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The Heart-rate Monitor Effect

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The Heart-rate Monitor Effect

Knowledge is Power


Your heart rate monitor is key to getting the most from your workout.


Ever forgotten to wear your heart rate monitor to the gym? You probably felt a little less motivated.


That’s because we humans are visually oriented, and watching our heart rate numbers on a watch or monitor gives us motivation to reach our target level and stay there.


The heart rate monitor that Peak Zone Fitness gifts you lets you know when you’re slacking off and when you’re pushing too hard, and it teaches you how to sense those levels yourself.


The heart rate monitor helps keep you focused on what you’re doing. If you notice the number is a bit low, you know you need to go faster or use a heavier weight to increase your effort.


And, seeing those “calories burned” is one of the best motivators for sticking to your exercise routine.


You can also use your heart rate monitor outside the gym to check how much energy you put into daily activities like walking in a park or mowing the lawn.


Curiously, research has shown that simply knowing how all of this works is good for your health.


Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer studied 84 hotel maids, who are exercising all day as they push and pull heavy equipment and clean.


Questionnaires revealed, however, that 67 percent of the maids felt they didn’t exercise.


Even stranger, their body measurements, weight and blood pressure levels indicated that they weren’t benefiting from performing physical activity that actually exceeds the surgeon general’s recommended amount.


So she did a test. Researchers taught half the maids exactly how many calories they were burning with each of their routine tasks.


A month later, the maids who understood that they were exercising had a 10 percent drop in blood pressure and decreases in their weight and waist-to-hip ratios. Meanwhile, the control group experienced no changes.


Langer thinks this is an example of the placebo effect — if you believe you are exercising, your body responds as if it is.


So, use that heart rate monitor to measure your progress. Your health may well depend on it.



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