4 Tips to Use a Heart Rate Monitor in Your Workout

When you want your training routine to generate the most benefits for your health, it's best to have all the information possible. In this sense, a heart rate monitor is an ideal device to measure your heart rate.
4 Tips to Use a Heart Rate Monitor in Your Workout

Last update: 09 April, 2019

For adequate sports training, you should always have absolute control over the right functioning of your body. That’s why using a heart rate monitor has become a habitual practice nowadays. It’s uncommon for an athlete, whether they have experience or are a beginner, to not use one. How can we use it?

Why should you use a heart rate monitor?

It’s an electronic device that measures your heartbeat frequency in real-time. It’s the perfect tool for those who want to start an exercise routine. A heart rate monitor allows you to learn more about the human body and its limitations.

All of these devices have an indicator to alert you to the ideal intensity of a workout, depending on the physical state of each person. This type of technology also indicates the presence of certain conditions that require medical attention, such as heart disease. For this same reason, they’re indispensable allies for people who have suffered from cardiovascular accidents.

A heart rate monitor allows you to reach your goals depending on your own abilities. It can indicate in real-time if you should increase the intensity or quantity of the exercise you’re performing. Likewise, it tells you if you should maintain the pace, decrease it or even suspend the workout.

These devices are very useful for improving your aerobic and anaerobic capacity. They also let you know if you’re getting the results you want regarding fat loss with your workout.

Modern heart rate monitors are equipped with a GPS, which allows athletes to know their geographic position at all times. They also have a calorie counter and a mileage indicator; they’re usually expensive, but it’s an investment that’s totally worth it.

Woman using a heart rate monitor as she runs on the treadmill

How to use it

Classic models consist of two elements: a transmitter band for your chest and the receptor, which is a wrist monitor that you can also use as a watch.

The frontal band is made up of electrodes that must be in direct contact with your skin; no clothes should come in between them.

Modern heart rate monitors transmit data wirelessly. This information is usually kept under a unique code; this way, if there are several people using these gadgets in a gym, the frequencies will not be confused.

Today, there are modern devices that don’t require a band over your chest, since they collect the data directly from your wrist.

For lone athletes

Many people who enjoy an active lifestyle don’t like to work out on their own; they need a partner that pushes them to give their best effort; someone to use as a reference and know they can go further.

People who use a heart rate monitor are only in competition with themselves. The information they receive from these devices will serve as a base to increase their levels of physical resistance. If they maintain extensive control, they can easily evaluate their progress.

What is the purpose of a heart rate monitor in day to day training?

When doing cardio, either in races, biking, an elliptical or any other demanding physical activity, the sessions should keep in mind the physical condition of each individual person.

A heart rate monitor can provide precise information that’s useful to create personalized workout plans. These programs are unique and are as specific as each person’s maximum heart rate (MHR).

Man using a wrist heart rate monitor while running

That kind of data produces singular information, similar to fingerprints. The right way to obtain it is by performing an effort test. If you can’t perform it at this moment, you can also use the following formula as a guide; always input real numbers, as it only offers an approximate value.

MHR for women: 226 – your age

MHR for men: 220 – age

A heart rate monitor should never show values any higher than the ones you might obtain with the previous formula, as this could seriously affect your health. Now, these numbers are only a guideline you can use until you perform the necessary effort tests, under the supervision of a professional.

The information you receive from this medical evaluation will give you an exact value for the individual ranges, as well as for the training areas you should stick to.

As you can see, using a heart rate monitor offers valuable information to apply in the daily life of an athlete. Why not start using one too?

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