Know Your Number

Not that number. Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about your heart rate!

Knowing what your heart rate is while training can be very helpful!

A) It lets you know if you’re working too hard, or not hard enough.
B) It tells you if you’re within your training zone or not.
C) The good ones will tell you how many calories you’re burning! SCORE.
Investing in a heart rate monitor is smart. They range in price from around $50 all the way up to $400. Now, you don’t necessarily need to buy one that costs the same as your car payment. I have the one above, the Polar FT7 and I love it. (Found it at REI for $109!) It tells you the time, has a stopwatch for your workout, tells you your max heart rate, training zone, and of course, your current heart rate. You can even register it with the Polar website to track all your workouts. You set it up with all your stats: age, height, weight, gender, etc. Then you go!
Look for other Polar Heart Rate Monitors at their website.
You don’t NEED a heart rate monitor, but if you’re getting ready to start a big program (i.e. training for an upcoming race, starting a workout program, beginning with a personal trainer) it’s a good idea to have this on hand to know how you’re doing, keep yourself in the right training zone, track your progress, and keep yourself safe while working out. (I’ll talk about training zones in the next post! )
Last night, on the way home from teaching bootcamp, I stopped in the park for a quick run. I didn’t want to take too much time so I ran the loop at the local park. Wearing the heart rate monitor I saw that my warm up, 2.1 mile run, and cool down took 24 minutes and I burned 300 calories. Not bad considering that took less time than watching a re-run of Friends (which I might have been doing instead of stopping by the park).
So if you’re thinking about your workout and wondering if you’re doing enough, grab a heart rate monitor and check it out. Questions? Send ’em my way.

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