Benefits of Using a Heart Rate Monitor

There are a number of essential accessories that fitness gurus can’t head to the health center without, such as a water bottle, stopwatch and hand towel. But there’s one gadget that’ll help you maximize your workout more than anything else: a heart rate monitor. By measuring your heart rate, you can count your beats per minute and find the exact pulse where your exercise is most effective. Your target heart rate also helps you determine if you’re pushing too hard or not pushing enough, according to Active.com

If you want to make the most of your time during a workout, start using a heart rate monitor. Here are a few reasons why it’s a must-have fitness accessory:

1. It gives you clear, concise information
To manually measure your heart rate, you stop working out, check your pulse at your wrist and count the number of beats you feel within 10 seconds, according to Livestrong.com. After that, you have to multiple the number by six to determine your heart rate. It seems simple, but can you ensure it’s accurate?

“Breaking the momentum during your workout can make you lose ambition.”
Using a heart rate monitor will do the job for you. It can deliver concise information during your workout, unlike the manual option that makes you stop, count your beats and do the math. Breaking the momentum in your exercise is one way to lose ambition and drop off your workout early.

2. It can motivate you to keep pushing
If you need help staying motivated during your workout, a heart rate monitor is key. As The Huffington Post stated, this tool can be just as encouraging as a personal trainer. The target rate you receive will signify when you need to push harder, slow down and keep a steady pace throughout the exercise. Essentially, the data from your monitor can inspire you reach for your goals, and it’ll keep you safe throughout your regimen.

3. It shows how much time you need to recover
As you know, giving your muscles time to recover after a workout is key to maximizing your results. Your heart is a very important muscle that also needs time to adjust after strenuous exercise, especially during high intensity interval training. A monitor will show you how well your heart recovers, which also determines the wellness of your cardiovascular system. The faster your heart can bounce back, the better shape you’re in.

4. It helps you complete an effective workout
As stated by the American Heart Association, you should be working at your target heart rate – which is 50 percent to 85 of your maximum heart rate – in order to get the most out of your workout. With a heart rate monitor, you’ll always know if you’re hitting that number, which allows you to complete the most effective workout possible. Stop pushing yourself too hard without understanding the condition of your cardiovascular system. Maximize your results with this essential workout tool.

Remember: Using a heart rate monitor can help maximize your results and increase your safety, but staying fully hydrated is also crucial. Do your best to ensure you always bring a full water bottle to the fitness center alongside your tech savvy accessory.

At Steel Fitness Riverport, we encourage our members to utilize our MYzone chest strap heart rate monitors. By using one during your visit, you’ll receive real-time accurate numbers so you can have a safe and effective workout. If you want to test out the fitness tracker for yourself, head in today and use one during a Pulse X class.

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The Best Gym Workouts for Weight Loss

There are plenty of exercises for maintaining your overall health and well-being. From cardio drills and strength-training reps, to flexibility and core training, you’ll never run out of ways to stay fit. But which routines are best for weight loss? There are multiple that can help speed up the process, but remember: Eating a well-balanced diet is just as important – if not more – if you want to reach your fitness goals.

If you’re looking to cut the pounds and lean out as soon as possible, we suggest trying the following workouts:

Interval training
To lose weight, you’ll have to find a way to rev your metabolism and burn loads of calories. The easiest way to accomplish this is by interval training. Professional trainer Holly Rilinger told Self magazine that this consists of any form of exercise that raises your heart rate and brings it down repeatedly.

A great example of an interval routine is indoor cycling, also known as Spinning. Rilinger said it’s an excellent form of cardio, but it also challenges most of your muscles, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes and core – two essential factors for burning maximum calories.

“The more muscles you have to incorporate, the more calories you’re going to burn because those muscles all require energy in order to work,” she said. “And the more energy you use, the higher those calorie-burning numbers climb. It’s all a cycle.”

Weight training
You know that cardio burns dozens of calories. But weight training will build the muscle that’s necessary for boosting your metabolism and shedding the pounds in the first place. It’s common to assume lifting weights will just bulk you up, but Trainer Tia Falcone told POPSUGAR that building that sturdy foundation with weight lifting is key for slimming down fast.

“When you’re doing weight training, it’s not so much about burning calories; it’s about gaining as much muscle as possible,” she said. “That’s what’s going to make you smaller, and it raises your base metabolism permanently.”

Are you new to the world of weight lifting? Check out this beginner’s guide by Bodybuilding.com to get started.

Group fitness and heart rate training
A mixture of high-intensity interval exercises and weight training can maximize your results and lose weight fast, especially when you add heart rate training. PULSE X at Steel Fitness Riverport is a heart rate-based, outcome-driven team training program designed for all fitness levels and interests. Individuals participating in PULSE X can monitor their heart rate, calories burned, time and effort levels for added motivation and accountability. We offer over 50 classes per week – so if you’re ready to shed those pounds, check out our PULSE X schedule or contact us at 610-624-2717 today.

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What Food To Eat Before a Workout

What do I eat before I workout? Keep pre-workout meals balanced and simple. Meals should contain a small amount of dietary fat, moderate amount of lean protein, and some low-glycemic carbs to keep you energized and fueled for your workout. Meals should be eaten about 2-3 hours prior to your workout, though timing and amount …

What do I eat before I workout? Keep pre-workout meals balanced and simple. Meals should contain a small amount of dietary fat, moderate amount of lean protein, and some low-glycemic carbs to keep you energized and fueled for your workout. Meals should be eaten about 2-3 hours prior to your workout, though timing and amount …

Stay fit this holiday season [INFOGRAPHIC]

Best workouts for weight loss

4 Benefits of Team Fitness Training

Working out by yourself has its benefits – you can do it on your own time and at your own pace. But that also makes it easier to come up with excuses for taking the day off, promise you’ll make up for it later and forget about it as time goes on. What if there was an easier way to hold yourself accountable and stick to your fitness goals with ease? Team training is the answer for you.

By working out with a group of people who are focused on similar goals, you’ll receive a push of motivation you’ve never felt before. Need some more convincing? Here are five benefits of team training:

1. You’ll receive proper instruction
As a child, instruction from your teacher was key before you could succeed in the class and make the grade. Without that guidance, you’d have to figure it out on your own and hope for the best. Much like your younger years in school, you’ll receive proper instruction from a fitness coach during your group training session. Joining a fitness class is especially beneficial for those who’ve hit a plateau and are not sure how to move forward and switch things up.

2. You’ll be held accountable for staying in shape
By committing to a fitness team, it’s your job to respect your peers and trainer by showing up to each and every class. If you start skipping sessions, those people will notice, and likely give you a hard time for slacking. Is that the impression you want to make on your fitness friends? Working out with a group of people holds you accountable for reaching those goals and staying in shape.

3. You’ll enjoy friendly competition
Working side-by-side with someone who has the drive and ambition that you have is one of the easiest ways to get motivated. There are no losers in this scenario – either way, you and your neighbor will push and stride harder together than either of you would’ve in an individual fitness scenario.

4. You’ll form a strong bond with like-minded people
The strongest bonds are formed when a commonality is brought to the table. When you train with a team, you’re surrounding yourself with like-minded people. You’ll form friendships with individuals who offer support and guidance throughout the exercise and beyond.

At Steel Fitness Riverport, we offer a variety of group exercise classes for everyone, no matter your age and fitness level. Once you give team training a chance, your fitness routine will never be the same. If you’re ready to get up and get moving, check out our Pulse X schedule or contact us at 610-625-2717.

Wearable Fitness Technology That Works

Innovations in mobile and wearable technology have helped improve modern lives in countless and varied ways – but it isn’t all about being able to check Twitter from your watch. Fitness and wellness training are two of the biggest areas where wearables have taken off.

From the simple fitness tracker like Fitbit to more sophisticated wearable technology, the goal of all these devices and wellness apps is the same: get results. Here are a few of the ways that wearables can help you achieve the results you are looking for in your workout regimen:

“Fitness is one of the biggest areas where wearables have taken off.”

Superior tracking and analytics
Whether your goal is weight loss, cardio or strength and endurance training, wearables allow you to better measure results and gauge your body’s response to a workout. This can be as simple as measuring how many steps you’ve taken in a day, estimating how many calories you have consumed or burned or – as is the case here at Steel Fitness Riverport – heart rate monitors that are integrated with our facilities, providing you and your personal trainer with a variety of analytics to better customize your workout.

Gamification
It can be hard work getting the fitness results you are looking for. Even the most sophisticated wearables sometimes fall short of making people want to work out.

That’s where gamification comes in. Games like Dance Dance Revolution and the Wii Fit have for years been pushing people to embrace physical activity, and wearables have now picked up the torch. Apps like Zombies, Run! turn your workout into a fun, satisfying game and quickly became the world’s best-selling fitness app, with over 2 million downloads to date.

Accountability
Finally, the social aspect of wearables can’t be ignored. By being able to share the results of your workout with friends and followers, you can not only boast about your gains, but create much needed accountability to keep you pushing harder.

Of course, wearables aren’t the be all, end all of fitness and training – they are simply a piece of the greater picture. Combined with expert personal training, team exercises and state of the art facilities, wearables are part of the toolbox to help people on the path to greater health and building strength.

Curious to see what you can do with wearable fitness technology? Come down to Steel Fitness Riverport to learn more.