If you are thinking of working out seriously, you should consider monitoring your heart rate during your sessions. The heart rate is measured by the number of times your heart is beating every second. During the resting period, your heart rate should be ideally low. This is because, if your heart is strong, it will naturally pump in more blood to the system in every beat compared to a weaker heart. Thus, a stronger heart will require less number of beats.
During the time of working out, the muscles require more oxygen. This oxygen is supplied by the lungs through the bloodstream. Thus, during workout sessions the heart has to beat faster to pump more oxygen to the muscles.
Thus, measuring the heart rate with a heart rate monitor (HRM) helps to assess the effectiveness of your workout. This is because as your body is strengthened through exercise, the heart will also be strengthened.
How does a heart rate monitor function?
The most ideal way of monitoring your heart rate is to place a transmitter over the heart, which is held by an adjustable strap, that remains wrapped around the chest. This transmitter is usually connected to a wristwatch by a cord, where the heart rate is displayed.
There are various types of HRM models. The most basic once only display the heart rate, while others even include countdown timers, pre-programmed workouts, calories burnt, etc.
Benefits of using a heart rate monitor
- For maintaining exercise intensity: With the help of HRM, you can detect the right exercise intensity and maintain it. For example, if you intend to do the moderate intensity exercise for thirty minutes, five days per week, the HRM can tell you if you are actually doing it. There are certain models that can even guide you with how much intensity and time is needed for achieving a certain level of fitness or weight loss.
- Measurement of the effort: The most accurate method of measuring the amount of benefit that you are actually derived from your workout is to measure the work-rate of your heart. HRM can provide you more accurate figures compared to the manual method of checking the pulse. Apart from certain user errors, HRMs are usually quite dependable.
- Help to exercise safely: HRMs can restrict you from over-training. If the heart rate exceeds from the expected heart rate, it can be a signal for you that your body requires more rest.
- Keep a track on the progress: Some of the HRHs allow you to save the results of training for a week or a month. So, if you go through the figures you can make an assessment of your performance and progress. However, you will usually require to buy some additional equipments or install some softwares to keep track of the performance.
- Keeps you motivated: Certain HRMs will tell you “incomplete training week” or “train more”. These reminders will help you stay motivated to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself.
Given the benefits of HRMs, it can be actually worth investing in it.