Heart rate monitors are an important piece of exercise equipment that you should consider using if you are serious about getting fit. A heart rate monitor will electronically track your heartbeat, and tell you when your heart rate is at the right zone to achieve the fitness results you want. What is the best heart rate for fitness is usually a target within a range, based on your maximum heart rate, so that you consistently work out keeping your heart rate high enough to result in fitness improvement. The right rate will be based on your age, your fitness goals, and your current fitness level. For most people, keeping the heart rate at an intensity of 65% and 80% of the maximum is the “zone” where the best results will occur. Depending on your exact goals, you may want to be at the upper or lower end of that range.
The monitor itself consists of two pieces. There is a band you place around your chest which goes over your heart and tracks your heartbeat. The monitor is usually a watch you place on your wrist, so that you can see the results while you are exercising, just as you would look at a watch. Some people find the chest band uncomfortable, so there are strapless heart rate monitors, but these usually do not have the same precise readings as those with the chest strap. Often heart rate monitors will have an alarm to alert you that you are in the “zone” you need to be in to achieve your desired fitness results. There are many other features available on different models, including the ability to upload your results to the Web, or automated workout routines, or a display of how many calories you have burned. The more features in a monitor, usually the higher the price.
If you want to get serious about working out, and see results from consistent training, a heart rate monitor is a must for your fitness arsenal.