Heart rate monitors can do some amazing things. And may be just what you need
to "rev up" your exercise program and speed weight loss.
"Wait a minute", you say.
"What does a heart rate monitor have to do with weight loss?"
Here's the scoop.
When you perform the same exercises at the same intensity, day
after day, your body adapts and reaches a set point. It says "Ho hum, I
don't need to make any changes, everything is rocking along just fine."
If you are working out regularly and have
reached a plateau in losing weight you should try changing your exercise routine.
Several recent studies have shown that by adding intermittent bursts of high activity
you will not only increase cardio conditioning but also increase fat loss. Click
here for information on the
The 3 Week Fitness and Weight Loss Plan
That's where the heart rate
monitor comes in.
These wireless transmitter-receivers provide a
“window to your heart” which keeps you in tune with your body to avoid
over exertion and optimize your workout. They are also great for
keeping track of your fitness conditioning. Your heart rate will come down as
your fitness level improves.
To change your set point increase your heart rate 10 to 20
beats per minute for 30-60 seconds and then return to your normal pace.
Gradually, over a few weeks increase the intensity and time of each
Athletes spend as much as $500 for
the highest quality equipment with all the "bells and
whistles". Polar heart monitors are made in Finland and have
been the recognized leader in heart rate monitors for many years.
What Should My Target Heart Rate Be? To compute your target heart rate first compute your maximum heart rate. A rule of thumb to determine your maximum heart rate is to
subtract your age from the number 220. For example if you are 50 years of age
your maximum heart rate will in theory be 170. This works well for the “average”
person but each person is unique and may have a pulse rate 10 or 15 beats higher
or lower than the “average”.
The optimum heart rate zone during exercise for a healthy
person is from 60% to 80% of your maximum. If you are taking medications which
affect your heart rate, such as beta blockers, you need to determine your
optimum exercise heart rate from your doctor or a certified trainer.
Your pulse is a good measure of your body’s ability to utilize
oxygen. We’ve seen reductions in heart rate of as much as 20 beats per minute in
new exercisers after only 12 weeks of regular exercise.
Some of the latest Polar heart rate monitors will compute your target heart rate and keep you advised when you move out of the "zone". They will also keep track of how many calories you burn during a workout. I told you that they were pretty amazing.