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.