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Heart Rate Monitors

Heart rate monitors are one of the most accurate and portable tools with which you can monitor your fitness and adapt your training to ensure you achieve any fitness or weight loss goal you set.  Here at Sweatband.com we think Heart Rate Monitors are invaluable for training and tracking your progress.


Your heart rates at rest, while exercising and during recovery are crucial indicators of how fit you are, how hard you work and will reveal some very specific benefits of your workout in respect of fat burning and calorie consumption.


To calculate your resting heart rate (RHR) you need to wear your monitor and lie down for 20 minutes and take the lowest Beats per Minute (bpm) recorded.  Don’t forget that factors like stress, dehydration, heat, humidity and altitude can all increase it to varying degrees.


Fitter people have lower RHR because quite simply the heart is a muscle and when it is exercised regularly is becomes larger and more efficient. As you commit to regular exercise it’s recommended that you record your RHR about once a month to gauge improvements.


For training purposes the heart rate during exertion and recovery are key.  There are a number of calculations for your maximum heart rate (MHR), from which your training heart rate (THR) ranges can be determined.  The simplest of these is simply to subtract your age from 220, although fitter people will find they need to aim a little higher by taking a younger age off. 


As an example, based on the above, an average 20 year old will have a MHR of 200bpm and depending on his/her fitness goals will train within a range of that MHR to achieve particular goals as shown below…

Goal                                            Training range      Heart Rate range
Endurance/fat burning                 60 – 70%            120 – 140bpm
Aerobic/cardiovascular                70 – 80%            140 – 160bpm
Anaerobic/glycogen release       80 – 90%            160 – 180 bpm
Red line                                         90 – 100%           180 – 200bpm

Obviously the higher the THR the less time you’ll be able to maintain the level of exertion, most people aim to workout in the lower two categories as they can be maintained for longer and meet the primary goals of most exercisers.


Recovery rate is also a great fitness indicator and can be calculated as follows….


Recovery rate = (bpm during exercise - bpm one minute after exercise) / 10


If you score six or above with this one you’re in great shape! 


Most heart rate monitors will happily link to home and gym based cardio machines which can be programmed to adapt to your heart rate to keep you within particular training zones that correspond with the goals you’ve set.  And of course if you’re participating in a Zumba session at the gym, a boot camp outdoors or a run round the block you can wear your heart rate monitor and easily record your heart rate exercise and recovery.

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