Enhance your workout with wearable tech

Activity trackers have exploded in popularity, but what do all the numbers mean? Here, we will explain how to use your data to get more from your device.

What is a heart rate monitor?

A heart rate monitor is an electronic device that tracks your levels of physical exertion when you perform cardiovascular activity. By being able to view your heart rate on a display, you can then slow down or speed up your levels of intensity. Your resting heart rate is a very useful indicator of your general fitness. Generally, the lower the better and ideally, it should fall between 50 and 70 bpm.

Why are they good?

Heart rate monitors are an excellent training tool as they encourage a more goal orientated approach to your workouts. A heart rate monitor will always let you know your current heart rate. This is a huge advantage and enables you to exercise within specific heart rate zones to hit performance goals. This could be to burn fat, increase endurance or lower your cholesterol.  See the diagram below to discover how each heart rate zone can benefit your fitness.

Training Zones
Immune System

How to calculate your maximum heart rate

If you have a reasonable estimate of your maximum heart rate, you can focus your workouts for the outcome you want, e.g. training at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate is good for fat burning. To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220.  See our diagram for all the training zones.

Step tracking

The step tracking data is strangely addictive! Most people have no idea how many steps they take in a normal day and having this data is very motivating. The government recommends we each take 10,000 steps every day (approximately 5 miles). Having this benchmark can help you plan your activities and incorporate lifestyle changes that will help increase your daily steps, whether you come to the gym or not.

What to do with basal metabolic rate

Your BMR will help you to work out how many calories is too many on any day.  Your BMR is the amount of energy used whilst in a rest state (i.e. doing nothing).  Using this figure alongside the approximate calories you burn in the gym, you can determine the amount of calories you need to ingest during the day. For example, if your BMR is 1200 calories and you burn 500 calories in the gym, you can take in 1,700 to break even across the day.

Which heart rate monitor should I choose?

There are many different activity trackers on the market, each claiming to be able to read different biometric data. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, and what your fitness goals are, there is a product out there for everybody.

If you haven’t yet invested in a fitness tracker, we have our own TANITA machine, which we use to determine BMR.  We can also help you decipher your own data, whether it’s from your activity tracker or our own TANITA.

As always, if you have any questions, please come and speak to one of the gym team!