3 Benefits of a Heart Rate Monitor Wristwatch for Exercise
Exercising without monitoring and adjusting your effort won’t be enough to get an optimal workout, so let a heart rate monitor be your coach.
Like everything in the 21st century, life gets more complicated every year… and exercise has not been freed from this thirst for specialization.
We now have aerobic and cardio exercises along with calisthenics and team exercises that can instantly tell you how fast your heart is beating; Actually, that’s good progress, as you’ll see.
But what happened to putting on some running shoes and running for an hour?
Well, we found out, and I love jogging, that long, slow exercise is not so good for you. The human body is not designed to run miles and miles every day without breaking down. And mine did. Oh!
At the other extreme is the interval regimen which has us pushing our target heart rate towards 90%-95% of max for long, intense bursts of explosive energy. But this is also a problem for our major organs which can become weak or damaged over time under this kind of harshness.
For those of us who want to see a steady progression to get fit and need reinforcement, we are on the right track to stay motivated, then there is the heart rate monitor (HRM). This lightweight device measures our heartbeats and sends them to the clock screen. Most HRM devices come with a chest strap that transmits beats per minute (BPM) to the watch.
An HRM is common on modern gym equipment, but it can’t take a treadmill to the track, so a heart rate monitor watch and strap are an easy, flexible alternative.
It’s one of those devices that will take a few uses to get comfortable with operating while you exercise, but once it becomes a habit, you won’t want to leave the house without it.
The BPM of our heart is the best indicator for us that we are doing a proper workout. As you get fitter, you will find that your BPM will slow down for the same length of exercise. This is what you want, but if you only focus on the duration, this prevents you from progressing and getting in shape. But if your goal is to achieve the same heart rate BPM while getting fitter, then you’re going to have to push your body harder and therefore keep making progress.
BENEFIT #1: A heart rate monitor locates you and allows you to stay in your ideal training zone.
It is said that very few people who start exercising are still doing it after six months. Much of this is due to not seeing the expected progress, resulting in demotivation and stopping exercise.
It takes four to six weeks of regular exercise before you notice changes in your physical appearance, but internally things are changing from day one. Your BPM provides the window into your improvement before you see it externally. A slower pulse rate at rest and a faster return to your at rest pulse rate after exertionthey are all indicators that you are progressing internally.
BENEFIT #2: An HRM shows your real progress and keeps you motivated.
With all the different types of exercises you can now do to get those movie star bodies, we can easily fall into the trap of taking things too far and putting ourselves at risk of injury. You know how easy it is to fill yourself with energy and convince yourself that you can do one more minute at a demanding training pace.
But if you know your target heart zone, then a heart rate monitor alarm can be set to remind you when you leave that zone and enter the “at risk“, so you can go back and stay injury-free.
BENEFIT #3: A heart rate monitor keeps you safe.
My own exercise training is based on the Dr. Al Sears PACE: Fitness Revolution program and I have found that a heart rate monitor ensures that you get an effective and safe workout from any of the individual training sessions included in the program. But an HRM device will help you with whatever fitness program you decide to use.