I have been using Fitdigits with a Garmin heart rate monitor and foot pod on my iPod touch for 6 months while in training to complete a marathon. Fitdigits gives me heart rate, pace, distance and a map of my run.
I am 60 years old and have not trained seriously for 20 years. My training goals are to follow a prescribed training plan of increasing weekly mileage to push my endurance without a “deal breaking” injury. So far, Fitdigits has been a great help in achieving my non-injury/endurance goal while giving me a side benefit of making my runs more enjoyable.
Fitdigits heart monitor helps me smooth out my workouts by allowing me to continually monitor my heart to self reduce both the rate and variability. By staying calm with controlled breathing, I can lower my heart rate (about six beats per minute) which reduces the effort as I cover more miles. This I believe has helped both avoid injury and improve recovery time from the predictable aches and pains.
Also, my workouts have become more enjoyable because I no longer watching the clock. Now I am tracking my heart rate against distance and continually making the workout a better experience by staying “smooth.”
Another related benefit is the ability to share my workout summaries with my doctor in my physical exams. He avidly supports my efforts and is delighted to see that my heart is strong.
I will continue to use this tool as I move beyond the marathon training. I believe its uses and benefits will only increase for me.
I recommend Fitdigits for other Baby Boomers who are active and want to improve their physical stamina.
I recently came across a website, jackis.com, that did a nice job of highlighting three good reasons to track heart rate: safety, effectiveness and incentive. I would suggest one more accuracy. If you want accurate an accurate calculation of calories burned during your workout, it needs to be derived from your heart rate.
From jackis.com: One of the goals of your aerobic workout is to improve your cardiovascular fitness. Heart rates taken during exercise indicate how hard your heart is working. Your heart rate is actually a motivating friend when you learn to monitor it properly, for this allows you to objectively detect beneficial changes that you can’t otherwise see.
The benefits of monitoring your heart rate are:
Safety. The heart rate is a gauge by which to assess the intensity of your workout to make sure you’re not overexerting or overextending yourself. For example, if your heart rate is above your working heart rate range, it’s telling you to slow down a little and use fewer arm movements.
Effectiveness. If your heart rate indicates you’re not working hard enough, then you can work out a little more vigorously to maximize the effectiveness of your workout. To maximize your aerobic workout, you need to stay in your working heart rate range for at least 20 to 30 minutes continuously.
Incentive. By monitoring your heart rate from week to week as you participate in an aerobic activity, you’ll discover that you will be able to exercise at a higher level of intensity, but at the same or lower heart rate. This is the way the heart tells you it is becoming stronger and more efficient. When you see positive results, it will motivate you to strive for even better results.
I am 61-years old and went to my doctor because of heart palpitations. My blood pressure was up and my doctor scheduled a treadmill stress test. Everything checked out OK but my doctor insisted I use medication to lower my blood pressure. I convinced her to let me try to control my blood pressure and heart rate with diet and exercise first instead of using medication. She agreed to give me a few weeks.
I started running the next day but whenever I ran my heart rate would go up very fast and very high and I was concerned it was too high. Then, Fitdigits Connect and iRunner confirmed that my heart rate was spiking very quickly. I started using the audible alarms to warn me when it was happening instead of viewing it after my workout. Whenever the little cowbell would ring, I would slow it down slightly. Eventually, my endurance got better and I heard the alarm less and less. I’m able to run longer and faster as a result of my training and next month I plan to participate in my first race: relay marathon.
iRunner stores all my data so I am able to look back and see my progress from the beginning. When I go for my next check-up which will be in a few weeks, I plan to take iRunner with me to show my doctor the results of my workouts. The graphs that are provided show a quick visual of my data. Fitdigits has made my workouts fun, I look forward to exercising and I’m so excited about my progress.