Have you ever wondered why people are wearing watches while they workout? There is a good chance that it is not only to tell the time, but to monitor their heart rate. A heart rate monitor can be useful for beginners or serious athletes. Some of them are very simple to use, such as the Polar F4, and some are more detailed, like the Garmin Forerunner.
Having knowledge of your heart rate allows you to work at the proper intensity and for you to have a more effective workout. Personally, I have mine set on the "percentage", not the heart rate "number" so that I can gauge my workouts accordingly. In spinning class, the instructor will guide you to achieve or maintain a certain percentage to ensure you are able to reach your goals.
The first thing you need to do is to figure out your maximum heart rate. You can do this by using this equation:
Example for a 30 year old male:
220 - 30 = 190
His age-predicted maximum heart
rate is 190 BPM
The next step is to enter in your personal stats into the heart rate monitor to make sure you get an accurate reading. I like to choose which "energy zone" that I plan to work in as my next step. For example, if I am doing an interval workout, I like to keep my heart rate between 65%-92% of my maximum heart rate. All I need to do is look down at my wrist, read the data and adjust accordingly.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
Have a healthy day!