There are a number of essential accessories that fitness gurus can’t head to the health center without, such as a water bottle, stopwatch and hand towel. But there’s one gadget that’ll help you maximize your workout more than anything else: a heart rate monitor. By measuring your heart rate, you can count your beats per minute and find the exact pulse where your exercise is most effective. Your target heart rate also helps you determine if you’re pushing too hard or not pushing enough, according to Active.com

If you want to make the most of your time during a workout, start using a heart rate monitor. Here are a few reasons why it’s a must-have fitness accessory:

1. It gives you clear, concise information
To manually measure your heart rate, you stop working out, check your pulse at your wrist and count the number of beats you feel within 10 seconds, according to Livestrong.com. After that, you have to multiple the number by six to determine your heart rate. It seems simple, but can you ensure it’s accurate?

“Breaking the momentum during your workout can make you lose ambition.”
Using a heart rate monitor will do the job for you. It can deliver concise information during your workout, unlike the manual option that makes you stop, count your beats and do the math. Breaking the momentum in your exercise is one way to lose ambition and drop off your workout early.

2. It can motivate you to keep pushing
If you need help staying motivated during your workout, a heart rate monitor is key. As The Huffington Post stated, this tool can be just as encouraging as a personal trainer. The target rate you receive will signify when you need to push harder, slow down and keep a steady pace throughout the exercise. Essentially, the data from your monitor can inspire you reach for your goals, and it’ll keep you safe throughout your regimen.

3. It shows how much time you need to recover
As you know, giving your muscles time to recover after a workout is key to maximizing your results. Your heart is a very important muscle that also needs time to adjust after strenuous exercise, especially during high intensity interval training. A monitor will show you how well your heart recovers, which also determines the wellness of your cardiovascular system. The faster your heart can bounce back, the better shape you’re in.

4. It helps you complete an effective workout
As stated by the American Heart Association, you should be working at your target heart rate – which is 50 percent to 85 of your maximum heart rate – in order to get the most out of your workout. With a heart rate monitor, you’ll always know if you’re hitting that number, which allows you to complete the most effective workout possible. Stop pushing yourself too hard without understanding the condition of your cardiovascular system. Maximize your results with this essential workout tool.

Remember: Using a heart rate monitor can help maximize your results and increase your safety, but staying fully hydrated is also crucial. Do your best to ensure you always bring a full water bottle to the fitness center alongside your tech savvy accessory.

At Steel Fitness Riverport, we encourage our members to utilize our MYzone chest strap heart rate monitors. By using one during your visit, you’ll receive real-time accurate numbers so you can have a safe and effective workout. If you want to test out the fitness tracker for yourself, head in today and use one during a Pulse X class.