With the variety of fitness and wellness trackers available, you wonder if tracking your heart rate is important. Some fitness apps and wearable monitors record steps taken, distances covered and calories burned. Others also add heart rate tracking to the list. To determine whether you need a fitness and wellness monitor that includes heart rate activity ask yourself these questions:
1- Do my fitness goals include weight loss? If you are using the tracking device to assist your weight loss, a heart rate measurement determines if you are exercising at the proper intensity level. If your heart rate is too low, you quickly adjust your workout to burn more calories and aid in your weight loss. If your heart rate is too high, you reduce the workout intensity to enhance your fat-burning benefits.
2- Am I training for an endurance event? The use of a monitor that includes heart rate measurements is a wonderful tool to improve your endurance training. Since intervals are an essential key to increasing endurance, the monitor lets you base the intervals on your heart rate response instead of on time or feelings of perceived exertion. As a result, your workout is personal and effective.
3- Do I need to reduce stress? Monitoring your heart rate response to daily activities such as commuting to work, standing in line and responding to e-mails is a way to determine if these activities are stressful for you. Once you have record of your physical response to stress, you are able to find ways to reduce your anxiety through deep breathing, exercise or massage therapy.
4- Do I have a heart condition? If you are under care of a cardiologist, you may want to monitor your heart rate throughout the day and especially during exercise to determine if your pulse stays within a healthy range.
Selecting your fitness and wellness tracker is a financial investment and an important decision. You want one that is effective and easy to use so it remains a motivator for your physical activity. Monitoring your heart rate is one piece of the fitness puzzle that leads you toward results.