Is Heart Rate Tracking For Me?

– Founder and CEO, Gavin McKay
myzone heart rate tracking 1Fitness tracking devices like Fitbits and heart rate tracking devices have popped up all over the place. They have been around for a while and have finally gone main stream in the past year or two. But what’s the big fuss about and are they here to stay or just another trendy gimmick?
Fitness and heart rate tracking devices and apps are here to stay. Let me explain why.

1. Getting feedback for any activity is a powerful method for inspiring more effort and directing it towards your goals; these devices make it instant and accurate.

Our body gives us an amazing amount of instant fitness feedback, like temperature, heart rate, ability to breath, lift a weight… etc. but these devices allow users to actually convert those feelings into numbers, colors, etc. which makes it much easier to know where we are versus where we want to be. Heart rate tracking devices are very much the same as thermometers, scales, tape measures, etc. which are invaluable tools, only with our latest devices we get so much more data!

 heart rate tracking over time

2. Tracking personal data over time has always been the best known way to make better decisions and accelerate progress and now it is automated.

Our minds are simply too distracted with all the other things in our life to be keeping track of all of our fitness information. Without that data we almost always make a biased decision to make ourselves feel better. We have all fabricated excuses like missing workout, quitting a workout early, etc. When you pop open your mobile app and see exactly what you did or didn’t do during that workout or last week or month, there is simply no hiding in excuses. The data isn’t biased or trying to tell you a story, it is just the facts. Seeing such reality is proven to motivate people.

Previously, it was so much harder to collect the data. We would have to remember to track the info, stop to measure it and scribble it down on paper, and be sure to store our notebook somewhere it won’t get lost, etc. Now the mobile apps and heart rate tracking devices themselves actually do all of that for you automatically. You simply need to wear it, maybe click a button and the results are tracked and graphed over time to provide you with your personal accountability management tool. Unite has chosen the MyZone fitness tracking device for our studios, which tracks: workout days, time working out, heart rate, and calories burned at the touch of a button. With this information we might see that we are behind our goal in the first week of a program and make adjustments to our schedule, effort, type of exercise, etc., instead of getting to the end of week 10 and being upset at ourselves that we missed our goal.
heart rate tracking social3. Social support and pressures keep people accountable for their behavior and push people to step it up. These new apps allow for our personal data to be socialized into challenges and can provide support.
One of the main reasons the Unite management team has chosen the MyZone heart rate tracking system is that it was optimized for use in groups with social components like timed challenges that clients can opt into. Weight loss contests have always been a popular tactic to motivate people over a short period of time because a wave of effort is created by gathering everyone together towards the same goal. When we join the challenge, that wave of communal energy helps pull us farther than we would go alone. Many of us have a bit of a competitive streak or at least don’t want to look like we didn’t try but either way there is a lot of power in doing things in groups. This is the basic belief behind Unite’s mission and business model and so when the heart rate tracking devices and apps started to build for this, we jumped on board.
Now is there anyone that this level of fitness tracking would not be healthy or motivating for?
Yes, we don’t think that having lots of instant personal data and/or in a challenge model is for everyone. The Unite team has worked with thousands of clients over the years and there are definitely categories of clients that require slightly different approaches to being coached and motivated. Here are the examples of when you might want to consider not getting a heart rate monitor and/or joining a workout challenge:
  • If you are a hyper competitive person. I define hyper competitive as being driven to “win” so much that you tend to do yourself harm, cheat others or miss the purpose of the challenge entirely. We have seen people take healthy things too far and it becomes counter productive, sometimes even dangerous. If this might be you, then get the heart rate monitor for your own education and goal progress, but don’t join the challenges.
  • If you beat yourself up mentally. By this I mean a person that currently is really hard on themselves, talks down to themselves and would only use the personal data as proof of their ineptitude, laziness, etc. These phases of life can hit us all and exercise is in fact a ticket out of this bad feeling but this might not be the time to start such tracking. Unite is in the business of building confidence and uplifting people’s spirits so at this time just focus on enjoying the workouts, music and people.
  • If you beat yourself up physically. Mental abuse is usually known to us, but some people just don’t seem to understand that there is such a thing as too much exercise or too intense a workout. Too intense is redlining without breaks. Too often is everyday doing intense and strength training workouts. Our culture has trained us that working harder and more often is always better but studies have shown that rest, recovery activities (yoga, foam rolling, walking), sleep and nutrition are so critical to building muscle, fitness and keeping ourselves injury free. If you are already working out a ton, then a challenge is not for you, however the heart rate tracking could be a great tool for keeping the intensity in check. With the instant feedback you don’t have to use it to go harder, in your case you can use it to keep your intensity in check and break your physical abuse habit finding balance. You just need to have the right self-awareness and coaching to be able to redirect your goals.
If you are interested in using a heart rate monitor to track your gym workouts at Unite Fitness studio, you just need to buy a device from us and register. To learn more and purchase CLICK HERE. Also, Unite Fitness is running a 21 Day “Cash Out” Challenge starting May 6th 2016 where you earn Unite Cash towards merchandise for your accumulated effort points. Free to join, you just need a MyZone HR belt.