Why Heart Rate Training
Improve Your Health
You don’t have to be a serious athlete in training to benefit from wearing a heart rate monitor when you exercise. Whether you’re working out to control weight, tone muscles, build endurance, strengthen your heart, relieve stress or simply maintain good health and fitness, a heart rate monitor can help you find the right pace and intensity of exercise to achieve your goals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults should exercise at moderate intensity (50–70 percent of maximum heart rate) for at least 30 minutes five days a week, or at a vigorous intensity (70–85 percent of maximum heart rate) for 20 minutes three days a week.
A heart rate monitor can tell you if you are exercising hard enough –– or too hard –– to burn stored fat. Are you elevating your heart rate enough to lose weight? A heart rate monitor can tell you if you are exercising hard enough –– or too hard –– to burn stored fat. To lose weight, experts suggest exercising at a pace between 60-70 percent of your maximum heart rate for 30 minutes or more, with short intervals at higher intensity (up to 90 percent of your max heart rate). This will allow you to burn stored body fat (vs. the carbohydrates you just ate) and also improve your resting metabolism rate.
Make the Most of Your Limited Exercise Time
If you’re juggling a busy schedule and have limited time for exercise, a heart rate monitor can help you maximize your workout to achieve the best results. When exercising simply by time or by feel, you may not be elevating your heart rate enough to generate cardiovascular and weight loss benefits. Monitoring your heart rate enables you to set your pace without wasting time at a too-slow or too-fast level that defeats the purpose of your exercise.
Those who regularly exercise with a heart rate monitor can be the first to know if they are developing a health problem. Is your heart rate higher than you would expect it to be, given the pace of your exercise? It may be a sign that you are getting sick. Or you may simply be fatigued from over-training. A heart rate monitor is a great “early warning signal” that can help improve your preventative health care.
Be Your Own Coach
If you’ve ever found it difficult to exercise by yourself without the encouragement of a friend or trainer, a heart rate monitor may be just the thing you need. Set your watch to beep when you fall below your target, and your heart rate monitor will urge you to pick up the pace. Add variety and interest to your workout by doing short intervals of exercise at a higher intensity and heart rate. Keep a log of your heart rate monitor results to monitor your performance over time and pat yourself on the back when you see improvement!