Should You Track Your Heart Rate When Exercising?

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Should You Track Your Heart Rate When Exercising?

If you have committed to using exercise to get in better shape and improve your health, you might have heard about the importance of tracking your heart rate.

Not only is heart rate monitoring important, but it also provides vital information about your physical health.

According to sport medicine experts, it’s essential for measuring your overall level of fitness. Should you track your heart rate when exercising?

Why is Monitoring Your Heart Rate Important?

Dr Anthony Luke, the sports medicine director from the University of California explains that a low heart rate is a key element in determining your cardiovascular fitness level.

If you want to know your level of fitness and exercise efficiently, it all starts with heart rate monitoring.

You are out for your morning run. You get to a hill and begin the trek upward. About halfway up, you are sweating profusely and your heart feels like it’s pounding out of your chest.

Do you keep running or do you stop and take a break?

Whether you are a runner or doing a Pilates video, you can take the guesswork out of exercise, improve the quality of your workouts, and achieve fitness goals more quickly by understanding heart rate data.

With heart rate monitoring devices, like Fitbit, Apple Watch, Withings, and JaxJox, it is easier than ever to use your heart rate data to achieve your fitness goals.

You don’t need any fancy devices to measure heart rate. You can feel the pulse on your neck or wrist.

However, technology has made it more convenient and gives you an instant reading. You don’t have to stop your workout to take your pulse. You can simply glance at your smartwatch or fitness tracker.

Maximizing Your Workout

According to heart experts, first, you need to determine your normal resting heart rate.

Next, research the normal resting rate and maximum heart rate for your age group.

Once you have this information, you can determine the exercise intensity that is best for you and develop a target heart rate.

Why is this information important?

Instead of guessing, “Am I working out too much or too little,” let science guide your workout.

You don’t need to have a gym membership or be an elite athlete to use your heart rate to track your fitness level.

Knowing your target heart rate can help you maximize the time you are working out and let you get the most benefit from your workout.

Resting Heart Rate

Resting heart rate is defined as how many times per minute your heart beats when you are resting.

The lower the number, the better. A low heartbeat rate means that your heart is in good condition and is not working hard to achieve a steady beat.

High resting heart rates have been linked with low fitness levels, high blood pressure, and excess body weight.

For the average person, a normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

Athletes and extremely healthy people can have a resting heart rate of 40 beats per minute.

Your resting rate will depend on your level of physical activity. It can be affected by anxiety, stress, hormones, and medications.

To establish your resting rate using heart rate monitoring, a good time to check it is when you wake up.

Make sure you have slept well, are not stressed, have not taken any medication, and before you’ve had any caffeine.

Some of the factors that will affect your heart rate are body position, air temperature, age, gender, and state-of-mind.

You may need to take your resting heart rate several mornings in a row to get a reliable baseline.

Featured image: Unsplash

The Fitness For Non-Athletes Blog is a site dedicated to the unathletically inclined who want simple fitness and health tips.

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