Heart Rate Monitors - Keeping Up The Pace
Heart rate monitors are one of the most useful and effective training tools you can have.
If you want to take your fitness seriously, a heart rate monitor is an essential tool. Whether you want to monitor physical exertion for healthy weight loss, training for a marathon, triathlon or expedition, heart monitors tell you whether you are getting the most out of your training and exercise. For runners, many heart rate monitors feature GPS so you can also monitor pace and distance ran as well as your heart rate.
Heart Rate Variations
For the uninitiated, a heart rate monitor can take some getting used to. Our hear rates vary over the course of any given day, regardless of extreme exercise. Your biological clock will determine your heart rate and blood pressure; it will rise a few hours before you wake up in the morning and tends to be at its highest in the first few hours of waking, before dropping mid-afternoon. It's important to understand your body's natural heart rate changes when you use heart rate monitors. As well as changes to your heart rate determined by your biological clock, your heart rate can rise after eating as your body metabolises the food. If you suffer stress or the fight-or-flight response, your heart rate will go up to 100; emotional stress can be triggered by anything as normal as watching a tense scene on TV or by being aggravated by a work colleague.
Exercise in the 'Zone'
Of course, when you exercise your aim is to raise your heart rate to a level that indicates you are building on your fitness levels. Heart rate monitors are used in many gyms on static machines such as running machines to help you devise a training schedule and target. But these can be unreliable if you take your hands off the monitors for instance. If you're serious about training, investing in a heart rate monitor you can strap to your wrist will help you exercise smarter.
If your not sure what brand of heart monitor to invest in, it's important you shop from a dedicated fitness equipment provider to ensure the quality and accuracy of the monitor. In the Guardian, sports scientist at Swansea University Mike Kingsley highly recommended professional athletes try the Polar brand as it measures exercising heart rate 'to an accuracy similar to an ECG (electrocardiogram).'
Heart Rate Monitors: Train Smarter
If you want to know the ideal heart rate you need to achieve and maintain for effective exercise, you need to do a few simple calculations to ensure you are working in the 'zone'. The heart rate monitor is there not just to make you work harder, but to make sure you don't overdo it. You should only work out at 90-100% of your maximum heart rate in short bursts. This can help improve your speed. To maximise your cardiovascular fitness, you should aim for 70-80% of your maximum heart rate. Staying at lower percentages in the first few months of a training programme is important so you don't overdo it.
Find Heart Rate Monitors at Fitsense
Fitsense is dedicated to helping you achieve your fitness goals. We stock all the top heart rate monitor brands including Polar, Garmin, Timex, Cardiosport and Oregon Scientific. We've selected a range of quality and affordable heart rate monitors that are simple to use and will help you get the most from your training.
- GPS WATCHES | HEART RATE MONITORS