When I was a young pup, I used to giggle when I’d see all the old cougars running on the treadmill with all the “old cougar bling.” And despite the fact that “cougar” and “bling” weren’t actually part of our cultural parlance yet, I’ve borrowed it retroactively, as it helps paint the perfect visual when coupled with: the patella knee straps, the sun dial sized stop watch to a hundredth of a second on the left wrist, the wristband on the right wrist, and, of course, the always conspicuous heart rate monitor.
I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, I’ll NEVER be that old and goofy lookin’!”
Well, many trips to the gym have come and gone, and in that time, several things have changed: Most of my joints are tight, and I actually creak a little until I’m really warmed up; all those tools that were “goofy lookin” then, are vital now; and the term “cougar” and “bling” DO exist, and are in fact, a 100% bulls eye accurate description of me, and the garbage bag full of “stuff” I now use to keep MY old engine runnin’! The purpose of this trip down memory lane was a long winded way to get to what is on top of that garbage bag full of “stuff”: the heart rate monitor!
The most effective “target heart rate” for training is between 75% and 80% of your maximum heart rate, and your maximum heart rate varies with age, though I’ll spare you that complicated calculation here. But the key point to remember is that this optimal range is very narrow, and thus, if you can get to it, and then once there, stay in it, the efficiency and effectiveness of your workout will improve dramatically.
There are three important criteria to consider when choosing a heart rate monitor:
1) Does it work? Though you may be saying, “duh!” Many products are manufactured so poorly, that on a sweaty, hot, bouncing body, the measurements are inaccurate.
2) Can I put it where I can easily read it?
3) Is it comfortable enough, or will it drive me nuts?
With the best heart rate monitors, you're sure to hit the zone and stay there. These heart rate monitor watch suggestions and other heart rate monitor recommendations are made durable for your workout.