Heart rate monitors have become increasingly popular over the years. They are not generally necessary for exercising. Individuals who have heart problems use the monitors to keep track of their heart rate because it can become dangerous for them if they allow their heart rate to get too high. Individuals who are serious about their exercise, such as professional athletes, use the monitors in order to keep track of their progress and to better judge their limit so that they can get the most out of their exercise regime. However, the use of such monitors is not just limited to these two groups.
Use of the Monitor
If one decides to take his or her exercise regime seriously, getting a monitor is a great way to supplement his or her routine. The individual does not have to be a professional; they may just have an exercise routine that he or she wishes to constantly improve upon. People who jog, walk, run, bike, hike or climb can all benefit from a monitor. Monitors can help the individual figure out his or her hydration level, pace, fatigue, recovery as well as his or her exercise goals.
How it Works
The monitor measures the heart’s electrical signals and then displays them on the unit. According to the American Heart Association, the max heart rate (also known as the HRmax) for men equals 220 minus the user’s age. The HRmax for women is 226 minus the user’s age. The monitor will let the user know when he or she needs to speed up or slow down depending on their heart rate. Higher quality models will often have an audible signal go off if the user is getting too close to their max heart rate.
Types of Monitors
There are two main types of monitors for users to choose from. The most common type is the chest strap monitor. The chest strap reads the user’s heart rate at a continuous rate, sending the data wirelessly to a wristwatch receiver. Some of the higher quality devices even contain GPS units. The second type is the finger sensor monitor. This unit acts as a wristwatch to which the user has to touch his or her finger to. Although this type tends to be much more comfortable, users have to pause in the middle of their regime in order to take a reading.
Anyone who takes their exercise regime seriously, and wants detailed information about their body that will help them improve their exercise as well as help set goals, should look into obtaining a heart rate monitor.
Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.