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How to Use a Heart Rate Monitor

Tips on Achieving a Safe and Efficient Workout

  • Training Guidelines
  • Heart Rate Chart

A heart rate monitor is a great tool for tracking your cardiovascular training. Incorporating this handy device into your workout allows you to be certain that you've reached and maintained your individual cardio goal. The best way to maximize the benefits of your heart rate monitor is to thoroughly read the manufacturer's instructions. As always, consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.

Training Guidelines

  • Don't forget good form. Some athletes let biomechanics slip by paying excessive attention to readings.
  • When training indoors with a HRM, use the same treadmill, stairclimber or other machine when possible. Even similar machines may be calibrated differently; this could make targeting your heart rate unpredictable.
  • You increase your heart rate more quickly by running hills, for example, than riding flat on bike. This does not mean that running is better, only that individual training zones and times vary from sport to sport and from person to person.
  • Weather affects your heart. You'll reach peak intensity on an 85-degree August day far more quickly than you would on a 50-degree March morning.

Heart Rate Chart

Target Heart Rate According to Age and Physical Shape:

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