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Heart Rate Monitors
Heart Rate Monitors
I always say that we are our own heart rate monitors. Unfortunately that's only true when we're truthful with ourselves, and we all know that when it comes to cheating on our workouts that "we" can't be trusted!
For those of us who are tempted to tip the scales in our favor so that we can indulge in an extra half hour in bed, there are handy fitness tools like heart rate monitors to keep us on the up and up.
Heart rate monitors help us gauge how much effort we're putting into our workouts.
Effective aerobic conditioning requires that you maintain your heart rate at a certain intensity level for at least 20 minutes per workout session. When aerobic exercise is performed at the proper level (between 55 and 65 - percent) it increases your metabolism and burns fat and calories.
Beginners will start at the lower end of the spectrum and increase their heart rate gradually as they become more conditioned. If your heart rate is too high (85 - percent or higher), your activity can actually be counteractive causing your body to produce lactic acid and become anaerobic; which burns less fat and can potentially leave you with muscle strain.
To use a heart rate monitor, first you must determine your maximum heart rate (MHR). The good news is that if you're alive you can monitor your heart rate. MHR is calculated by subtracting your age from 220. Many athletes swear by interval training; which means that they perform aerobically in 2 to 3 minute intervals at their MHR, dropping to a lower intensity between each interval then working back up to their MHR in a peak fashion. With a heart rate monitor, this style of aerobic exercise will help you train at your target heart rate, getting you in optimal competition form.
Heart rate monitors are worn like wristwatches. In fact most models combine timekeeping with heart monitoring functions. If you want a constant eye on your heart rate during workouts, buy a model with a chest strap transmitte...