Are you wasting your time working out? If you are not using a heart rate monitor, you might be.
Of course, any exercise is better than sitting on the couch while eating donuts. Even if you aren’t exercising in your target heart rate zone, your respiratory, musculature, and autoimmune systems will benefit. You will lose weight, tone up your body, and feel much better about yourself if you exercise regularly. But could you be doing even more for yourself? Are you working out too hard? Or too easy?
A heart rate monitor can help you exercise more efficiently.
There are many benefits to working out with a heart rate monitor:
* Stop the Goldilocks syndrome of exercising- are you exercising too easy, too heard or just right? Most heart rate monitors will tell you.
* Are you making progress with your exercise routine? A heart rate monitor will allow you see how you are progressing over time. If you do the same exercise routine and your maximum heart rate goes down over time, your exercise is working. If the time it takes to recover from your workout goes down, that’s another sign your exercise routine is working.
* Are you exercising safely? Using a heart rate monitor, you can get an alarm when you are moving out of your zone. If you are exceeding your maximum heart rate, that is a sign you are exercising a little too hard. Slow down a little- your heart will thank you for it.
Heart rate monitors range from less than $ 50 for the most basic models to well over $ 250 for heart rate monitors with built-in GPS (really a GPS watch with a built-in heart rate monitor). One advanced model will even track your mileage on different pairs of shoes. If you are beginner there are many features you simply don’t need.
Here are 3 of the most basic models which have enough features to begin your new active lifestyle:
Omron HR-100C Heart Rate Monitor: At just over $ 30 the Omron HR-100C is a great budget heart rate monitor. It has low and high heart rate alarms, a handy backlight, and a daily alarm. The Omron HR-100C uses a chest strap to measure your heart rate. Some people find this uncomfortable, but after you start exercising most people don’t even notice it’s there.
MIO Breeze Heart Rate Monitor: Another heart rate monitor for just over $ 30, this time from MIO. The MIO Breeze (and other MIO heart rate monitors) are strapless. In order to find out your heart rate you simply put two fingers on the front of the watch and wait a few seconds. A unique feature of the MIO Breeze is the capability to track your calorie burn for the day.
Timex T5G971 Heart Rate Monitor: A Timex heart rate monitor for under $ 50 is a great deal. More importantly is has all of the features a beginner will need on a heart rate monitor. It even has a recovery timer, a lap timer and a cool looking backlight.
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