You have committed to improving your health and fitness. You’ve joined a gym (or boot camp class, if you’re really hardcore), established your goals, purchased a new workout wardrobe… you’re ready to go. Whatever your reasons, you have made a great decision that will make your life better… IF you stick to it, that is.
As a personal trainer, I am convinced there is one workout tool that most people overlook, but it is the one thing in your gym bag that can keep you healthy and keep you motivated. So what is this miracle piece of equipment? The heart rate monitor. It ensures safety, efficiency, and results (if used properly) and gives you the ability to chart your results… what could be better than that?
If you won’t just take my word for it, here are a few reasons why you should invest in this workout accessory ASAP…
1. It’s a personal trainer on your wrist! Most people don’t get the most out of their workout because they aren’t working hard enough. With a heart rate monitor you can see how hard you’re working and make the most out of the time and energy you are devoting to getting in shape.
2. It’s a window into your heart. Your HRM gives you a true indication of how healthy your heart is, how hard it is working, how hard you can work, and if you are overtraining. It lets you know when to kick it up a notch and when to bring it down. As you progress, your heart will recover faster from maxing out; and the quicker your heart rate drops during recovery, the more in shape your heart is.
3. It’s peace of mind. Yes, you become breathless when you work hard. If I’ve heard “I am dying!” once, I’ve heard it a million times. A) no one’s lips have ever turned blue during my boot camp, and B) no one has died. That would be really bad for business. If your heart rate is within a safe range (up to 95% of max), then you need not worry that you are pushing yourself too hard.
4. It’s a HUGE motivator. When you look at your wrist and see that you’ve burned 761 calories in an hour, you feel you have accomplished something. Why not round it up to 800?! If you are geeky, you can enter your results into Numbers or Excel and see your progress in a graph. You lose the excuses. You see the progress.
So… now you’re convinced that you need one, but what exactly should you look for in a heart rate monitor? Look for one with a chest strap to register your heart rate accurately and a display that shows both calories burned and the percentage of your maximum heart rate used while exercising. Two brands I suggest are Polar and Nike.
Thu, July 2, 2009
by Rachel Hunt filed under