Ba Bump…Ba Bump…Ba Bump…

It’s all about what?  They even have an entire day devoted to it!  Heck…if you don’t have this…you’re pretty much screwed.  That’s right…it’s your heart!  So to make sure that runners use it appropriately (don’t over exert…don’t underperform) folks are using pretty high tech tools.   Heck, pregnant ladies are using them to monitor their everyday activities!  Babies can’t over exert either.  Break out those sweat bands…strap that plastic thing under your boobs…throw on that watch looking thingy…it’s a heart rate monitor!

First let’s break down the components.  Start out with the plastic strap looking thingy.  This is probably the most important piece.  In fact, if you really break if down…this is the monitor!  There are sensors attached to it that measure your heart rate via the connectivity of body goo.  Literally…the signals transmit through the “gunk” that is in your body…whether its sweat or liquid fat, or whatever.  Some sensors won’t work unless you get them wet first!  How does this stay on?  Well, you have an elastic neoprene type stretch band that wraps around your back and stinks to all hell if you don’t wash it consistently.  Think about some of your more sweatier areas….underarms…groins…back of legs…chest areas…yeah that’s where this thing is attaching…please wash it when you’re done.

The last piece to the monitor contraption is how we monitor the entire system.  In most cases, it’s a normal watch looking device that reads the heart rate…sometimes the pulse…sometimes even the actual EKG!!!  And to be honest…if you understand all the spikes and dips…can be quite useful and interesting.  Heck…if you’re having issues with your ticker…imagine walking in with the stats for the last 3 months of your EKGs from your computer to the doctor.  “Ah yes Mr/Mrs. Cardiologist.  I have those readings for your right here.”  I’d love to see the look on their face.  Oh to be right sometimes in front of someone who went to school for 8+years.

Now don’t freak out if you don’t have one.   If you really think about it…this type of technology has really only be viable the last few years as the readings have been able to get very compact.  Could you imagine carrying an entire EKG machine with you on a run?  Talk about excess weight!  But…as we all get older…technology advances…it gets better…it allows us to see into our future and perform just a little better. 

No…we are not all trying to win the NYC marathon with a resting pulse of 40bpm (beats per minute), but we can still use this information.  Longer time at our higher performance rates = more calories burned = more weight loss = smaller waste lines.  I think we all get the point now.  If you want to spend $300 go for it…if you want to spend $40 you’ll find something you like.  Use these wonderful beat measurers to their fullest extent.  They are there to help you!  But please…before you go and strap on that belt like thing on your rib cage…take a moment…and look down…so you don’t break said rib…and lace up!

Photos:  http://www.polarusa.com/us-en/b2b_products/physical_education/heart_rate_monitoring; http://www.mxtrainingblog.com/training/training-with-more-efficiency/

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