We all know that exercise is vital to our health and should be undertaken on a regular basis, but it is possible to have too much exercise. A heart rate monitor is an exceptional accessory for fitness and sports activities because it helps maintain the right level of intensity for optimum health gain. Overtraining can cause as many problems to our bodies as taking too little exercise and the said accessory gives a clear indication of when this is happening.
Many people use a monitor while they exercise to keep an eye on their heart rate and control the intensity of their workout, making sure the heart rate does not become raised to a level that is harmful to the body. This is particularly useful during long sessions of steady aerobic exercise, but does not work so well when doing fast, intense bursts of exercise such as interval training. The best time to measure heart rate is first thing in the morning when you wake up, as this is before factors such as stress, diet and movement have a chance to affect the results.
Monitoring fitness levels
Morning heart rate measurements taken every day over a period of at least three weeks will let you become familiar with your body’s average heart rate and recognise immediately if your heart rate is significantly elevated. A rise of 3 or 4 beats per minute above your normal average is acceptable, but if your heart is measuring 7 or more beats per minute above your normal average it should be taken as a sign of excessive over-exercising.
How to recover from overtraining
The most important thing to do if your heart rate is showing signs of overtraining is to let your body rest. Stop all training but continue to use a heart rate monitor every morning until you see the resting heart rate coming down. This can take up to a week if severe overtraining has occurred. Consider scheduling a light week of training and always make sure that any tough workouts are following by several recovery days.