Just For Show? – Learn Which Fitness Tracker Is Best For You

You want to get more serious about monitoring your health You've heard about heart rate monitors and fitness trackers, but what's right for you? Stay tuned and I will answer that question and more! So, let's get started! Thank you for joining me today

I'm Tiffany from Perfect Curl and I'd like to share my experience with using heart rate monitors and fitness trackers I'll have six topics to cover and the first is some general information about the two To get the most out of exercise it is important for healthy participants to monitor their heart rate and target heart rate to certain zones Targeting your workout make sure that you're using your time efficiently so that you can maximize results It is important to note that there are alternatives for certain people for example those with medical conditions and women who are pregnant

The use of heart rate monitors began in the 80s These devices are a simple yet effective and accurate method of adding the science to the workout Heart rate monitors have a chest strap and usually a watch that will reflect your beats per minute or BPM in real time Most cardio machines will automatically sync with these devices so you can easily adjust intensity Over the past 20 years as technology became more complex, fitness trackers came onto the market

These are designed to take the heart rate monitor technology a step further by tracking other activities like sleep and steps This sounds convenient, but what we need to know is: is the technology better? With my experience of using both it depends on two things: what your end goal is and how disciplined you are to get to that goal If you care more about accuracy with BPM, then having a heart rate monitor with a chest strap is your best bet If you care more about the other bells and whistles that a fitness tracker offers, then go with that but don't expect accuracy with your heart rate You will also need to rely on rate of perceived exertion or RPE to make sure that your workout is in the right heart rate zone

Regardless of which one you choose they should be used with the mindset that it is a tool to make sure that you are maximizing your time spent working out so that you can have the best results Number two: Why is tracking heart rate important? When exercising having your heart rate in different zones determines which energy systems are producing energy, which, in effect, determines how long you'll be able to continue to exercise and what types of cardiovascular benefits will be made Usually in your first training session, your coach will have you do a walk test on a treadmill so that your first ventilatory threshold or VT1 can be determined So it's at this point that I can get extra nerdy and explain in detail what exactly that means but simply VT1 is the point in which your body cannot clear blood lactate as quickly as it's being produced This is a byproduct of exercise because of this your breathing increases noticeably so for most beginners staying at or below this level is best as this is this this is a sustainable level of work

Exceeding this level can be done, but for someone who is less experienced the results can be uncomfortable and possibly discourage program adherence VT1 corresponds to 70% of lung capacity and corresponds to the RPE scale, which we'll talk a little bit about later There's also VT2 and the easiest way to know when you're at that second ventilatory threshold is the breathing is very rapid to the point where if you try to talk it would be one word or gasping for air This stage you don't have to worry about that until you have a good foundation and have program consistency for many months Types of exercise that involve VT2 are HIIT or Tabata classes, for example

By tracking your heart rate you make sure that your workouts are efficient and will be effective Exercise is a science and your results are not a byproduct of magic but of consistency and following a plan that is evidence-based Tracking the heart rate is an integral part of that process Number three: What are the pros and cons of using RPE? As mentioned previously, there are certain segments of the population who should use RPE For beginners, people with existing medical conditions and pregnancy RPE is the preferred method because for these groups their conditions or medications can affect heart rate and standard heart rate zones might not accurately match the intensity that is safe for them Consistency and safety are the main concerns for these populations

The beginners having to focus on the heart rate zone might also be too difficult when you're just trying to make it through the workout As mentioned before VT1 is 70% of lung capacity and that is equal to an RPE of 5 Your trainer can explain more about the different levels of RPE but the scale is from 1 to 10 It's good to use RPE because you can monitor how you feel and work accordingly However, it can backfire if you aren't pushing yourself hard enough because you have discomfort in your lungs

If you're a healthy individual initial lung discomfort is something to embrace That will pass although it will never really become easy Number four: What has my experience of using a heart rate monitor been? I enjoyed using my heart rate monitor The accuracy of the monitor made a heart rate zone training easy to adjust as I was working out I never found the strap to be uncomfortable and during the workout I would actually forget it was there

I've gotten to the point with experience that I know when I'm in the right zone and I found that wearing the monitor wasn't really as necessary as I once needed for what I wanted to accomplish I still find it useful if I'm drastically changing what I'm doing or for some reason I want to track calories expended Number five: what has my experience of a fitness tracker been? I received a Fitbit blaze as my graduation present in 2016 Now, I may not be a complete tech geek but I do love new gadgets and I was super excited to have one For me this has been very helpful in tracking how many steps I take, how unrestful my sleep is

But another great feature is it automatically syncs with my iPhone I didn't know this at first because I previously had an Android and my husband's phone died I gladly gave him mine I still had my unlocked iPhone 5c and although it was dreadfully slow it still works just fine Now I get phone call and text notifications on my wrist which is very convenient This feature is available with Android, but I didn't know it and certainly it wasn't as automatic as it was with my iPhone

I also have the option of easily changing the band which is a fun added feature For my needs now I like the flexibility even if the heart rate monitoring isn't as accurate there are a couple of reasons why this happens the band can slip easier than a chest strap and the optical sensor scans every 5 seconds This may make a big difference for an athlete but for the average person doing a steady-state workout this shouldn't be a deal-breaker I do like the extra features like the reminder to take 250 steps per hour Even if you exercise, sitting at a desk all day long has negative side effects on your health

So, the reminder is helpful for me to know when to take a break Number six: What is the future of wearables? The next step as with most technology is more connectivity Fitbit is looking to have apps available that will sync your data with your insurance companies and/or your doctors, which would support promoting wellness and offering insurance discounts based on activity That is on the horizon, but as it stands now there are so many choices on the market it can be confusing to know which one to buy Which is why being clear on your goals is the most important step

Some questions to consider are: This list is not all-inclusive so make sure to add in or take away questions Style is another consideration and up until recently heart rate monitors were geared towards a fitness look and to be worn only during exercise Even though early models of fitness trackers were quite inaccurate, they inevitably became popular in companies have come up with sleeker designs If you're not concerned about having a screen there are trackers that look more like pieces of jewelry such as Leaf by BellaBeat and Motiv Ring There are mixed reviews about Leaf as it seems syncing has been an issue

Motiv ring is currently available for pre-order as it was previewed at CES 2017 Even though it is waterproof and stylish the idea that it's not adjustable would be a deterrent for me The amount of options can be overwhelming even Fitbit has eight models from which to choose which is why it's important to run through that checklist you created and make sure you choose the one with the most features that are suitable for you The bottom line is if you're relying on monitors and trackers to be your motivation to exercise the excitement of a new toy will wear off quickly and you'll be stuck with an expensive gadget that's not doing what you had intended it to do The discipline you need for program adherence must come intrinsically meaning from within you

It has to be attached to your values and strength as long as that is in order, investing in a gadget to help you track your exercise make sense if you're serious about monitoring and improving your health habits well I hope that answered a lot of your questions about wearable technology Thanks again for spending some time with me Please like, share, and subscribe to my YouTube channel! Don't forget to leave a comment below and let me know what tracker you have and how it has helped you PEACE!!

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