How a Heart Rate Monitor Reads Heart Rates

How a Heart Rate Monitor Reads Heart Rates
A heart rate monitor is one of the many tools in the arsenal of a runner who wants to get better. Here are some facts about heart rate monitors.

How it Works

A heart rate monitor works by reading the electrical signals produced by the heart through the chest. In some models circular pads adhere to the skin.

Tighter is Better

You strap on the chest monitor and it feels a little tight. Keep in mind, if it isn't tight, it won't give you a proper reading.

Heart Rate on the Run

You've seen runners stop to take their pulse with their fingers. This, however, doesn't give a runner a proper heart rate reading because the runner has to stop to check the pulse.

Resting Heart Rate

Your resting heart rate is the time when you are completely relaxed and you take a reading. Most monitors will compare your resting heart rate to your maximum heart rate.

Average Resting Heart Rate

For men, the average heart rate ranges between 60 and 80 beats a minute. For women, the count is a little higher. The more fit you are, the lower your resting heart rate is.

Determining Maximum Heart Rate

Wear your heart rate monitor and run a 10k (or as much as you can of a 10k). On your last legs, run as fast as you can to the finish. Check your heart rate immediately after crossing the finish line.

Article Written By Heather Broeker

Originally from North Carolina, Heather Broeker studied journalism and advertising at the University of North Carolina. After graduation she moved to Los Angeles, where she worked for Fox Searchlight, Fox Reality and later as a writer and marketing director. Broeker now lives in Los Angeles and runs Head Over Heels, a writing and public relations company.

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