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Heart Rate Monitor Useful?
Diet and exercise are major concerns in our sedentary society, and the American public spends approximately 35 billion dollars per year on products which supposedly help with weight loss. Most of them, from exercise machines to diet pills, are not only expensive but produce poor and unsustainable results. However, a heart rate monitor is one product which is not only cheap but has been proven to be effective for people of all fitness levels.
The first wireless heart rate monitor was marketed in 1983, and many improvements have been added since then. These include coded transmission of data from chest strap to wristwatch display to avoid interference by ambient radio waves, data storage capacity, programmable training zone settings, and the ability to download stored data onto a computer.
You must maintain your heart rate within the appropriate intensity level for at least twenty minutes to achieve effective aerobic conditioning. If your heart rate is too high, your activity can be counter efficacious. For virtually all people, as your heart rate exceeds eighty-five percent (the upper limit), your workout causes muscles to function anaerobically, which creates lactic acids. This causes a burning sensation and strain in the muscles, and burns less fat. To make good progress in your fitness routine, you must maintain anaerobic muscle function. A heart monitor provides you with knowledge of what is going on in your body so you can adjust your activity level accordingly.
When you use a heart rate monitor you can be sure your exercise intensity is at a level that burns fat optimally and keeps the body working aerobically, not anaerobically. A regular exercise routine at the optimum heart rate levels can help increase your metabolism so you burn more fat even when the exercise ends. If you are a beginner, don't push yourself to the point of exhaustion, as you are more likely to stick with an exercise program if it is enjoyable.
The most important factor for losing weight is the duration of time that you exercise. To get the best results, make sure you exert yourself at a level that can be comfortably maintained for a lengthier time period. You will burn fat as long as you are maintaining a comfortable intensity in your aerobic activity. If you have previously been sedentary, start at a slow pace and try to maintain a less vigourous workout for a longer time period.
For fat burning and weight reduction, keep within 55-65% of maximum heart rate. This level consists of lower intensity, lengthier duration exercises. Increase the length of time gradually to get the greatest benefit, especially if you have not worked out for a while or are incorporating new activities into your regimen. This lower intensity helps you maintain your exercise for longer periods of time safely.
Which Monitor is Best For Me?
There are many heart rate monitors on the market to choose from. Write down your exercise objectives and find the category of monitor which best suits your individual situation.
An Aid to Weight Loss: These monitors have excellent motivational features. These include automatic target zone calculations, fitness level checking, and calories burned during your entire workout. Some also include non-fitness-related functions like time of day and sometimes even calendars. This can help you in keeping track of your progress in a weight loss program.
The Exercise Beginner or Basic User: You can buy virtually any basic model of heart rate monitor available. These inexpensive systems have only a few settings, are durable, and display your heart beats per minute.
If you are starting out in any aerobic activity whether itís walking, swimming or cycling, these monitors will be sufficient for your needs.
Regular Fitness Enthusiast: In addition to the basic heart rate information, these system are designed for the individual with more advanced fitness goals. They have stopwatch, allow you to program your exercise Target Zone, and display the time of day. A few of them even calculate the heart rate recovery time. A lot of the Heart Rate Monitors for the fitness enthusiast are made in a sport wristwatch design for everyday wear.
Athletes and Advanced Fitness Enthusiast : These system are for the good athlete who needs detailed fitness information with storage and extensive summary capabilities. These systems include average heart rate, lap times, time spent in and out of your heart rate target zone, and multiple target zone settings. They may also have an interval timer so you are able to fine tune your workout. A few of these elaborate Monitors interface with PC or even Mac computers to provide exerciser and his or her coach multiple reports and graphs for both exercise heart rate and resting rate data.
Specialty Units: Pedometers, dehydration monitors, strapless units and more.
Accessories: Accessorize your Heart Rate Monitor with bike mounts and computer interface software.
Consumer Reports and Prevention Magazine have published reviews of many of the most popular heart rate monitors, and if you need some extra advice as to what to buy these two publications are recommended.
In summary, heart rate monitors masure your heart rate in beats per minute so you are able to track your aerobic exercise level and keep your heart reate in a safe zone. They help you to make the most of the time you have available to spend on your training program, and help you accurately evaluate your progress so you can make the adjustments necessary to reach your goal. Monitors provide immediate feedback which gives you motivation to maintain a healthy, regular exercise routine.
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