A heart rate monitor is great because it tells you how hard you’re working.
It’s a doddle to use — put the strap around your chest and press a button on the watch and hey-presto, you can see how fast your heart is beating at a glance!
Why this is great for you and your body
It’s great for you because it means you can exercise in your comfort zone AND get fit at the same time. It’s great for your body because it means you won’t push it into overdrive and you won’t be so laid-back that you’re not getting a benefit.
In short — it’s great because you work at the right level for YOU…
How to use a heart rate monitor
It’s really easy. You need to know the “zone” you’re training in… say 125-135 beats per minute for 15 minutes. That’s just an example, for you it could be different.
To work out your own zone, you need some very simple maths to work out your maximum heart rate. Then you simply find a zone that’s right for you — between 60% and 85% of your max. Check out the “Exercise” chapter of Happy Guide for more info.
To get fit the easy way, start small and build. What you do is start at say 60% to 65% for 10 minutes and do that for a bit. Then you might decide to do 20 minutes, then 30. Then you might go to 65% to 75% and so on. You can go at your own pace and work as hard as you want to but this way, you do it gradually and safely.
Quality feedback, no over-working, enjoyable exercise and SAFE exercise. That’s a clever bit of kit and it will get you fit! And heart rate monitors only cost a few dollars. Everyone’s a winner :-)
You know it makes sense!
By the way, please see your doctor for a quick check-up before starting a new exercise program if you’re in any doubt at all. They can do a few quick checks such as blood pressure and so-on to make sure you’re safe to start.
Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.
Read Chapter 1 “The Happiness Secret”
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2 thoughts on “Why use a heart rate monitor?”
Thanks for the little tips you have started to give. How do I work out my max heart rate. My pulse is normally about 85-90 (just shows how unfit I am!!) Can you help please!!?
Keep up the great work Mike. Hope you are keeping well.
I’m good thx, how’s you??
What you do (it’s all in Happy Guide btw) is work out your max estimated heart rate = 220 – age.
Then your aerobic zone is 60% to 85% of your max. Multiply your max by 0.6 and then 0.85 to give your zone.
Then it’s just a matter of deciding where to start. 10 minutes at 60-65% of max is good. Do 5 minutes warm up first to get you from cold up to 60% and then do your 10 minutes at 60 to 65%.
To progress, increase FIT — frequency (no. of workouts), intensity (% of max) or time (duration).
Steady as she goes! :-)
Oh and don’t forget to cool down! Gradually reduce intensity to get back to at least 60% (or lower) before stopping.