In the ever-present battle for fitness, a heart rate monitor can be extremely useful. Many individuals think that these monitors are only for people suffering from heart problems, but this is not so.
Cardiovascular fitness is a most important portion of physical fitness and having a method of measuring it is extremely useful. Since the heart is a muscle just like any other in your body, exercising deliberately can make your heart stronger and more efficient. Monitoring your heart rate can help you determine if you're working out or just loafing along as normal. Many trainers for various sports recommend the use of a heart rate monitor to assess the growing strength of your heart in practicing a sport. These monitors come in varieties designed to monitor activity, measure your heart rate, and keep data about the performance of your heart.
Most Popular Brands of Heart Monitors
The six most popular brands of monitors sold are as follows:
• Polar Loop Activity Monitor – for general exercise
• Timex T5K734F5 Women's Ironman Zone Trainer – for women's fitness
• Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS Personal Trainer – for triathletes/cyclists/runners
• Polar FT4 Fitness Heart Rate Monitor – for basic fitness, weight loss, and exercise
• Mio Alpha Strapless Heart Rate Monitor – strapless for use in running and cycling
• TomTom Runner GPS Watch with Heart Rate – for running
As shown, the offered features vary widely as do the prices of these tools for fitness.
Calculating Your Target Heart Rate Zone
To get optimal usage of your monitor, you need to be aware of your target heart rate zone for training. Talk to a personal trainer or consult a physiotherapist in your area. You can approximate the rates by using these formulas posted on April 16, 2012 in Heart Rate Monitors, the blog for www.heartratemonitorsusa.com:
Formula for figuring your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220.
Recommended Training Zones:
• Warm Up – 50-60% of maximum heart rate• Fat Burning 60-70% of maximum heart rate
• Endurance Training – 70-80% of maximum heart rate
• Performance Training – 80-90% of Maximum heart rate – recommended for short bursts of time
• Short Period Training – 90-100% of maximum heart rate. This is recommended for speed training, and only those in good overall shape should train in this zone.
Use a heart rate monitor to scientifically help your cardiovascular system obtain strength and fitness.