Do you need to check your heart rate (pulse) when you exercise?

It all depends. It can be an interesting fact to know and can motivate you to exercise more. But the truth is, unless you have heart disease, are an accomplished athlete, or want to become one, you don’t have to monitor your heart rate when you exercise. Below we explain why.

You have recently been practicing some type of sport or physical activity, and you have begun to realize the number of items they sell for athletes. Among them is that watch or that band to measure the heart rate that you have seen on several friends and athletes. And you are wondering… “will I buy it?”

But perhaps the most important questions you need to ask yourself are… “what good is knowing my heart rate (heart rate or pulse) when I exercise?” and “what am I going to do with that information?”.

Measuring your heart rate before, during and after you exercise lets you know how your heart is beating and what the effect of physical activity is on it.

I explain. For most people, the normal heart rate at rest (before exercise) is between 60 and 90 beats per minute. When your rate is higher, it means that your heart is not working as efficiently because it needs to beat more times per minute to pump blood around the body. And athletes and dedicated exercisers often have their heart rates 10 to 20 beats below “normal,” which could mean their heart is working more efficiently because of the training they’re doing .

However, the truth is that the heart rate cannot be compared so easily and the fact that it is lower than other people does not mean that you are more athletic, because finally the heartbeat changes according to your heart health, your age, at the altitude in which you live, etc.

So the clock will not help you to know if you are more or less athletic than others, but it can help you measure your own performance. There are two types of people who get a lot out of measuring their heart rate: athletes and those with heart conditions.

If you have cardiovascular disease, exercise can be a great help , as long as it’s controlled because physical activity speeds up your heartbeat. The best way to control it is by monitoring your heart rate so that you never exceed a healthy maximum that could put your heart at risk. And for those cases, a heart rate monitor is vital.

On the other hand, when you are a dedicated or accomplished athlete, or when you want to be one, measuring heart rate is an important part of your training as it allows you to know your performance and test your capabilities. Many athletes measure their heart rate to stay within healthy limits that can put their health at risk, and to see how their performance improves over time. The goal is to lower your heart rate during exercise, as this is a sign that your heart is working more efficiently and that your performance has improved.

But if you’re not a dedicated athlete or heart sufferer, do you really need to constantly measure your heart rate?

The truth is that it is not something vital or decisive in your physical activity. And it is not a decisive fact when you exercise to lose weight , since the amount of calories you burn exercising depends more on the effort you make in the longest amount of time you can.

However, there are people who like to measure their heart rate as a way to challenge themselves and maintain their interest in physical activity. So if you think a wristwatch is a good incentive to keep exercising, go ahead with your plan and enjoy it. Anything that keeps your interest in exercise alive is welcome.


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