Heart Rate Monitors

Heart Rate Monitors

heart rate monitor womenPerhaps the single most effective and useful tool you can employ in your fitness efforts is a heart rate monitor. After a good pair of shoes, it’s a must have.

You’ve heard “Work smart, not hard.” With fitness, it’s the same. A key to getting the most out of your workouts isn’t necessarily how much you do, or for how long, but also the intensity level of the workout. You need to be in the correct zone for you, based on your own particular fitness level. A heart rate monitor is key to providing you instant feedback on your heart beats per minute – the key to the door to finding your zone.

Tips For Selecting a Heart Rate Monitor

There are 2 main types of heart rate monitors:

Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitors

You will find chest strap Heart Rate Monitors in abundance at your local sports equipment store. With this style, you wear a chest strap which wraps around the chest and wirelessly transmits your heart rate data to a watch receiver you wear on your wrist.

Finger Sensor Heart Rate Monitors

Essentially just a watch receiver you wear on your wrist. These watches have a sensor where you place your finger, which then communicates the heart rate activity to the receiver.

Your Zone: Heart Rate Target Zones

As we mentioned using a heart rate monitor while you workout is a great tool to help you know exactly where you are at all times heart rate wise. You will find yourself adjusting your efforts to stay within the proper heart rate zone, avoiding working out too hard or too easy.

Based on the type of program you are following (circuit training, walking, cardio, aerobics, etc.), fat burning or cardio goals will be different and require different beats per minute. A heart rate monitor will help you stay at the correct level.

The target heart rate zone is typically a percentage based on your maximum heart rate (HRmax). A simple rule of thumb is:

HRmax = 220 – your age.

Here are the general guidelines for heart rate target zones, based on age.

Heart Rate Target Zone 50-85% Avg. Maximum Heart Rate 100%
Age Beats/minute Beats/minute
20 100–170 200
25 98–166 195
30 95–162 190
35 93–157 185
40 90–153 180
45 88–149 175
50 85–145 170
55 83–140 165
60 80–136 160
65 78–132 155
70 75–128 150

Depending on the type of workout or exercise you are following, here are the generally accepted heart rate zone percentages based on the type of effort:

  • Endurance workouts: shoot for 60%-70% of max heart rate. The basic zone for endurance and weight-loss programs. e.g. walking
  • Aerobic workouts: shoot for 70%–80% of max heart rate. This is the target zone for cardio fitness, strength and weight management.
  • Anaerobic workouts: aim for 80%–90% of max heart rate. The typical zone for higher intensity workouts, such as circuit training.

Check out your local sports retailer for all the latest models, or click here for heart rate monitor options and prices.



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