Using a Polar heart rate monitor while working out on Life Fitness equipment ensures that you maintain your ideal workout pace. A heart rate monitor acts as a barometer of your personal fitness level by monitoring the speed at which your heart beats. Generally, the more fit you are, the lower your resting heart rate and the harder you have to work to elevate it. Cardiovascular fitness can be achieved only if you push your heart rate outside of its comfort zone, maintaining that increase for a certain stretch of time and then allowing your heart to return to its resting rate. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults require two and a half hours per week of physical activity to remain at optimum health.
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Find your resting heart rate by measuring it upon waking in the morning, before getting out of bed. You can do this either by wearing your Polar to sleep and reading it first thing, or by finding the pulse in your wrist and counting the beats in a 10-second time period, and multiplying that by 6. Take either one of these readings for five mornings, and find the average to determine your average resting heart rate.
Calculate your maximum heart rate by using the following formula: 226 – your age = age-adjusted MaxHR (maximum heart rate). This is a ballpark figure. For an exact and accurate reading you must submit to a professionally administered exercise test. You can find out about these through your doctor.
Decide on the type of training you will do, in conjunction with advice from your doctor and/or fitness professional. Training at lower zones, which is keeping your heart within 50 to 80 per cent of your MaxHR, is a good place to start for beginners.
Moisten the transmitter with water or saliva and strap on the Polar chest strap, being sure to position the transmitter so that the logo is centred and upright. The strap should stretch about four to six inches and rest just below the pectoral muscles.
Place the watch on your wrist or mount it on the Life Fitness equipment using a Polar mount, which can be purchased with the heart rate monitor.
Read the monitor as you work out, using it to maintain your ideal heart rate. You may also use the stopwatch feature to time your workout.
Tips and warnings
- Start working out at low intensity and slowly increase intensity as your fitness levels increase.
- Always talk with your health care provider before starting an exercise routine.
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