Do You Really Need a Heart Rate Monitor During Exercise?
Heart rate monitors are popular among runners and endurance athletes. The latest fitness wearables incorporate heart rate trackers too. It’s not uncommon to see bodybuilders or casual gym goers checking their heart rate during exercise. Many athletes swear by these devices! The question: do you really need a heart rate monitor? Why should you use one in the first place?
How Do Heart Monitors Work?
Elite athletes use the data received from heart rate monitors to gauge race pace, hydration levels, training goals, recovery, and other critical factors. Gym goers rely on these devices to make sure they hit a specific heart rate zone for weight loss or endurance. Basically, these gadgets show how fast your heart is beating before, during, and after physical activity.
Years ago, they were mostly used by people with heart disease, obesity, and other medical conditions. Today, heart rate monitors are widely available and can be seen in gyms worldwide. However, this doesn’t mean you really need one. For most gym goers, these devices are just a mere convenience.
Why Track Your Heart Rate
Tracking your heart rate is particularly helpful when you’re doing HIIT, full body circuits, steady-state cardio, and endurance exercises. This can keep you from running too fast, which increases injury risk. During tabata or HIIT, a heart rate monitor can help determine workout intensity. If you have cardiovascular problems, wearing this device during exercise is a good way to avoid pushing yourself too hard.
The latest heart rate monitor can be connected to your smartphone or tablet so you can download the stored data and track your progress. They may also display the calories burned as well as your speed, distance, or umber of steps. Most models are inexpensive and can last for years. Even though heart rate monitors are not a must, they can help. It all comes down to your needs and goals.