stops.

It takes four to six weeks of regular exercising before you notice changes in your physical appearance, but internally things are changing day one. Your BPM provides the window into your improvement before you see it externally. A slower pulse at rest, and a quicker return to your at rest pulse rate after exertion, are all indicators you’re making progress internally.

BENEFIT #2: A HRM shows your real progress and keeps you motivated.

With all the different types of workouts you can now do to get those film star bodies we can easily fall into the trap of taking things too far and putting ourselves at risk of injury. You know how easy it is to get energized and convince yourself you can do an extra minute at a demanding workout pace.

But if you know your target heart zone then a heart rate monitor alarm can be set to remind you when you leave that zone and enter the “at risk” zone, so you can back off and stay injury free.

BENEFIT #3: A heart rate monitor keeps you safe.

My own exercise workout is based on Dr Al Sears PACE: 12 Minute Fitness Revolution program and I’ve found a heart rate monitor ensures I get an effective and safe workout from any of the individual training sessions included in the program. But a HRM device will help with any fitness program you decide to use.

Erika Slater is a Certified Hypnotist in Massachusetts and uses Dr Al Sear’s PACE program and HRM for her group weight loss clients. If you enjoyed this article you can find more about the PACE Heart Rate Monitor Wristwatch at her web site along with details about her private Weight Loss Hypnosis Sessions in Massachusetts here: www.smoke-free-at-last.com.

Thank you Erika for an interesting discussion of heart rate monitors and their benefits. Be sure to check out Erika’s site for more information about her hypnosis services and products and related topics.


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Exciting events such as Superbowl or World Cup can cause stress on your cardiovascular system to the extent if you’ve a diseased heart you could suffer an attack.

You can read the studies and research behind this at an article posted here. However, the reason for this post today is not just because I’m writing it one day before the Superbowl but because the person who wrote the article is Dr Al Sears, who is an expert in the cardio field and has written a lot of books on the subject.

One of those books has just been released and he has earmarked the Superbowl to send out his message of a different type of exercising to the Superbowl fan base. You can read all about his PACE 12 Minute Fitness program here. But back to how to avoid a heart attack while watching the Superbowl or other major sporting events.

1. Do some activity before the game and at breaks. Stretch out, go outside if you can and do a few sprints or a short aerobic workout – no more than 5 minutes and this should be at a relaxing pace.

2.  Watch what you eat for snacks  – go for healthy ones like vegetables, or nuts and sunflower seeds.

3. Assume the ref will make a few bad calls and don’t let it anger and over excite you.

4. Avoid alcohol and tobacco or do it in moderation – excessive consumption of these two deadly chemicals is a frequent cause of cardiac arrest.

5. Don’t gamble on the outcome if the loss would cause you hardship as this will send you into worry mode, and again cause undue stress on your heart.

The article by Dr Sears at the link above covers these in more details and includes 10 in all. It’s worth a read anyway.

Having an ongoing exercise program you’re following makes sense for anybody who wants to avoid heart attacks, but make sure it’s the type that’ll strengthen your heart and not weaken it. A program like the PACE Fitness Revolution is such a program and worth checking out – I know it’s working for me and Samantha and we’ll both be watching the Superbowl with our hubbies and families.

Go… whatever team you’re rooting for!


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A weight loss plan should include diet and exercise but finding a safe and successful weight loss exercise program that is right for you can be a challenge.

Here we look at some important points for you to consider as you start down this new path in your life.

According to the experts, the key to getting yourself to a healthy weight and staying there is to eat a sensible, nutritious and well balanced diet and to engage in physical activity on a consistent basis. You need to customize your weight loss exercise program in such a way that you will lose weight but you will also be able to maintain the weight loss afterwards. This means incorporating healthy habits into your current lifestyle.

So then how do you know what to look for in a program? Always think safe, healthy and effective. There are an array of elements that go into finding the proper exercise and weight loss program. They include:

– A diet that is healthy and will ensure that you are receiving the correct quantity of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Also a diet that puts emphasis on the reduction of calories. At the same time it is important to realize that it is not healthy to cut out any of the essential food groups. The body likes variety and it requires it in order to remain healthy. To lose weight you need to cut back but you should not deprive yourself.

– Exercising on a regular basis is important. It is recommended that you get some form of exercise at least three to four times a week . If you have time to squeeze in some physical fitness every day then that is even better for your weight and your overall level of health. Lately I’ve been following a new program by Dr. Al Sears and which is an ideal exercise for weight loss and fitness program.

– The culture you live in plays a role in your weight loss program. Keep your cultural considerations in mind when it comes to making changes with your health.

– Behavior modification plays a role in successful weight loss. You need to figure out what has caused you to consume more calories than you should. Do you eat when you are feeling unhappy, bored, lonely or sad? Uncovering your own unique eating triggers is very important to your success at losing weight and keeping it off. You can’t say no to food until you first can recognize why you are always saying yes. If this is something you cannot accomplish on your own you would do well to see a therapist who specializes in the area of weight loss.

– If you have any kind of medical problems you should schedule an appointment with your physician before you start taking part in a weight loss plan. This is also the case if you plan to follow any type of special formula diet.

Losing weight, eating healthy and exercising is all closely tied into one another. Once you get yourself into a program that is suitable for you the key is to take responsibility for what you do and put all of your efforts and dedication into making it work.

Have a healthy day,


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