Do you own a heart rate monitor? If not, then you are not alone. However, heart rate monitors are becoming increasingly popular, especially among athletes and those with certain health conditions.
In the days before heart rate monitors, people would have to stop and manually count a pulse by placing fingers over the carotid artery. Not only would this pressure on the artery distort the reading, but would cause some to get light headed by their pressing too hard in an attempt to find a pulse. Now, with a heart rate monitor, one doesn’t even need to stop to get an accurate reading.
The most important reason to buy a heart rate monitor is for safety.
Most fitness professionals will tell average clients to keep their target heart rate between 55% and 85% of their maximum heart rate. In order to calculate one’s maximum heart rate, simply subtract your age from the number 220. Next, you can then use this number and multiply it by 0.55 to get the lower end of the target zone and by 0.85 to find the cut off point.
Those with threatening conditions would be advised to exercise in the 55-60% range.
Still, let it be known that heart rate monitors are also a vital tool for the endurance athlete. Not only do heart rate monitors make readings simpler, they also make monitoring progress a lot simpler as well.
With a heart rate monitor, an athlete can better determine how to set the pace in an effort to optimize race performance. Without one, endurance athletes would run the risk of either over-training and exhausting the body or under-training and not pushing the body hard enough.
One thing is for certain though, heart rate monitors are useful tools that can simultaneously help and protect both the fittest of the fit and those at extreme risk.
Those trainees that regularly participate in cardiovascular activities can benefit by constantly gauging their heart rate, thus targeting their intensity to more effectively burn fat.