How Fitness Heart Rate Monitors Work

OK, fitness junkies and cardio addicts, let’s get straight to the point: we all know that mere running or power walking for hours without any coordination of effort and load leads nowhere but to the point where you lose all your strength and feel tired for the rest of the day, maybe even the day after. And you don’t lose weight, neither your muscles seem to become more defined. It’s not that you aren’t doing something, but more that you’re not doing all the right things during your exercise. And believe it or not, the thing that lacks from your routine is control over your heart rate.

Your heart is the main muscle that regulates how hard you can push while heavy exercising; the point is for it to be in great condition so that you can endure longer. Otherwise, you’ll be short of breath, all pale, feeling like you almost died after you finished that 1-hour run on the track. So, instead of pushing like it’s the last time you’ll have the chance to exercise, why not get a fitness heart rate monitor and take control over the situation?


If you thought that a fitness heart rate monitor is a large monitor that you need to carry in your hands while running, you are so wrong; after all, technology has developed so much that the market today offers a large palette of monitors: strapless, in the form of a watch you can wear on your wrist and chest strap monitors for the utmost convenience.

So how does this little gadget work?

The principle of work of the heart rate monitor is rather simple: it’s based on your heartbeat. When your heart pumps, it sends a small electrical signal, (also known as contractions) through the heart muscles. That signal is picked up by the monitor through the skin, which is why it’s important for the device to be in touch with it. The back of the device has these tiny electrodes which are responsible for picking up the signal. There’s also a microprocessor which constantly processes the signal. Processed like this, the signal is transferred wirelessly mainly by Bluetooth technology to a receiver. Now, to get the reading you’d need a transmitter and a receiver; the device with the sensors works as the transmitter, while the phone acts like the receiver. An application, like Runtastic for instance, can interpret and display the received data.

What are the benefits of training with a heart rate monitor?

As I mentioned before, simply running and working out for hours without having a specific coordination of your moves and actions won’t bring you the desired results. At least not as fast as you’d want to. The point of working out is to apply the right amount of effort as to get in your specific fat-burning zone, or the zone in which your heart rate works in your benefit instead of working towards completely tiring you. Moreover, the level of your physical activity matters a lot; if you’re a beginner, you’d want to stay in the so-called “easy” zone, where the amount of effort applied is in accordance to your abilities. As your physical strength and endurance increase, you’ll move into other zones: fat-burning, aerobic, anaerobic and finally the red line. Also, as your capacity increases, your goals are going to change which will also affect the zone you’ll be training in.