Over the last decade, we have witnessed the massive expansion of the fitness tracker market.
From counting steps, analysing sleep and tracking pace – wearable technologies have become commonplace.
Heart rate training is arguably the most valuable metric to track for fitness.
Measuring cardiovascular improvement through heart rate return and planning workout intensities, heart rate data has become vital to achieving fitness goals.
The most obvious benefit of HR technology is to track your improvement. Three ways this can be done is through resting heart rate, heart rate return and comparing heart rate statistics from identical workouts. As the efficiency of your cardiorespiratory system improves, your heart does not have to work as hard and beat as many times per minute to get nutrients and oxygen distributed to your body. Thus, if your resting heart rate is decreasing over time, that’s a pretty good indicator that you’re getting fitter.
Similarly, measuring how fast your heart rate returns to a resting state after exercise will also point towards improved fitness. Lastly, if set yourself an arbitrary task like running 1km at 12km/hr and measure your finishing heart rate and track this number over time you’ll notice measurable improvement.
Heart rate can be used as a measure of the overall intensity of a workout through metrics such as average HR, maximum HR and time in various HR zones. The importance of measuring intensity is found in the planning of variety into your training program. It’s true that high-intensity training is important for improved fitness, however, it is detrimental to train hard every day.
The body requires time to recover and produce the desired physiological adaptations. The right balance of intensity will vary from individual to individual. The best fitness tracking technology will collect your data and suggest how much time you need to recover from various intensity workouts to avoid overtraining.
Visual Data while training
We use Polar Club at Highlite Hi-Tech Fitness, which displays HR metrics on our big screens during the workout. This is great for motivation and can be a cheeky source of friendly banter. Group HR can also be used to guide the session itself, for example, you may be asked to stay on a station until you get to red zone or you might have to rest after each interval until you get down to green zone. Having a visual of how hard your fellow members are working can add to group cohesion and create a more positive environment. See Group Training Blog.
Social media Sharing
Most wearable tech comes with social media sharing options. Although many of us might find it slightly annoying to be bombarded with workout data in our social media feeds, it can be a great motivator for individuals on a fitness journey. Positive feedback from peers can be vital in continued exercise adherence. Polar Flow allows you to track all your workouts and easily share them on your favourite social media platforms.
Heart Rate Training: How You Can Get Started
So from tracking fitness improvement to sharing your fitness journey with friends, wearable technology with heart rate training capability might be the key to your continued success. Your Highlite membership includes a HR tracking device from Polar. Check out the rest of their range here.