Friday, December 3, 2010

Must Have for Workouts.

Who doesn’t love a new gadget? Well, I just fell in love with my newest workout gizmo – a Polar heart rate monitor.

I got the idea from my Aunt who works out with one every day. She was showing me how it works and how she runs intervals based on achieving a certain number of minutes per zone (example: 15 minutes in hard zone – which is 80-90% of your max heart rate). There’s a bit of math involved in this art – but my Dad sat down with my and helped me make a chart of my ranges for my max heart rate (which is based on age) – 188.

Dad hooked my up with a Polar FT4 (pictured below):

I’m 5 days into working out with it and I’ve never felt more motivated to push myself! I am loving knowing just how hard I’m working out and setting attainable goals I can reach. Also, it gives an accurate count of the calories you burned (based off all your stats which you enter when you program the watch part of the monitoring system.

The way my particular model works is by wearing a chest strap – which is comfortable and easy to keep clean and free of a sweaty stench (at least so far) and then a watch that I can watch my stats on – as well as it tracks them so I can evaluate my workout afterwards. In addition, Polar has a great, user-friendly website that allows you to track your progress, print workouts, etc available to users of their products.

I’m sold on HR monitoring but in case you’re not yet…

I found a great list of reasons to wear a heart rate monitor while you workout on NuMetrex’s website – they are also a supplier of heart rate monitors. Here are the five reasons they list:

- Improve your health. No matter what your goal using a heart rate monitor can help you stay in the best zone to achieve that goal – whether it’s to boost cardiovascular health, lose weight, relieve stress, build endurance, tone muscles, etc.
- Lose Weight. Wearing a heart rate monitor can tell you if you’re exercising hard enough, or too hard even, to lose the weight you’re trying to drop. For weight loss most experts agree 60-70% of your max heart rate is best.
- Make the most of the exercise time you have. Who doesn’t want to do that? How you feel isn’t really an accurate gauge of how much work you’re putting in. Monitoring your heart rate, however, is.
- Safety. NuMetrex says that people who wear heart rate monitors are the first to know when they encounter a health issue because they’re monitoring the stress they’re placing on their heart and its ability to recover.
- Be your own coach. A heart rate monitor gives you the ability to push yourself and monitor and record your progress. For those of us with a true competitive nature this is a great motivator to push hard at our workouts every day.

The full article here.
Alright friends, add this to your Christmas list.

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