Heart Rate Monitors

Written by Robert Mac
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Heart rate monitors make ideal training partners: they give you an objective report on your most important muscles--your heart. While pedometers and body fat analyzers count your steps and estimate your fat levels, the immediate feedback provided by heart rate monitors is a more direct reflection of your health. The efficiency of your heart--how well it delivers oxygen to your muscles--is directly related to your fitness level.

Your heart beats about 100,000 times each day, sending blood to your lungs to collect oxygen and then delivering it to your muscles, which burn the oxygen as fuel. When you exercise, your muscles require more fuel, and your heart has to work harder. As you become more fit, your heart is able to pump more blood during each heartbeat--meaning it doesn't have to beat as often.

Heart Rate Monitors Keep You on Target

Experts recommend exercising at an elevated heart rate for 20 minutes at least three times a week. Heart rate monitors provide a simple and accurate way for you to measure your resting and active heart rates, giving you a gauge on the strenuousness of your workouts. Watching your rates allows you to regulate the intensity and frequency of your fitness plan from an objective perspective.

Everyone exercises differently; they set their fitness goals differently and reach them at different times. Using a heart rate monitor lets you set your own workout pace, and the direct measurement of your heart rate is the most accurate way to measure your progress. As your heart becomes a fitter organ, you likewise become a fitter person.

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