Wearable technology has made it so much simpler to track vital statistics like our steps, calories as well as even sleep. A heart rate monitor, which comes standard with this type of technology, allows you to assess your fitness and spot any irregularities that your doctor should be aware of.
Why do you need to monitor your heart rate?
Your heart rate is a good signal of the amount of effort that you’re putting into a workout. Focusing on various heart rate zones permits you to concentrate on burning fat or increasing your stamina. By monitoring your heart rate, it is possible for you to avoid falling into the training traps of over- and under-exerting. This means that if you perform the correct amount of exertion you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals. Maintaining a good watch on your heart rate should, therefore, form part of any exercise regime which is why monitoring your heart rate is always a good idea every time that you do any form of exercise.
Endurance athletes accurately rely on their training pulse as a measurement of their fitness levels. Workouts at varying intensities are vital to progress in this area. Interval training, which refers to short periods of moderate effort in the aerobic zone which alternate with short periods above the anaerobic threshold, is a great way to become faster as well as develop stamina. The same is true for muscular-endurance training techniques such as HIIT.
What is HIIT?
‘HIIT’ – which stands for ‘High-Intensity Interval Training’ – refers to short, extreme, unsustainable surges of physical activity that are paired with periods of quick rests. This kind of intense training causes a type of metabolic disturbance which can cause the body to burn calories at an increased rate up to 48-72 hours after your workout session.
HIIT training can also boost metabolism, lower insulin resistance, enhance cardiac function, cause faster gains in endurance levels as opposed to steady-state cardio training. Also, HIIT can be an effective way to recruit or build type 2 fast-twitch muscle fibres. Slow-twitch muscles assist with enabling long-endurance feats such as distance running, while fast-twitch muscles fatigue quicker but are used in intense bursts of movements such as sprinting.
Wearable Heart Rate Monitors
There are several wearable heart rate monitors that are available currently on the South African market. Here are some of them.
Fitbit was one of the original wearable technology companies to offer step counts, badges and calorie-burn information. A decade after the company started, it’s still going strong as the brand has stayed current with what customers want in addition to bringing the latest health tech trends to the market. However, Fitbit has also remained true to its simple, easy-to-use and accurate roots. Today, Fitbit has a wide range of products that will suit most lifestyles and are in keeping with most budgets.
Polar is top of mind when it comes to consumer heart rate monitors. The latest, high-end chest strap monitor to come out of this stable – the Polar H10 – boasts the following features:
- Built-in memory so that it is possible for you to capture your workout without having to use a smartphone,
- Extensive compatibility with third-party apps,
- The extended estimated battery life of 400 hours,
- A new easy-to-remove battery cover, as well as
- A new, more secure chest strap.
Garmin’s HRM-Dual heart rate monitor has dual transmission which makes it pretty simple record precise heart rate data on devices released by Garmin, compatible gym equipment as well as third-party training apps. Some of these devices include:
- Garmin Edge 1000,
- Garmin Forerunner 920 XT triathlon watch,
- Wahoo Kickr trainer
- Wahoo Headwind,
- Wahoo Fitness app,
- Zwift app, and
- Apple iPhone X.
It is simple to pair the HRM-Dual to Garmin devices, Wahoo Headwind fan, Apple iPhone X and third-party apps. Pair as you would do with any other sensor and ensure that you are within 3 m of the device. The HR monitor picks up quickly and then consistently reads the same heart rate no matter what device or app is being used.
A heart rate monitor is an incredibly valuable tool that is used in a personal training relationship between the trainer and the client. If you’re keen doing a personal trainer or fitness course, why not have a look at our comprehensive list of courses?