Continuous Heart Rate Monitor

Continuous Heart Rate Monitor

We have all probably heard of continuous glucose monitors. But a continuous heart rate monitor? Do you need one?

If you are surprised, don't be. Many of you are already doing some version of it.

Apple sold 59 million watches in 2022. So clearly, there are those out there who believe monitoring their heart rate is useful.

Of course, the Apple Watch tracks your pulse rate, which is different from your heart rate, as I will explain in a minute.

But do you need to monitor your heart rate twenty-four hours a day?

First, let us be clear about what we are measuring. Your watch measures your pulse rate. They do this by shining a light as blood flows through your wrist and counting beats.

This is not your heart rate but your pulse rate.

Heart rate monitors are placed close to your heart. These devices measure the electric signals sent by your heart as it signals the heart muscle to beat.

That is your heart rate.

Companies are already starting to sell devices that you can keep strapped on for a few days. The signals are recorded and sent to a device, your phone, for example.

Your intention would be to look at the activities you were doing and relate them to your heartbeat. Sleep, exercise, or a stressful event or meeting. How did your heart respond?

Depending on your fitness goals, you might consider doing it as a one-time exercise or as an ongoing process. 

But why heart beat?

Opposing forces regulate your heartbeat. One that activates your body or the sympathetic system. The other, which calms your body, or the parasympathetic. Your goal is to ensure that both are in balance.

Measuring heartbeats over long durations gives you an insight into how your body responds to different situations. The knowledge it can give you can help you take corrective action.

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