Monitoring your heart rate during cardio workouts lets you know how many calories you’re burning, and how hard your heart is working. As your fitness level increases, you will likely find that you have to gradually increase the intensity of your workouts to reap the same weight loss benefits.
Taking Your Pulse
One of the simplest way to monitor your heartrate during exercise is by checking your pulse. First, find a clock with a second hand, or wear a basic wrist watch. You can locate your pulse by placing your index and middle fingers either on the side of your neck, just under your jaw, or on your wrist directly below your thumb. When you find your pulse, watch the clock and count how many pulses you feel in ten seconds. Multiply this number by six to get your heart rate per minute. For adults (ages eighteen and over), a normal pulse would read between sixty and one hundred beats per minute.
Knowing your target heart rate is one of the main reasons we monitor out heart rates during exercise. Within your target heart rate zone, you increase the benefits and decrease the chances of injury during a cardio workout. This target zone can be calculated by taking sixty to eighty percent of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate can be found by subtracting your age from 220. All of these calculations can seem somewhat daunting, but you can easily find out if you are exercising in your target zone by checking your ten-second pulse after you stop exercising. From this point, you can either increase or decrease the intensity of your exercise accordingly. Exercising above eighty-five percent of your maximum heart rate increases the risk of cardiovascular and orthopedic injury, does not burn any more calories or fat, and simply does more harm than good.
Using Your Equipment
Nowadays, many fitness clubs offer cardio machines that have built-in heartrate monitors. Holding onto the metal plate sensors on these machines will do all the work for you, calculating your heart rate and displaying it on the screen just in front of you.
Heart Rate Monitors
There are countless options to choose from when it comes to purchasing a heart rate monitor. You can visit a local health and fitness company, or take your search to the Internet. These useful tools can monitor not only your heart rate, they can measure variations in your heart beat, calories burned, speed and distance, and more! Not only that, many offer the ability to transfer and store information to a computer.
Listen to Your Body
Probably any fitness expert/enthusiast will tell you that one of the best pieces of advice they could offer would be to listen to your body. Regardless of the information that any device can give you, your body does the best job of monitoring itself. If you feel pain, shortness of breath, or become dizzy, stop immediately. And as always, make sure you contact a health professional before beginning any training program.
Monitoring your heart rate is a basic, yet necessary part of fitness. Knowing how to accurately monitor your heart rate will help you meet your goals far more efficiently.