A healthy life begins with a healthy heart. There are many ways to protect your heart, but there is no way to predict issues without help or monitoring.
It is difficult to monitor heart health and activity without constant doctor’s appointments, which can be inconvenient and expensive.
With new technology, it is now easier to track cardiovascular activity and become aware of possible concerns to your health. Heart monitors are great aids when it comes to keeping track of heart activity.
Monitors can come in many forms. The more advanced heart rate monitors are used in doctor’s offices, but wrist straps and chest straps are now available for general use.
These devices also help monitor fitness activity and make it easier to control workouts for safety. They can show you if you are working too hard and putting too much strain on your heart.
On top of tracking a healthy fitness heart rate, heart monitors can also pick up on unsafe activity in those at risk for heart failure and stroke.
According to Healthcare Weekly, these heart rate monitors are useful to those with previous heart issues, but also for anyone who wants to ensure their heart health. Here are six things you should know about your first heart rate monitor to make sure you use it to its full potential.
- Know your target heart rate
Monitoring your heart rate is important, but you first need to know where it should be. This varies by your age and by each individual person.
First, check your resting heart rate in the morning when you first wake up by finding your pulse and counting the beats in one minute. Your heart monitor, if accurate, should come close to the number you come up with. The average adult heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
Then, find your maximum target heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Your heart rate should not typically go above this number during vigorous activity.
Your heart monitor will be able to show you where your heart rate falls. Knowing these numbers is important so you can recognize if your heart rate is in a safe zone.
If your heart rate seems too high or too low as recorded by your monitor, talk to your doctor about possible concerns to your health.
- You might have to change your activity or fitness routines
When you are wearing a heart monitor, given to you by a doctor or not, your attention is drawn more toward your heart rate. During activities you may have done previously, you may find your heart rate reaches alarmingly high levels.
If your heart rate is much higher than average, contact your doctor before continuing the activity. It may just be a matter of changing your routine to keep your heart in a healthy place.
Fitness and physical activity are beneficial for heart health, but it is important to be aware of what is healthy for your individual heart. Your heart rate monitor will make you more aware of what is healthy for your heart to keep you safe.
- Monitors come in different shapes and sizes
Heart monitors come in many different forms, but they all adequately track heart rate with a slim margin of error.
While doctors may give those with serious heart conditions medical heart monitors, the more common versions come in the form of wrist or chest straps, or even armbands.
Wrist-worn and chest-worn monitors do not show much of a difference in their accuracy of monitoring when compared with more intense monitors.
The accuracy of the recording is the most important aspect of a heart monitor, and it seems that many of them succeed in this area well. Based on that, it is up to personal preference which style works best.
Heart monitors come in different screen shapes and sizes as well as different style bands. Some may prefer a bigger Apple Watch screen over the slim Fitbit display. An armband may be the more effective heart monitor for a highly active individual.
- Some smartwatches with heart monitors can detect irregularities
Smartwatches come complete with many benefits, including heart rate monitors. This aspect of the technology is accurate, even to the point that it can pick up on dangerous irregularities.
A study showed that smartwatches were able to pick up on atrial fibrillation in those patients who wore them.
Even commercial heart monitoring devices can aid in catching poor heart health or functioning. This can help prevent more serious issues in the future in more of the population.
Always talk to a doctor if you think your heart monitor is picking up on irregular heart rate patterns.
- Different styles have different levels of comfort
There are pros and cons of each different style of a heart monitor, but comfort is important to consider when choosing your best fit.
Armbands are often more comfortable because of their snug fit that keeps them secure but not too tight on the skin while working out.
This style usually offers a display screen to warn you about dangerous heart rate levels as well.
Chest straps are meant to wrap around the chest comfortably but often move out of place during physical activity. They can be difficult to adjust but are still accurate measures of heart rate.
The style that you find most comfortable is dependent on your lifestyle and intended use.
- Your doctor still knows best
While heart rate monitors are great for keeping track of dangerous levels, doctors always have the best methods of checking out your heart rate.
Physicians have been found to agree that commercial heart rate monitors are a great opportunity for patients to keep track of their heart health. It is, however, important to maintain doctor-patient communication about all aspects of health.
Any questions regarding the heart rate monitor’s readings should always be directed to your primary doctor. Further, it is a great idea to check with your doctor that the readings are accurate and your heart rate is in a good range.
Heart rate monitors are a great method for keeping tabs on your heart health, regardless if you have a history of heart concerns or a previously healthy heart.
They offer many benefits for the more physically active, like tracking exercise and monitoring a healthy working heart rate.
Even less active individuals can benefit from commercial heart rate monitors to ensure they maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Talk to a doctor to find out if a heart rate monitor is a good step for you to take to ensure a healthy heart for years to come.
This article was contributed by Julian Gnatenco @ JGBilling
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