Equipment Spotlight: Heart Rate Monitors

“Perceived exertion” is the formal name given to how hard you feel you are working.

It is notoriously inaccurate.

Knowing how hard you are working is very important for making sure you maximize your training.

Obviously, it’s possible to under-train, but did you know it’s possible to over-train too?

Measuring your heart rate is a tried and tested method to have a more accurate measure than how you feel.

That said, it’s still not perfect because it can be affected by so many outside influences, including time of day, temperature, humidity, general health of the exerciser, stress levels etc.

However, it is still much better than nothing.

You can purchase heart rate monitor from around 20 dollars/Euros/Pounds and these will often provide simple functions.

Obviously, the more you spend, the more functions you have. But don’t waste you money needlessly.

For your first monitor, the most basic monitor will probably be enough.

Besides displaying your heart rate, two features that I believe could be useful for new users are the idea of zones and average heart rate over the workout.

I won’t go into details here, but when exercising most people need to be between 60 and 80 percent their maximum heart rate (your estimated maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age). Some watches beep when you are above or below this zone.

I couldn’t exercise without my heart rate monitor now as I have become so accustomed to using it and I truly believe my workouts are better for it.

I can’t think of a cheaper and better method of ensuring you are maximizing your workout time.

One last thing, did you know they even have heart rate monitors for horses?

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