3 Reasons to Train With a Heart Rate Monitor

When you consider how many people in the world go out for a run or go cycling or engage in some other form of purposeful exercise on a regular basis, it would be truly depressing to think a high percentage of them are, whilst not wasting their time, not getting the most out of their workouts and in a small percentage of cases may even be harming themselves. And yet I estimate that millions, if not billions, of people fall in this category of performing non-optimized workouts simply because they do not have the proper information to hand.

You do not need to have a Masters in Physiology to know that our heart is a rather important muscle in our body. Not only does it sustain life, in doing so can provide us with information about our bodies and, among other things, what type of activity we must take to achieve our exercise goals. All we need is the equipment with which to receive that information from our heart and to interpret it and provide recommendations as a result of that interpretation. That is what a heart rate monitor is for and what follows are three reasons you should seriously consider using a heart rate monitor when working out if you want to see results.

1. Avoiding under and over training

Each one of us, young or old, part-time fitness enthusiast or pro athlete, has an intensity zone in which we must exercise to achieve a particular result. That zone is based on our heart rate and is personal to each person. It changes with age and fitness level and is also different depending on what your goal is. If you goal is weight management you would aim to have your heart beating at a different rate than if you were looking to burn fat, which in turn would be a different rate than if you were looking to increase your maximum performance level. If you exercise with your heart rate below your target range then you are under training and your efforts will be at best ineffective and at worst, nearly useless. However you can also push yourself too hard such that at best you are working towards something that you are not looking to achieve and at worst putting your health at risk. This is the danger of over training. Only by being connected to a heart rate monitor that alerts you the moment you fall outside your target range can you hope to have a truly effective workout.

2. Goal setting

There is a saying that is appropriate here and it is “If you aim at nothing in particular you will almost certainly achieve it”. Thankfully the converse is true in that if you set goals and aim for them you are much more likely to have success. You need to have fitness goals if you want to achieve some effect such as weight loss or increased maximum performance. A good heart rate monitor will collect data about your current fitness levels and desired outcome and set daily and weekly targets for your to aim at. By meeting these targets you will surely be on your way to achieving the overall goal.

3. Motivation

There many people who exercise because they think they should or have been told they have to, but not because they want to. Humans are predisposed towards seeking pleasure and avoiding pain and so a lack of motivation is often a big factor in stopping people from reaching their fitness goals. It is also true that nothing motivates people like a sense of progress or achievement. We get a pleasure buzz when we see that we have improved or gained something as a result of our hard work. A good heart rate monitor provides constant feedback around things like fitness level and calories burned, and some programs even allow this to be charted online so that you can compare where you are now to where you were at when you started and see how far you have come. That sense of progress can be enough to pull you out of bed early in the morning and out onto the cold street for a run.

So there you have it; safety, goal setting and motivation. These are the cornerstones to success in general but particularly in fitness training. A good heart rate monitor provides you with all of these and usually at a financial cost that is much less than hiring a personal trainer. You have to ask yourself, “Why on Earth would you train without one?”

Source by David Allan Shaw

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