Because your heart is a muscle, it gets stronger with exercise. Measuring your heart rate is a good way to gauge the effectiveness of your workout because as you strengthen your body through exercise, you also strengthen your heart. From yoga to HIIT classes, heart rate based training offers many benefits, and is the most effective way to reach fitness goals. Fitness goals require different intensity levels.
Resting Heart Rate – the rate your heart beats per minute when you are relaxed. The average for a woman is 70-90 beats per minute.
Maximum Heart Rate – the peak amount of beats your heart has the potential to beat. Though hard to safely measure outside a lab, one calculation suggests subtracting your age from the number 220.
Training Heart Rate – the rate that you maintain during aerobic workouts in an effort to improve fitness. The right number depends on your fitness goals, but it is typically between 50-70 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Recovery Heart Rate – the rate that you should bring your heart down to after a workout. A good number to go by is 20 beats within your pre-workout resting heart rate.
Using a heart rate monitor is simple. The most effective monitors measure your heart rate with a transmitter that is placed over the heart and held in place by an adjustable strap that wraps around your chest. It is important to not only monitor your heart rate during each class, but tracking your heart rate also helps determine the intensity of the next workout to optimal recovery and results.