You don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from wearing a Heart Rate (HR) monitor. A HR monitor can be a useful tool in helping control weight, build endurance, and assist in finding the right pace and intensity to achieve your goals more efficiently. Body & Soul Trainers use this tool during the initial assessment and often during subsequent sessions to keep their clients on track.
Monitoring your HR during your workout is important because it is highly correlated with how much oxygen your body is utilizing. As the intensity of exercise increases, your active tissues need to use up more oxygen to be able to maintain the same work output and as a result your HR will increase to help your tissues meet their oxygen demands.
Being aware of your HR can also help you choose which energy system to workout. Heart rate max (HRM) is calculated as 220 – age. Exercising approximately at 50-70% of HRM challenges the aerobic system, 70-85% challenges the glycolytic system and exercising above 85-90% challenges the anaerobic system. To receive the health benefits from an exercise, it is appropriate to exercise at 50-70% HRM. However, if you want to improve your fitness level it’s important to exercise at 70-85% HRM and above.
Keep in mind that sometimes as you exercise you may feel fatigued, but your HR can always confirm how hard you are really working.