The fitness industry seems to be flooded with different workout programs these days all saying they are the key to success. It can be hard and time consuming to figure out which one will work best for you. One thing most workout programs will not tell you is the amount of effort you need to exert to reach your goals. This is where heart rate monitoring can help you.
The importance of your heart rate is it is your bodies internal system of letting you know how much effort your are exerting during you workout. No matter what workout program you are doing if your effort is not there you will not get the best results. You can do the hardest workout program out there but if you are exerting minimal effort your results will be minimum and vice versa for the easiest workout if you put the effort in you will get the maximum results from that workout.
The reason for this is because your heart is a muscle. The harder you workout the harder it works to pump oxygen via the bloodstream through your body to your other muscles. This means the harder you work your muscles the harder your heart works building strength throughout your whole body.
One of the other great benefits of heart rate training is it kicks your whole system into overdrive. This helps your body continue to burn calories even after your workout is done. Which is great for anyone looking to loose weight.
I am sure you are asking how to properly monitor your heart rate. Heart rate monitoring can be done by tech gadgets such as Fitbits and Apple watches you can also simply put two fingers on your neck and count your heartbeats. If you are using tech it should take you through the steps to properly monitor your heart rate. If you decide to go old school and use your fingers a rough guide is 220 minus your age and that should be your maximum heart rate.
Heart rate monitoring is usually broken up by zones. This is done by the percentage of your max heart rate (MHR) you are currently at. You want to try to hit most of these zones during a workout to avoid over/under training.
Heart Rate Zones:
Zone 1: 60-70 percent of MHR: very comfortable, easy recovery running. This is mostly where workouts start and finish.
Zone 2: 70-80 percent: steady running; comfortable enough to hold a conversation; most training is done here.
Zone 3: 80-93 percent; this is a comfortably hard effort; this is a fast running pace.
Zone 4: 94-100 percent; hard effort; this is a full sprint usually done in short spurts.