Why is it important to monitor your heart rate?

Sport360 staff 16:02 19/04/2017
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  • You should be aware of your heart rate.

    To gain the most from your training it is crucial that you monitor your heart rate on a regular basis.

    Each person’s heart rate helps to determine their fitness level and by monitoring this, you are able to avoid overtraining, which in turn can reduce the risk of injury and mental fatigue.

    Your heartbeat in a relaxed state is called your resting heart rate and calculating it is actually a lot more important than you think.

    A lower resting heart rate points to a state of greater health and fitness. A well-trained athlete, for example, would have a normal resting heart rate of around 40 beats per minute.

    As you become fitter from more intense exercise, your heart rate will decrease, helping your lungs and heart become stronger.

    In contrast, if you do not exercise regularly, important organs will weaken and be forced to work harder, which will increase your heart rate considerably.

    Essentially, this means you need to improve your fitness level.

    In adults, a normal resting heartbeat is around 72 beats per minute (average 600-100 beats per minute).

    An unusually low or high heartbeat may point to an underlying problem, so be sure to consult your doctor if that’s the case.

    Tested regularly: Elite athletes keep track of their levels.

    To measure your resting heart rate, press the side of your wrist towards your thumb. Use your index and middle finger to press over the blood vessels. When you can catch the beat, hold for 15 seconds. Multiply by four to find you resting heart beat.

    Another option is to count your pulse for 30 seconds and multiply by two.

    If you are training on a regular basis, you can keep a notebook with your resting heart rate and log it each morning. This is seen as the best time to measure your heart rate as your heart beat is at its most relaxed state.

    Many factors can affect your resting heart beat so don’t be worried if you notice changes on a regular basis.

    Some of the factors include dehydration, body position, emotions or if you’ve trained your body hard the previous day.