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How Do You Rate Your Heart?

Nov 24, 2007
One of the most popular devices used to measure training progress are heart rate monitors and heart rate monitor watches. Early usage of these devices, before they were made portable, was by medical professions only, however technological advancement allowed this device to be used widely by the public.

Heart Rate Monitor

Before the devices came into use, athletes relied upon their own methods of recording their fitness levels by measuring their pulse rate and recording their performance during training. In 1977, Polar Electro Oy introduced the first wireless heart rate monitor originally designed as a training tool for the Finnish National Cross Country Ski Team. This innovative approach to intensity training became widespread across the athletic world during the 1980's.

Current heart rate monitors and watches can provide detailed feedback and information based on the training. The information can then be downloaded onto a computer, rather than having to record the results onto paper. The devices are also available on sports bras, whereby a separate chest belt underneath the bra is not necessary and women can purchase a bra that has a monitor already built into it.

The heart rate monitor watches can be used on a daily basis with the added benefit of changing the settings suited to your training regime. Some have many features, which include calorie burner, average heart rate of your total exercise, workout guide and cross talk prevention from other heart rate monitors (which can affect the rate monitoring accurately).

It was not until the 1990's that more people started obtaining heart rate monitors not only for intense training, but also for achieving everyday fitness goals. This concept of monitoring individual fitness levels increased people's awareness of the risks of weight gain and heart disease.

Health and Fitness

Health and fitness is a term one would commonly associate with exercising and healthy foods. Some people may not even think about their health and would probably prefer to dig into their fish and chips after a few pints at the pub! However, one does not need to feel daunted by the prospect of following a strict healthy diet and staying fit, as it is much more than just achieving a good physique.

The risks of heart disease became more apparent during the mid 1990's with obesity being a rising issue in the UK. Heart rate monitors in this instance is not an answer to weight lose as such, however it can determine a healthy heart rate and provide a more accurate understanding of the individuals fitness levels allowing the individual to track their fitness improvement.

The monitor provides a more interesting method of exercising for people new to fitness or beginning an exercise regime. It helps plan the individual's long-term goal, workout how many calories the individual will burn off and is likely to burn off depending on the exercise, and records the progress of weight loss.

As well as the benefits of using heart rate monitors for improving fitness and general health, existing fitness enthusiasts who are not always so keen on aerobic exercise can use it to 'spice' up their workout. As it is a feedback tool, the individual can control their workout in terms of intensity, interval training and work out their maximum heart rate level.

The health and fitness world have covered tracks on all elements of measuring ones fitness levels, making it easier to calculate the maximum and average heart rate during a workout or leisurely walk. Therefore, people can be health conscious even when not exerting themselves in intense physical workouts.
About the Author
Health and fitness fanatic Shaun Parker looks into heart rate montior and the first time they were used. To find out more please visit http://www.improveyourbody.co.uk/
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