HOW DO YOU MEASURE YOUR HEART RATE AND WHY IS THIS USEFUL IN SPORT?

Your heart rate is a key indicator when practicing sport!

Your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. This is something which is specific to each of us and depends on our physical activity and our health. When practising sport, measuring your heart rate helps you to calculate the intensity of your physical effort and to put together a personalised training programme.

1. HOW DO YOU MEASURE YOUR HEART RATE ?

There are two methods for determining your heart rate.

 

The first is carried out by hand: position your index finger and middle finger at the base of your wrist, in line with your thumb. Count the number of beats for one minute. This method provides you with approximate information concerning your heart rate.

 

The second method, which is much more reliable and precise, involves the use of a heart rate monitor. This device, which is generally comprised of a transmitter located around the chest (the cardio belt) and a receiver around the wrist, calculates the number of heart beats per minute.

2. THE HEART RATE MONITOR: THE IMPORTANCE OF ENTERING YOUR HEARTRATE AT REST AND AT YOUR MAXIMUM HEART RATE 

Two measurements are needed to begin training based on your heart rate.

 

The heart rate at rest (measured when you wake up or after complete rest while lying down) is a fitness indicator you will need to know before starting or resuming a sports activity. 

 

The maximum heart rate or Max HR is calculated after a short and intense bout of physical exercise lasting from 4 to 6 minutes, performed after a warmup, of course. This tells you the maximum number of beats your heart can manage in 1 minute. This is your limit.

3. THE CARDIO WATCH: CHECKING YOUR HEART RATE DURING YOUR WORKOUT

Calculating your heart rate enables you to measure the intensity of your physical effort, to control your physical activity and to adjust it as you go.

A cardio watch (a wristwatch with a heart rate monitor) can easily measure your heart rate during physical activity. The heart rate is the best indicator concerning the physical effort undertaken, and tracking this enables you to "listen" to your body. 

 

A heart rate monitor also tells you which physical effort zone your body is currently in. In this way, you can avoid pushing your body too far and spot any excessive effort before it puts you in danger.

4. CARDIO-TRAINING : MAKE YOUR TRAINING A SUCCESS

The heart rate enables you to develop a personalised training programme according to the percentage of your maximum heart rate.

This is what is referred to as cardio-training.You can then focus your training programme to meet your objectives, such as endurance, muscular or cardiorespiratory performance, while at the same time adapting your training to your own level.

 

You should work in target ranges according to your heart rate.

> At 60% of your Max HR, you enter the aerobic zone. This is the heart rate range in which we begin to see the signs of significant fat consumption, which in particular allows for the detoxification of the muscles.

> At 90-95% of your Max HR, you enter the anaerobic zone. The cardiovascular system cannot carry enough oxygen to the muscles. This rate is time-limited as it takes the form of violent efforts such as sprinting.

 

Increasing your MAX HR enables you to push back your physiological limits and consequently your sporting limits.

LEARN MORE...

If you would like to measure your heart rate during physical effort, in training sessions for example, you should use a heart rate monitor or a connected cardio watch to effectively track your bodily indicators.

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