• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

May 14, 2007

Make Every Workout Count More

Why you should get addicted to a heart-rate monitor

Special Offer

I basically have no natural athletic ability. Fortunately, people like me can be trained. And the best way to get fit (and competitive, if you want to be) is with a heart-rate monitor. In fact, if there’s one thing that can make your workouts more meaningful, less painful, and completely un-boring, it’s that tool. I can do a workout just fine if I forget my iPod, but when I forget my heart-rate monitor, I struggle to know whether I’m making the most of my workout. Here’s why I swear by it:

It eliminates “junk workouts,” as heart-rate guru Sally Edwards calls them. Once you know your own personal maximum heart rate (everyone’s is different, see “How Do I Use This Thing?”), you can give a purpose to every workout. Some workouts will be about teaching your body to burn fat (essential if you’re doing endurance events); others will be about teaching it to sustain a high heart rate for a few minutes (helpful for breaking away from the pack or running from a dog (or bee) in your neighborhood).

You can see/chart/be amazed by your progress In a short time, you’ll go from, say, running 11-minute miles at a low-for-you heart rate to running 10-minute miles at the same rate. The faster you go at a low heart rate, the fitter you are.

It keeps you focused on the right things During a workout, the only question you need to ask yourself is “am I at the right heart rate?” not “how many minutes do I have left?” or “am I going fast enough?” Working out in the future (worrying about whether you have the stamina to go the whole way, or whether you can stand running/walking/biking for another five minutes) puts you in the fast lane to misery. When you know what your heart is supposed to be doing, all you have to worry about is whether it’s doing it.

It eliminates boredom Playing with your heart rate—taking it up for two minutes, down for one, back up for 30 seconds, back down for 30 and endless variations like that—teaches your body important things and makes workout time fly.

Click Here to see Marty's Pick For Best Heart-Rate Monitor

This Is A Developing Story
Connect with Marie Claire:
daily giveaway
Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Maybelline New York and a year’s supply of hair products from Kérastase.

Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Maybelline New York and a year’s supply of hair products from Kérastase.

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From Health News and Fitness Trends
The Rebel Diet

Born to eat wild? Have an on-again, off-again relationship with healthy eating? You'll love the latest weight-loss news.

Workout Trend Alert: Everybody Dance Now

Can sweatin' to the '90s also get you in shape? Jennifer Goldstein kicks it old school.

Cleansing's Dirty Secret

Touted for myriad health benefits, chic juice diets are all the rage, but in their quest to detox and lose weight, some women — call them juicerexics — are hitting the bottle to dangerous degrees.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.