Why You Should Use a Heart Rate Monitor

If you’re wondering whether you should use a heart rate monitor to measure your exercise intensity, then read on.  You will be able to find the information in this article to help you make up your mind. Here you will find reasons why it’s a good idea to monitor your heart rate.


active-lifestyle-heart-rate-watchIf you’ve been working out aerobically and are still wondering if it’s doing any good or you may be wondering whether you are exercising too hard or not enough. Perhaps when you glance around the gym and spot the person right by you that has not broken a sweat, but the one next to him is drenched with sweat. However, sweat is not the best indication of the intensity of an exercise; we actually need to take a look at the heart.

Heart rates are exactly what needs to be monitored when we are exercising. When a person exercises their heart beats faster in order to send more oxygen and blood to the muscles in the body. If the activity is intense, then the heart must beats faster. Thus, this is one of the reasons why you should use a heart rate monitor while exercising because it is an excellent method of monitoring the intensity of your exercise routine.

For many people that exercise aerobically there exists a vast range of intensities that are described as effective and safe for health benefits, particularly cardiovascular. In order to find the best range for you there are some terms that you need to understand. Those terms are maximum heart rate and target heart rate.

The maximum heart rate is determined by age because as we age our hearts tend to beat slower. To estimate the maximum heart rate, use the number 220 minus your age. The next number that you need to be familiar with is the target heart rate. This is measured in heart beats per minute (bpm), and this is another reason why you should use a heart rate monitor while exercising. For most people that are healthy this ranges from 50% and up to 80% of the maximum heart rate.

By using this formula you can determine what your target heart rate.  For example, if your maximum heart rate is 170 bpm, then your range should be 85 bpm on the low range and 136 bpm on the upper end.

Once you determine your heart rate target, then you should apply this information. These numbers are a guide and an indication on how intense you should exercise. For people that are just starting with aerobics they should target the lower end of this range. An individual that is in better physical condition can aim at the upper range. That’s why you should use a heart rate monitor while exercising.

The reason why you should use a heart rate monitor while exercising is to just make sure that you are exercising at an appropriate rate for maximum benefit. Remember, this is just an estimated heart rate and if it seems that your exercise may be too intense then you probably should reduce the intensity and determine the heart rate target that works best for you.

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