Is a Heart Rate Monitor Necessary?

If you’re looking to bring up your workouts a notch, you might want to consider investing in a heart rate monitor. So what’s the purpose?

The purpose, at least for me, to have a heart rate monitor is to make sure that I’m staying within my target heart rate zone. Monitoring your heart rate zone is an important way to make sure you’re exercising with the right amount of intensity during your workout while also making sure you’re not over-exercising. It also helps us determine when we’re in our “fat-burning” zone. Being in the fat-burning zone has been found to be ideal for weight loss because the body “burn[s] a greater amount of stored fat for fuel.” On the other hand, aerobic exercise (above the fat-burning zone) “is believed to burn more carbohydrates – a better choice for building cardiovascular endurance.”

We all have a unique heart rate level because it is all dependent on our “genetics, fitness level, nutrition, and surrounding environment.” If you’re unsure as to what your target heart rate is, here is a great resource to help you determine that.

Some heart rate monitors also help you determine for how long during your workout you were in the fat-burning zone, how many calories you’ve burned, the length of your workout, and the list goes on. If you are looking for a simple heart-rate monitor, consider purchasing one from Amazon. This is the one I purchased years ago and it has been great for me (this is not a sponsored post!). It comes with the heart rate monitor that straps below your chest and a watch. It’s simple but it gets the job done! If you are looking for a heart rate monitor that is more complex, there are many out there.

PLEASE do not feel that you NEED to purchase a heart rate monitor in order to see progress. This is simply a very useful tool if you would like to monior your intensity in the gym. You may just as easily listen to your body during your workouts and adjust accordingly. Although I would recommend one, it is absolutely not required.

If you have a heart rate monitor, are considering one, or have any questions, please leave a comment below!

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Main Photo: MyFitnessPal

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