Mixed Signals - More On Heart Monitors
As I mentioned before, heart monitors are an excellent source of cardio data to help manage your workouts.
This morning I was doing some cross training on a large stair stepping machine (you can get a great workout from these machines?use them for cross training once or twice a week and try not to hold onto the rails so you maximize your exertion level and core balancing) and I was, of course, wearing my heart monitor.
Next to me on a similar machine was a younger and quite fit woman who had been working out there when I arrived. After about 10 minutes into my routine I glanced down at the monitor display on my wrist and noticed a steady read out of 155 beats per minute. This was really high for the level of exertion that I was putting out and I immediately wondered what was going on. Had I lost that much fitness level in one day? Impossible. But the heart monitors are very accurate. Occasionally, the monitors give out a brief inaccurate reading, but they almost always correct quickly and if you see a steady readout over time, it?s normally correct.
Then I glanced at the person next to me and noticed she was wearing a monitor as well. So I was obviously picking up the signal from her transponder on my receiver. I switched my wrist receiver to the other side and immediately started reading a more normal 138 beats per minute for that level of exertion. I?d experienced a similar phenomenon in spinning class sometime ago but had forgotten about it.
A rough guide to your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220 and some suggest that you should use a slightly higher figure than 220, say 225, if you are a man. This is only a rough guide and there are more sophisticated ways to gauge your estimated personal maximum heart rate. Once you have a feel for your max heart rate, a monitor is going to tell you how strenuous a workout you are getting at any one point in time. This is incredibly valuable information. The heart monitor is invaluable for circuit training and interval training. Generally speaking, getting your heart rate up is going to give you a more complete workout and burn more calories. As always, check with your doctor before starting a workout program and discuss your target heart rates with her.
So, if you are working out in close quarters with someone, make sure that signal you are reading on your heart monitor is really coming from your own heart.
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