|Image by George Hodan|
What is the Purpose of a Heart Rate Monitor?
First, understand what your heart does: it pumps oxygenated blood throughout your body. Your muscles and organs need oxygen in order to function and perform. Without sufficient oxygen, your muscles and organs will suffer, as well as cause you pain. Since you are using your muscles more vigorously during exercise, your heart must work harder to deliver oxygenated blood to them. Thus, by monitoring your heart rate, you'll be able to see if your heart is working hard or not. If it isn't, then you need to work harder in order to work your muscles harder. The more oxygen your muscles burn through during exercise, the better your workout will be.
Of course, it's possible to work too hard during a workout, and overtax both your muscles as well as your heart. It's for this reason especially that a heart rate monitor is such a good idea. With the guidance of a health instructor or your doctor, determine what your optimal heart rate during exercise is, and what your maximum heart rate should be. Then, wear a heart rate monitor while exercising, and you'll have up-to-the-second updates on what your heart rate is.
You can purchase heart rate monitors in varying styles at any sporting goods store, or visit HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com or any other health website that sells heart monitors to see what's available online. Both in stores and online you'll be able to see a generous selection of heart rate monitors, and you're sure to find at least one or two that fit your budget. Be sure to check over the features of the heart rate monitors you're considering, as some offer features like recording your heart rate, having a long-lasting battery, or being waterproof. Pick the heart rate monitor that fits your exercise routine best, and wear it whenever you exercise.
Now, let's get up and get moving!