Measuring Heart Rate Without a Heart Rate Monitor

There are some new fitness gyms that base their fitness routines on heart rate zones by having clients wear heart rate monitors while working out. The idea is that doing a certain amount of your workout at high intensity can boost fitness, metabolism and fat burning. But you don’t need a heart rate monitor to guide you: you can easily learn measure your heart rate and then go by feel. Using a watch with a second hand, measure your heart rate for 6 seconds and add a zero. Do this before your workout (at rest), then after your warm up (15-20 minutes of easy exercise). This is your “comfortable zone.” Then do a 30 second “sprint” and measure it again, noting how it feels. This should feel slightly “uncomfortable.” For great cardiovascular benefits, keep about 90% of your workout in the comfortable zone and 10% in your “uncomfortable” zone.