When you exercise, your heart beats faster to meet the demand for more blood and oxygen by the muscles of the body. The more intense the activity, the faster your heart will beat. Therefore, monitoring your heart rate during exercise can be an excellent way to monitor exercise intensity.
Different heart rate ranges are useful for working towards different fitness goals. Known as 'training zones', these ranges are calculated using your maximum heart rate (MHR). To estimate your maximum heart rate, simply subtract your age from the number 220.
Heart Rate Monitor Training Zones
Heart Rate Monitor Training Zone 1 - Low Intensity zone: 50% - 60% MHR
Good for beginners or people who haven't exercised in a while, it is a comfortable intensity with cardiovascular and fat burning benefits.
Heart Rate Monitor Training Zone 2 - Weight Control zone: 60% - 70% MHR
The higher intensity strengthens your heart and works towards building a solid cardiovascular base. 65% of total calories burned are from fat.
Heart Rate Monitor Training Zone 3 - Aerobic zone: 70% - 80% MHR
A harder, but not exhausting intensity. Good for fat burning, muscle strengthening and general fitness. 45% of total calories burned are from fat, but because the total caloric expenditure is greater, more fat is used overall.
Heart Rate Monitor Training Zone 4 - Anaerobic zone: 80% - 90% MHR
For improving endurance and general fitness level. Helps to move your anaerobic threshold (upper limit of the aerobic fat-burning zone) higher, allowing for a more efficient use of fat as an energy source at higher intensities. Workouts at this intensity are harder to sustain.
Heart Rate Monitor Training Zone 5 - Maximal zone: 90% - 100% MHR
The performance improving zone. Used mainly by competitive athletes and, because of its very hard intensity, it carries a high risk of injury. Training in this zone is often referred to as "redline training".
Now you know how to achieve your goals through heart rate training, you'll need a heart rate monitor in order to measure your heart rate easily and accurately. But what are the best heart rate monitors available? We recommend Cardiosport heart rate monitors. They are the choice of top athletes and sports scientists all over the world because of their reputation for being highly reliable and accurate.
So, whether your goal is to lose weight, tone up or generally improve your fitness, exercising with a heart rate monitor will take your training to the next level. There are so many to choose from that you are certain to find the best heart rate monitor to suit your needs.