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Things You Didn't Know About Heart Rate Monitors

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                                                                    Heart Rate Monitors

Some of you may not know that keeping note of your heart rate whilst exercising is vital for two reasons:

  • 1. Training at the right pace for you avoids straining the heart and avoids palpitations because you’re aware of your heart rate boundaries.
  • 2. Pushes you to beat your personal bests and helps you see a change in your fitness.

Quite a lot of us feel that to wear a heart rate monitor you either have to be an athlete or really old because they need to take care of their heart; this isn’t the case. Using a H.R.M makes you aware of where you are physically, it’s all well and good running but it is dangerous for your heart to be beating over 180 BPM for any extended period of time. 

AGE TARGET HEART RATE ZONE MAX EXERSION
20 100 - 170 bpm 200 bpm
30 95 – 162 bpm 190 bpm
35 93 – 157 bpm 185 bpm
40 90 – 153 bpm 180 bpm
45 88 – 149 bpm 175 bpm
50 85 – 145 bpm 170 bpm
55 83 – 140 bpm 165 bpm
60 – 70 75 – 132 bpm 155 – 150 bpm

Obviously as you get older you need to keep your heart rate in check and stop yourself from remaining in the max exertion section for an extended amount of time. Be positive towards exercising and take care when doing so! If you want to get serious about increasing your fitness then take a look at this chart and find out what your normal bpm is when you exercise. The next step is to work out whether you need to increase or lower your heart rate.

Hit your target appropriately and get your heart pumping between 50% and 85% - if you do fall into the 85% - 100% then just be careful, slow down and put the power into your own hands. 

                                                         Who is it good for?

Weight-loss participants: HRMs support with steady workouts and a sustainable nutritional routine. Most show calories burned through a workout; various HRM can assist to target your exercise for maximum fat burn.

Injury-rehabilitation patients: Real-time response makes HRMs great for patients recuperating from an injury or an illness, including a cardiac incident. Such figures from HRMs can help provide you with the quick and obtainable information that’ll give you a gradual and steady return to full strength and endurance exercise sessions safely.

Joggers and walkers: Leisure exercisers can find heart rate monitors useful in a similar way athletes do. You can particularly aim for fat-burning and aerobic BPM zones on your HRM, so you can make keep your heart pumping around 80-85% of your max to ensure that you get more out of your sessions.

Runners: A HRM can keep you in your highest target zone for particular high intensity training days and at your aerobic calmer end during lighter sessions.

Everyday cyclists, now and again cyclists and occasional cyclists: HRM can track your training performance during the peak of your stamina, tempo and interval rides, no matter where you are – on the road, country lanes or stationary trainer. Depending on what model you invest in you can get more feedback via a cadence sensor or foot pod due to better accuracy.

Skiers, hikers and climbers: A HRM can help to strengthen and condition more efficiently for a peak ascent.

                            So what's the difference between chest straps and watches?

Chest straps

  • More accurate (strong connection between your heart and monitor, due to proximity)

Watches

  • Instant visual data

If you spend £20 expect to purchase a product that’ll be good for walking, hiking, jogging and cycling. It should include the most basic functions such as telling the time of day, alarm clock, date/calendar, alarm, stopwatch, countdown timer, waterproof and display back light. If you look hard enough then you might be able to find a product that has heart-rate measurement with ECG, manually adjustable heart-rate limits, heart-rate indicator to show if you are training at your target heart rate zone. Also alarm signals if the limits are exceeded or not reached; so let’s be honest even if you’re not a serious athlete surely with all this included for only £ 20 it would encourage you to an eye on your heart whilst exercising.

Possible HRM Features:

Basic models offer a maximum of three target zones.

Advanced models range from three to six target zones.

With the ability for multiple target zones, you can program your HRM before your exercise session for diverse workouts such as aerobic, anaerobic and endurance.

If your HRM model only has only one target zone then you will have to alter it every time you change your style of exercise. Some would dread having to re-program it every time but for those beginners it’s not unusual to keep the same routine for an extended period of time.

Sport watch models: Clock, alarm, countdown timer and calendar.

Stopwatch and lap/split times: Lap option – to work our your “split”, work out how your pace has improved since your last lap or last session.

Recovery heart rate mode: Time it takes for your heart to return to it’s resting rate – perfect for interval trainers and sprinters.

Time in target zone: How long you have maintained exercising in your Heart Rate Zone.

Calorie counter: Approximately how many calories you have burned during your workout – perfect for those looking for weight loss.

Speed and distance monitor: Calculates speed/ distance achieved in a specific workout.

Digital interface: Connects your HRM to your computer/ smartphone so you can utilise the information that you’re obtaining with this HRM. Download your very own training statistics for personal growth, sharing or storage. This may be wireless or require a separate computer connection.

Tethering: Pairs wirelessly with your smartphone to allow wrist-top control of phone functions such as music, texts, notifications, apps and social media.

Fitness trainer: Alerts you when you rise or fall above your programmed targets.

Battery replacement: Many HRMs have consumer-replaceable or rechargeable batteries to simplify upkeep.

Surveys show that most people today are more health aware than ever, so really most people would be looking at spending £ 20 - £ 30. Realistically the more you spend - the more features it’ll provide you with. Great for all users because there are certain features that beginners won’t need that athletes do need – and vice versa. Don’t be put off by technology that’ll give you important information about your heart – remember knowledge is power. 


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