Have you started working out and are wondering if you need to keep track of your heart rate? Here is Why It’s Important to Monitor your Heart Rate During Exercise.
Exercise physiology has been a subject of interest to me for a long time. I have noticed how important it is to monitor heart rate during exercise and for this reason, would like to share my thoughts on why heart rate monitoring may be beneficial or even crucial for someone interested in exercising. The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that there are aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Aerobics is an exercise with oxygen intake, such as running or biking whereas anaerobics is without oxygen intake such as weightlifting. Controlling heart rate during this type of exercise can be beneficial because if a heart rate gets too high it would be considered supra-threshold which means the body has to work too hard to produce energy anaerobically. This can lead to muscle fatigue, cell damage, and glycogen depletion.
Additionally, heart rate is a good indicator of how much effort you are putting into your workout. For example, if you are training for a marathon and your heart rate is elevated significantly during your long runs then you may need to adjust your intensity or even your training plan.
Lastly, there is the idea of “listening to your body”. This essentially means that you are in tune with how you are feeling and can use this information along with your heart rate to make better decisions about your exercise routine. For example, if you are feeling tired and your heart rate is elevated then you should probably rest instead of doing a HIIT workout.
The methods to monitor heart rate include either a chest strap that goes around your chest and sends the information wirelessly or a wrist device such as a FitBit or Apple Watch. In my opinion, I believe it would be best to use a combination of methods. For example, if you are going on a long run then use a chest strap to get an accurate heart rate reading and if you are going to do a high-intensity interval training session then use a wrist device. This will give you the most accurate information about how your body is responding to the type of exercise you are doing.
What Exactly is a Heart Rate Monitor?
A heart rate monitor is a device that allows you to see your heart rate in beats per minute (BPM). It does this by measuring the electrical activity of your heart. This information can be used to help you with your exercise routine by telling you when you are working too hard, when you need to take a break and how long you should be working out for.
How Does a Heart Rate Monitor Work
There are a few different ways that heart rate monitors work. The most common way is by using a chest strap. This strap goes around your chest and sends the information about your heart rate to a receiver which can be either plugged into your computer or even your phone. There is also a wrist-based monitor which uses light to measure the amount of blood flow through your veins. This information is then sent to a receiver which calculates your heart rate.
Heart Rate Zones
There are five different heart rate zones that are determined by how hard you are working. The five zones are:
1) Recovery zone (50-60% of maximum heart rate)
This zone is for minimal effort. Your heart rate will be lower than normal so you should have little to no sweat or heavy breathing. You can stay in this zone for a long period of time without too much fatigue.
2) Endurance zone (60-70% of maximum heart rate)
Heart rate endurance zone is for people who are looking to increase their cardiovascular endurance. In this zone, your heart rate will be elevated but you will still be able to hold a conversation without too much problem. This zone can be maintained for a long period of time.
3) Tempo zone (70-80% of maximum heart rate)
Heart rate Tempo zone is for athletes who are looking to improve their race times. In this zone, you will be working a bit harder than in the endurance zone but you will still be able to speak without too much problem. This zone can last for about an hour.
Check out this video of a runner that always monitors his heartrate:
4) Anaerobic zone (80-90% of maximum heart rate)
The heart rate Anaerobic zone is for athletes who are looking to improve their anaerobic fitness. This zone requires all-out effort and is not sustainable for long periods of time. You will find it difficult to breathe deeply, speak or even keep your eyes open during this type of exercise.
5) Redline (over 90% of maximum heart rate)
Heart rate redline is for athletes who are looking to improve their speed and power. This zone should only be used for short periods of time as it is very taxing on the body. You will find it very difficult to breathe, speak or move during this type of exercise.
5) Maximum aerobic zone (90-100% of maximum heart rate)
heart rate Maximum aerobic zone is the highest zone on the heart rate monitor. In this zone, you will be working as hard as you can so it is not sustainable for very long periods of time. You will find it difficult to breathe deeply, speak or even keep your eyes open during this type of exercise.
Heart Rate During Exercise
The most important thing to do when using a heart rate monitor is to make sure you are in the correct zone. This will ensure that you get the most out of your workout and avoid injuries. Here are some guidelines on what type of exercise you should be doing, with what kinds of heart rate zones:
• Walking – endurance or tempo zone
• Running – tempo or anaerobic zone
• Cycling – endurance or tempo zone
• Swimming – endurance or tempo zone
When you are working out, it is important to monitor your heart rate. A heart rate monitor can help you do this by measuring the amount of electrical activity in your heart. This information can be used to help you stay in the correct heart rate zone, which will help you get the most out of your workout.
How to Use a Heart Rate Monitor
There are a few things you need to know in order to use a heart rate monitor correctly. The first is that you need to find your maximum heart rate. This can be done by either a) using a formula that takes into account your age and sex or b) by doing a stress test. Once you have found your maximum heart rate, you then need to find your resting heart rate. This can be done by taking your pulse for 60 seconds first thing in the morning when you are still lying in bed. The next step is to determine what your target heart rate should be for the type of exercise you are doing. This can vary but a good rule of thumb is between 70-85% of the maximum heart rate. The final step is to measure your heart rate throughout your workout and once you have found an acceptable range, make sure to stay within that zone.
Heart rate monitors are a great way to make sure that you are working out safely and effectively. By using a monitor, you can see what heart rate zone you are in and make sure to stay within the recommended range. This will help you to avoid getting injured and ensure that you are getting the most out of your workout.