How Should You Use a Heart Rate Monitor?

How Should You Use a Heart Rate Monitor?

A heart rate monitor is a device that measures your heart rate in real-time. It detects, counts, and displays the number of your heartbeat per minute. It also shows an increase or decrease in your heart rate depending on the intensity of your workout, which can be used to determine the adjustments you need to reach your goal.

These advantages are the reason why most people turn to this device. But, how should you use a heart rate monitor? In this article, we will not just discuss how to use a heart monitor, but we will also cover how to get your target heart-rate zone, and how a heart rate monitor works and what are its benefits.

How to Calculate Your Maximum Heart Rate

The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that adults should do a 30-minute exercise on most days or a total of 150 minutes workout in a week, that is vigorous enough to increase their heart rate to 50%-85% of their maximum heart rate.

Formula: 220bpm – your age = your target heart-rate zone

How Do Heart Rate Monitors Work

No, the numbers displayed on your heart rate monitors are definitely not randomly generated.

Each time your heart beats, it sends an electrical signal through your heart muscles which then causes a contraction that is considered as one heartbeat. This electrical signal is also detected through your skin. Hence, heart rate monitors require to be directly in contact with your skin.

Most heart rate monitors also include a microprocessor that monitors and calculates your heart rate. Its electrodes pick up the electrical signals which are then sent to the transmitter clips. The signals are continuously transferred wirelessly, usually in the form of Bluetooth, ANT+, or radio waves, into a receiver, which will give you your heart rate reading.

Keep in mind that you have to make sure that the sensor pads are slightly moistened with gel or water to get a good connection and that the strap is tight enough, so the electrodes do not move while doing the activity.

How Do Heart Rate Monitors Work

How Do Heart Rate Monitors Benefit Your Training

Your heart rate is a very reliable and accurate indicator of how hard you are working out. It gives you the correct notion that you are either not working hard enough or are working too hard to the point of overtraining your body.

  • Push or Pull

A heart rate monitor helps you determine when it’s time to either pull back from a solid workout or push harder for a maximum benefit.

  • Correct Workout Intensity

A heart rate monitor allows you to set a goal and workout in a specific zone. There are different heart zone training levels you should familiarize yourself with. These are:

Healthy Heart Rate Zone: This is for beginners or those who have stopped and has not worked out for a while. In this level, you will still be able to carry out a conversation, although your breathing may be a bit heavier than your usual. Working out in this zone helps decrease your blood pressure, body fat, and cholesterol.

Fitness Heart Rate Zone: In this level, your breathing is heavier, but you will still be able to say short sentences. Exercising in this zone also aids in decreasing your cholesterol, blood pressure, and body fat.

Aerobic Heart Rate Zone: This is the perfect zone to workout on if you want to increase your pace and cardiovascular capacity. In this level, you will be able to say only short phrases. You will also be able to burn stored body fat continuously and improve your muscle strength.

Anaerobic Heart Rate Zone: In this level, you will only be able to say a word at a time. This is also the level for increasing your threshold as your body will start to produce lactic acid from working your muscles to their limits.

Red Line Zone: This is for serious athletes. In this level, you will have a difficult time speaking except maybe for grasping a word or two. Working out in this zone allows you to increase your speed, but this should only be done for short intervals.

How Should You Use a Heart Rate Monitor

Based on the discussion above, we have already covered how a heart rate monitor is used, i.e. it should be directly in contact with your skin and strapped tight enough that the electrodes can’t move while you workout. You also should ensure that the sensor pads are moistened to get a good connection.

Furthermore, here are some ways to make the most out of your heart rate monitor:

  • Know your maximum heart rate

Yes, there is a given formula to calculate this. However, not all people of your age have the same limit as yours. Of course, this varies per person depending on a lot of factors.

With a heart rate monitor, try to push yourself harder in training, and find out your heart’s maximum capacity. Be careful not get injured though.

  • Find your easy level

With a heart rate monitor, get on moving and find your easy level. This is crucial as you also need to find a balance between intensive workout and recovery. Your easy level will help you recover so you can get back to an intensive workout.

  • Check your endurance

A heart rate monitor will track and show you your workout progress, which is highly motivating.

Final Thoughts

A heart rate monitor can help take your fitness level on fleek. This accessory will help you find the right training intensity while preventing you from overdoing it. With this device, you can listen better to what your body says and gather data to know the best way to improve your health.

4 thoughts on “How Should You Use a Heart Rate Monitor?”

  1. You mention knowing what your maximum heart rate is, but you don’t go into how to calculate what it should be. Can you give more information on that? Also, would you say that all heart rate monitors are created equal? Or is it easy to fall prey to buying cheap one that doesn’t work well? 

    • Hi, Ashley and thank you.

      Yes, I wrote about it in the article how to find your maximal heart rate. It is Formula: 220bpm – your age = your target heart-rate zone.

      About fall to buy a heart rate monitor because it is cheap but find out it is not good enough. It is possible. But the goal of is to help people as much as possible with useful information as possible. And to write a review about pros and course of quality product for all range of people.  To make it easier to for people to find things which fit them best. So the focus is 100% on a product which have good quality and useful for our readers. Not on the bad one. That is why I can not answer your question about the possibility to buy a lousy product. There is big research behind the product we recommended, and all the effort are focused on that.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.

  2. Healthy heart rate zone, that would be me. I am not a runner, but I do like to walk,  although,  I  feel I enjoy my surroundings far too much. ( is that a bench over there?!)

    Your website is full of great information, I know the benefit of good shoes,  an essential, whether walking or running. I work in the aged care environment and if I don’t wear an excellent pair of shoes by the end of the day my body is screaming with pain!

    I would enjoy seeing a post where you discuss best way forward for the older adult (lets say sixties bracket)!

    I would like to  be more toned and perhaps build muscle, but gently!

    My son is a runner and the GPSs on your website are amazing

    Can you tell me what fleek is, I couldn’t find a suitable meaning relative to   your content on an online dictionary

    Thanks for a great informative website


    • Hi, Michele and thank you.

       Great to hear that this post help you.

      I want to mention that I can never stress enough that walking is a great exercise.

      But about the training plan for you, there are so many factors which come in that picture like form, age, building, etc that I would recommend that you contact personal trainer close to you. It would always be more benefit of it for you.

      Fleek is extremely good, attractive, or stylish.

      If I can help you with anything else, or if you have any questions, don´t hesitate to contact me.


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