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Heart Rate Monitors

Heart Monitors to Buy

Heart rate monitors can be a very useful too for runners. Both novice runners as well as runners with a great deal of experience can benefit from the use of heart rate monitors while running. However, most novice runners and even some of the more experienced runners do not incorporate the use of heart rate monitors into their training simply because they do not understand how to use these devices or the benefits which can be gained from training with the aid of a heart rate monitor. This article will provide an overview of the types of features commonly available in heart rate monitors and will also provide advice for training with a heart rate monitor to improve performance.

One of the primary misconceptions about heart rate monitors is that they are intended for use by those who have heart troubles such as heart disease. However, this is not the case for commercially available heart rate monitors. These monitors are used more as training tools for runners and other athletes than anything else. A heart rate monitor is an electronic device which typically includes a chest strap as well as a wrist unit. The chest strep is worn around the chest typically just below the breasts and is used to detect the electric signals produced by the heart. These signals are recognizable before, during and after exercise. The electric signals detected by the chest strap are then transmitted to the wrist unit where the user can read the current heart rate on the digital display and may even be able to record information for use at a later time. Typically the heart rate when the runner is at rest or running at a moderate pace will be lower than when the runner is running at a more rapid pace. This more rapid pace typically requires greater exertion and will likely result in an increase in the heart rate. Additionally running up hills can also cause the heart rate to rise because the steep hill requires the runner to work harder to climb to the top of the hill.

There are many different types of heart rate monitors on the market today. They range significantly in price as well as in the types of features they offer. Generally the more basic heart rate monitors are on the lower end of the price spectrum and do not have some of the more advanced features often included in pricier models. The most basic heart rate models typically only have settings which allow the wrist unit to display the heart rate or the time. They may also have a stopwatch feature included on the wrist unit. However, more advanced heart rate monitors typically include a number of more advance features. These may include the ability to set a target heart rate zone, audible alarms when the user is not within the target heart rate, a memory to store heart rate information throughout the workout, a memory to store lap data recorded by the stopwatch and a feature to calculate the number of calories burned during the workout. Even more advanced heart rate models may have the ability to not only store this useful information but also download the information to a personal computer. Software installed on the computer will then allow the user to create charts and graphs utilizing the data obtained during the run.

Those who are attempting to use running as a way to lose weight may find using a heart rate monitor while running can help them achieve their goals. This type of training can be very beneficial because it allows the runner to determine how hard they need to be working in order to maintain a heart rate which will enable them to burn calories efficiently and lose weight. For most runners this heart rate is equal to 60% of the aerobic training pulse. The aerobic training pulse is typically determined by subtracting the runnerís age from the number 220. However, this method of establishing the aerobic training pulse is not always the most effective method. Those who do not have an alternative method for establishing this value can use the basic equation involving the age. However, some heart rate monitors will include a feature which enables the user to enter some basic information and perform a fitness test which will determine this value for the user. This is considered to be a much more accurate way to determine this value.

Running at a target heart rate equal to approximately 60% of the aerobic training pulse is ideal for weight loss and for the majority of training. However, competitive runners also do some of their training at a significantly higher percentage of the aerobic training pulse. In these cases the percentage may be as much as 90% of the aerobic training pulse but this level of intensity is typically only sustainable for short periods of time. However, this higher intensity training can help the runner to improve speed and strength. This type of training is ideal for runners who are seeking to improve their pace at a specific distance. For example marathon runner who want to complete a marathon in a new fastest time or 5K runners who want to shave a few minutes off of their overall time.



The video clip above is from my DVD about running stetches and other running related information. Click on the DVD case below to find out more.

Running Stretches and Running Tips

Click Here to view the DVD.

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