Your heart is a muscle. Exercise it! Aerobic (cardio) workouts make your heart stronger and allow it to work more efficiently. A heart rate monitor can help you pace yourself, as well as inform you if you are working too hard or not hard enough. This tool is an excellent way to track your progress and motivate you to continue working hard! Here are the basics of training with a heart rate monitor:
Wearing a heart rate monitor during exercise helps you to stay on track by staying in certain calorie burning zones to get the most out of your workout.
Maximum Heart Rate: the maximum beats per minute that your heart can go during an aerobic workout. In general your max heart rate should be around 220-your age. Don’t be worried if this number isn’t 100% accurate. It just gives you an idea of how hard your heart may work during intense exercise. You can take a percentage of your max. heart rate to train in specific training zones for specific fitness results.
*If you want to increase your endurance, train at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. This will typically be your long, steady state running, cycling, elliptical speed. This training zone should be a sustainable speed that you can maintain for a long period of time.
*If you want to strengthen your heart and burn fat, try training at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate.
*If you want to improve your speed, work sprinting into your workout by training at 80-90% of your maximum heart rate for a set period of time, and then giving your body rest in between intense levels of training.
Training with a heart rate monitor will tell you when you are in each of these zones.
DISCLAIMER: Not everyone is healthy enough to perform high intensity exercises. If you have a history of heart disease or associated medical problems, or recent surgeries then make sure you consult a doctor before starting ANY training program. This blog does not give medical advice; it is intended to inform you about basic training and fitness knowledge.