Tracking Resting Heart Rate with Fitdigits Apps

Your resting heart rate tells you a lot about your heart health and training levels. See The Importance of Resting Heart Rate to check out all the fun ways your resting heart rate can help you on your journey to a healthy and fit life! And we make it easy to track.

Taking your resting pulse is simple and only requires your fingertips and a stopwatch. We also take your lowest heart rate reading every day automatically with the Apple Watch, if you have one. Ideally, take your resting pulse in the morning right after you wake up.

To manually enter your resting heart rate:
1. Launch your Fitdigits app, tap Menu > Health Vitals
2. Tap Resting Pulse.
3. Tap “+” sign located at the top right of the screen.
4. Enter your Resting Pulse, tap Save.

You can also change the date and time if you are entering a resting pulse from a previous date.

Resting heart rate

To manually delete a resting pulse entry:
1. From the resting pulse screen, swipe from right to left to delete any of the manually entered entries. (A red delete icon will appear.)
2. Tap delete and the entry will be erased from your dashboard.

Stronger and Smarter Workouts With Fitdigits

Susan has been Spinning® with Fitdigits Ambassador and Spinning Instructor Giovanni Masi for over a year.

Since Gio has started to help her in her running training using Fitdigits to track Heart Rate, Susan has recorded Personal Bests on runs on a near weekly basis! She never thought she could break the 12 min mile mark, but with the help of her trainer, the Fitdigits app and a Heart Rate Monitor, she has left that time in the dust. Also gathering dust is her old Garmin Watch.

Suffice to say, Susan thinks Fitdigits is pretty splendid:

“I have so far logged 88 running and Spinning workouts with Fitdigits. Fitdigits’s visual displays allow me to compare one workout to another, which has facilitated improvement in performance, recovery and endurance. Over the past four months Fitdigits has taught me to control my heart rate in such a way as to become more efficient in both running and Spinning®. For example, the first run I logged on Fitdigits was October 10, 2012 with a pace average of 12:04, which was pretty much the norm for me. Later on a similar run I logged a pace average of 10:34, which is a time I never thought I would see! This is a remarkable feat and attributable to the skills learned from using Fitdigits and Giovanni’s training advices/plans on a regular basis. Taking more than 1.5 minutes off my pace has inspired me to keep trying to run faster and stronger.

During spinning classes, Fitdigits has taught me to control my heart rate with resistance and breath. It has truly empowered me with the confidence and strength with which to challenge myself to become a stronger and smarter rider. It appears as though the strength gained from using Fitdigits regularly has spilled over into general fitness classes and personal training at the Y and at L.A. Fitness. Now, using Fitdigits in those classes will help me to improve my performance there as well.

Overall, I would say that the gains from using Fitdigits have been great. Just by monitoring my heart rate and learning how to control it, my level of fitness has improved remarkably. Since I spend an average of nine hours a week engaged in physical activity, this is a big deal. Thank you Fitdigits!”

Now that Susan has made such great gains, the next step is taking a Fitness Assessment so she can truly see her gains in her fitness level.

Fitdigits Personal Records, Achievement and Activity Summary Emails

With the Pro Plus membership, you get Summary and Achievement emails and notifications! What’s an accomplishment without notoriety? As if the crazy antics of Dancing Andy were not enough, now you’ll have emails to offer you the recognition you deserve or the encouragement you need to get moving!

Achievement Emails

Achievement emails are triggered with new Personal Records (PRs). You must have at least 3 workouts in any workout type to begin getting Personal Records. Your PRs can be found at my.fitdigits.com > Activities > My Best, or in the apps under Menu > Activities > My Best. Achievements will include longest duration and distance, highest calorie burn, highest cal/min burn, and more. Check out this achievement below for heart rate recovery for a Bike workout.

Celebrate your bests of all kinds!

Summary Emails

Summary emails will contain either your weekly or monthly workout stats (see below). If you are linked to Fitbit, Apple Health or other daily activity provider, your steps information will also display here.

See your activity summaries weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly

Advanced Heart Rate Analysis

Fitdigits advanced heart rate analysis is now included with the Star Membership. Heart rate analysis helps you monitor how your fitness is changing through time, making sure that your efforts over multiple workouts are balanced to your goals and helping you reach those goals. It can also help you dial in your personal heart rate zones, allowing you to see how the distribution goes at different intensities.

To access new heart rate analysis charts, log into my.fitdigits.com. Go to Activities. Click the arrows on either side of the dashboard display to switch dashboards. Remember, you can adjust your time in the top left corner to view your stats by week, month, year, or custom. By dropping down the options menu, you can also change the grouping of your activities (to select Runs only, Cycle only, etc) and adjust which activity type is displayed.

BPM (Beats per Minute) Histogram

BPM histograms show your heart rate distribution for the given time frame. Below is the heart rate distribution for all workouts in 2013. Zones can be determined by dropping the Options section and selecting the heart rate zone set of your choice. Check out how Fitdigits determines heart rate zones and how accurately determine zones with fitness assessments. If you have had a fitness assessment elsewhere and know your zones, you can also manually enter them.

Zone Histogram

Zone histograms show the time spent in each heart rate zone as well as a percent breakdown for each zone. In the image below, 12% or 7:22 hours of total workout time with heart rate was spent in zone 2. The zone histogram and pie chart will show just how your time in zones adds up.

 

New advanced graphs allow you to see your time in zones over multiple workouts. Select to view workouts by month to see how your fitness is changing through time. If you choose, you may also view these changes over all workouts or over a specific workout type.

 

This can be great when you are going through different training stages or have different goals in mind. Are you looking to build your base in the off-season? If so, maybe you want to make sure you are mostly in those lower zones for longer periods of time. Are you looking to improve your stamina at race pace? Or perhaps your power for shorter distances?

Each goal has, at its core, a mix of time in the zones; if you are always pushing too hard, it may be time to give your body a break! Can you identify where you are cutting yourself short by not pushing hard enough, or if you aren’t taking enough base building time?

Fitdigits 4 Keys to Cardio Fitness

Using Fitness Assessments to Determine Heart Rate Zones

You’ve begun the journey of learning about your body, your heart. You’ve made the decision to take control of your fitness level. Congratulations! There is very little as key to a great heart rate training experience as having fully customized, personalized Heart Rate Zones and Pace Zones that fit you. When you have this, things just feel right when you are exercising.

Fitdigits includes multiple types of fitness assessments with a Pro Plus or Star Membership, for all levels of users. These assessments help determine your fitness level, using well accepted research as a base for calculating VO2 Max as a proxy for cardiovascular fitness. We’ve taken proven techniques, combined common sense, and designed assessments that can serve to proxy for the full treadmill-hooked-to-a-mask-and-computer traditional fitness test. Why spend hundreds when you have Fitdigits?!

The Beginner Cardio, Advanced Cardio, and Critical Power 30 minute (CP-30) Cardio assessments can help you determine your personal heart rate and pace zones to properly design your exercise regimen and help you hit your goals.

Ready to begin? Let’s do this!

Starting a Fitness Assessment

All Fitness Assessments require a heart rate monitor paired and connected to run an Assessment. Please note any pausing of the workout / assessment will make it null and void as an assessment, though it will still show up as a workout.

To start your assessment, get yourself and your heart rate monitor ready. Find a nice flat and open place where you can move freely. Open the app then:

Starting a Fitness Assessment

  1. Swipe to the activity type you want to do the fitness assessment in.
  2. Tap the gear / settings icon for the activity type.
  3. Tap Fitness Assessments to see a list of the different assessments available.
    1. Assessments like the Rockport Walking Test and Cooper Running Test are only available in some activity types like walking/running.
  4. Tap on the assessment you are going to do.

The description of the assessment will give you an overview of what is expected for that particular type. It’s good to familiarize yourself with what is expected, though you will also be guided through by voice prompts during the assessment.

  1. Tap Launch / Launch Assessment to launch the sensor acquisition and get to the ready state. Once all sensors are acquired, tap Start to begin.
  2. Depending on the assessment, between 7.5 minutes and up to 50 minutes will elapse, guided in stages by voice prompts, taking you through different levels (or continuous levels) of effort throughout the assessment.

When the assessment is complete, you’ll get a summary of Fitness Level and VO2 Max as calculated by the results.

Assessment Complete

Tap Done, which will take you to your assessment results.

Fitness Assessment ResultsAssessment Results

Choose “Set All” to apply these results as your default settings and zones. You can also choose different settings to set individually as well. If you don’t set them as default at this time, you can always do that later.

To see that your Heart Rate or Pace Zones have been set to default, go to the activity you want and tap Activity Settings (gear icon) > Dashboards & Zones > Heart Rate Zones or Pace Zones.

Once you have your own personal heart rate zones, you’ll wonder why you ever did accept the default!

Some experts recommend a new assessment every 6 weeks, some every 6 months to a year, to help track your fitness level and zones through your active life. The newer the active lifestyle is, and the more variation of the training levels, the more often you’ll want to complete one.

Next step – designing custom interval workouts based on your new zones!

Creating Interval Structured Workouts with Fitdigits

Whether doing HIIT or long slow intervals (start slow then taper lol), interval-based exercise has been shown to help you define the best workout to meet your goals.

Fitdigits iCardio, iRunner, iBiker and iWalker with a Pro Plus or Star Membership gives you the ability to create and customize your workout definition, getting visual audio cues and coaching through the routines. When you have a plan, this is the place for you.

Create workouts based on heart rate or pace zones – ideally created by using one of our fitness assessments. Structured interval workouts based on heart rate are a popular feature, and tend to be more efficient and correct, but many plans are often specified in distance and pace, rather than heart rate.

Managing and Creating an Interval Structured Workout

Access your structured interval workouts:

  1. In the app, at the main screen, swipe to select the activity type you would like to create the intervals. Any activity  – run, bike, walk, etc, can be chosen.
  2. Tap the activity options (gear) icon for that activity
  3. Tap Workout Routines

With the Pro Plus package, it comes with some stock routines, targeting different heart rate zones and outcomes, that make a good base for workouts.

Managing Structured Interval Workouts

Launch Routine: To launch a created routine, tap the routine name and tap Launch. Tap Edit Routine on that same screen if you want to edit it.

Edit Routine: Tap Edit in the top right of the screen. That will bring you to the creating / editing interval workout screen described below.

 

Creating or Editing Interval Structured Workouts

At the bottom of the list of workouts, you will see two different types of interval workouts that can be created with a variety of options. Traditional Time & Distance based, or Music based, which is a variance on time based intervals, where you can specify the length of the interval to also be the length of the song(s) you pick, to match the effort to the beat of your favorites.

Create a Heart Rate or Pace Interval Workout

  1. Tap Add at the bottom of the Workout Routines listing
  2. Tap Name and add a description of the intervals you are creating
  3. In the Zone Type, select BPM
  4. Set whether the interval will be measured by Time or Distance. If you chose to create a music based routine, it will prompt you for either a playlist or song, see below for more on Music routines.
  5. Select the Zone you would like to target for that segment
  6. To add more intervals for that series, or even add another series, repeat the above. Check out our Guide on designing fun, effective and interesting interval workouts for more on building fun and effective routines.
  7. Choose if you want to automatically start Recovery once the workout is complete, and / or to automatically End once complete.
  8. Tap Save in the upper right to save your changes.  Heart rate zone structured interval workouts

Pace Interval WorkoutsMusic Structured Interval Workouts

 

 

 

Pairing your Older Scosche myTrek or Rhythm Heart Rate Monitor with Fitdigits Apps

Related Links:
Pairing your Bluetooth Low Energy Heart Rate Monitor in iOS
Troubleshooting Your Scosche Rhythm+ or Mio Heart Rate Monitor
Troubleshooting Your Sensors

******NOTE: SUPPORT FOR OLDER SCOSCHE myTrek and the original Rhythm is being discontinued in July, 2016 ******

Scosche Rhythm and myTrekPairing the older versions of Scosche Rhythm / myTrek

If you are using an old-school Scosche Rhythm / myTrek using traditional bluetooth,  Scosche stopped supporting them a while ago.  Since the bluetooth classic monitors have been discontinued by Scosche, the SDK has not been updated in order for the monitors to work on iOS 9 and Android OS 5. This meant we could no longer support Scosche’s MyTrek and Rhythm Pulse monitor.  We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, and please see below for options on Android and iOS devices.

Upgrade your monitor (it is worth it!)


Android

However, you can download and install older versions of the Android app – iRunner or iCardio. The last version with support was v3.31 and here are the links below:

iCardio:
http://www.fitdigits.com/downloads/Android/3.31/iCardio_3.31(69).apk

iRunner:
http://www.fitdigits.com/downloads/Android/3.31/iRunner_3.31(69).apk

Once you have the file, you can uninstall the newer version of the app from your device, and copy the older APK file you found to the phone or tablet. If you tap on the links above on the device, it should install automatically.

If not, copy the file to either a new folder, or the existing Download folder. Then, you’ll need to find the file on your Android device (with a File Explorer app or similar), at which point you can tap on it and install it. Note that you will need to tick the box somewhere in your device’s settings menu to allow the installation of apps from “unknown sources”. Most but not all Android devices have this option.


iOS

 

For iOS users, there is only a limited time left to download a compatible app – as soon and the next release goes live in Apple iTunes it will no longer have support for these older heart rate monitors. iCardio no longer supports them, so you would have to download iRunner or iBiker, which are older versions. But remember not to allow automatic upgrades or the next update to those apps will no longer support the old app!  

Turn off automatic updates:
http://www.gottabemobile.com/2016/01/26/how-to-turn-off-automatic-app-updates-in-ios-9/

Download iRunner:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/irunner-runners-walkers-fitness/id304074554?mt=8

 


For all compatibility, please view here:
http://www.fitdigits.com/compatibility.html

We hope that helps!

 

*************

Pairing your Android with the Scosche Rhythm or myTrek:

The beginning of every great story has an introduction. Well Android users, prepare to be introduced to the device that will change your life, the Scosche Rhythm. Learn how to Pair your Scosche myTREK or Rhythm with Fitdigits on the Android, and re-write your life story to include a happier and healthier you!

First, put on your Scosche sensor. Make sure your alignment is correct:

Next, turn on the Bluetooth settings in the iPhone and pair the Scosche sensor.

1. Go to your Android Settings
2. Tap Wireless & Network

Choose Wireless & Network

3. Tap Bluetooth Settings

Tap Bluetooth settings

4. Make Sure Bluetooth is ON. If ON, tap Scan Devices
5. Your Heart Rate Belt should appear as “Scosche myTREK” below “Bluetooth devices”. Tap to pair

Tap Scosche to pair

6. Your Scosche will now be paired. To delete a pairing, tap and and hold the Scosche sensor, and choose to unpair
7. Open your Fitdigits app and go to Settings -> My Sensors, and tap Heart so the check is orange
8. Choose Scosche from the menu that comes up

Tap Scosche myTREK

9. You will be taken back to the “Bluetooth devices” screen. Tap on Scosche and you are paired.

Start a workout, and you are ready to take this relationship to a whole new level!

Using the Beginner Cardio Assessment

By setting Zones customized to your body, heart, and systems, you get a true view of your level of effort you are currently training or exercising in, which allows you to train better, without injury over longer times.

The Beginner Cardio Assessment is a very entry level test, mostly helpful for determining your lower Heart Rate Zones. It is not designed for people who are in great shape and are exercising on a regular basis (4 hours or more per week).

With a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) you can use it to develop Heart Rate Training Zones. With GPS and/or Foot pod in Running, it can be used to develop Pace Zones too.

It can be completed on just about any workout type, and to develop specific custom zones for any given workout type, it should be done using that type of exercise. Fitdigits offers users the ability to use different heart rate zones depending on their activity selection.

To calculate a more accurate VO2 Max, you should have a Resting Pulse entry in the Health section of the app (one not taken from a Blood Pressure reading). See this post on measuring your Resting Heart Rate. Otherwise, we will use an approximation of your Resting Heart Rate based on the measured value from the assessment.

How to Complete the Beginner Cardio Assessment:

  • You will need to be on a treadmill, spin bike, elliptical machine, or a flat surface you can run or ride on for more than 7.5 minutes. DON’T GO TOO FAST!
  • Bring your heart rate down to a low, resting rate by staying still for a moment and just relaxing.
  • Start the assessment on the App – Choose the Activity Type you are doing > Workout > Beginner Cardio Assessment
  • You will be coached through a series of effort levels, starting with resting and moving up through to approximately a 65-75% effort level over a 7.5 minute period
  • The Recovery portion will begin (recovery is an option we’ve added here as another data point to assess your overall change in fitness)
  • Be still and relax for the 2-minute recovery time
  • You will be shown your results on the final screen, as well as online and in your results listing

The Beginner Cardio Assessment helps determine Heart and Pace Zones, which can help your training and keep you injury free by keeping your training in the right zones at the right times. You can watch these zones change over time with changes in your fitness! In fact, this assessment should be used on a regular basis to show changes in your fitness levels and training zones.

How We Calculate Zones and VO2 Max:
Heart Rate Zones are determined using the measurements from the assessment, assuming that max effort reached 75% of the true maximum achievable (for saftey). For Heart Rate zones, the Karvonen method is applied to the readings (recorded Resting Heart Rate trumps the in-assessment measured Resting Heart Rate). For VO2 Max, we take your Resting Heart Rate and your calculated Max HR, and apply the Heart Rate Ratio Method. (Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004).

Many factors can influence results including temperature, elevation, sleep, emotional state, eating habits and more. The best analysis of the results are by comparing it with previous results. The test environment should remain as constant as possible.

Please don’t perform any fitness test without talking to your physician about it first.

Assessments can change the way you live your life, change the way you exercise because:

1. They help determine your Fitness Level.

Using physical tests developed over the years by a variety of individuals and institutions, these fitness tests have been shown to result in fairly accurate measures of fitness, and can be compared to others of similar age and gender. Not all assessments in Fitdigits apps have the ability to determine VO2 Max, but the majority do.
See the article “Why Should You Know (and Track) Your Fitness Level?” for more.

2. They help determine personal heart zones.
People are all different. Only 20% of people have a max heart rate that is close to the 220-Age = Max HR. For a large majority, setting zones of 50%-100% off that formula does not result in zones that are meaningful or correct. From previous discussions, we know how important understanding what HR zone you are in can be towards realizing your goals (is your goal endurance and fat burn, or speed and power, for example). Your HR zones will also change over time – the more fit you become, the higher your HR Max will be (relative to yourself, not others) for example. Not all assessments in Fitdigits apps have the ability to set HR zones, but the majority do when paired with a heart rate monitor.
See the article “Why Should You Know Your Personal Heart Rate Zones?” for more.

How Fit Are You? Take the 2 Minute Heart Rate Recovery Test

Heart rate recovery is a great way to assess your fitness level; the quicker your heart rate recovers, the more fit your heart and body is. It is one of those factors like Resting Heart Rate and Fitness Assessments that can tell you a lot about your body and fitness.

The original idea for the recovery had it’s roots in the Bruce Protocol, which basically takes a short but stressful treadmill test and was able to see a correlation between how fast the heart recovered and how fit or potentially unfit the subjects cardiovascular system.

We’ve found over the years that endurance or low effort activities have very different recovery rates. We enjoy measuring our recovery after a good hard workout, but for general informational purposes only. See below for a sample test and generalized results using the 2 minute recovery from Enhanced Medical Care.

Running the Heart Rate Recovery In-App Feature

When your workout is paused (while wearing a heart rate monitor), instead of tapping End Workout, tap Recovery.

Fitdigits will begin a 2:00 minute countdown.

Stop your activity and focus on breathing, relaxing and bringing your heart rate down. Take long (slow) deep breaths, breath through your nose and relax. Watch your recovery on the chart which will show how many beats your heart rate has slowed since the start of the recovery period.

Heart Rate Recovery

2 minute heart rate recovery

After 2 minutes, Fitdigits apps will display your recovery results including the percent of recovery by minutes. In the example, my heart rate recovered 15% or 20 beats per minute in the first minute, only halfway through recovery. By the end of the recovery, my heart rate was down to 105, a total drop of 28 BPM, or 21%. These results generally show a healthy recovery. According to the test published below, that puts me in the “Your biological age is about the same as your calendar age” category. I’ll take that, but try to improve as well.

 

Enhanced Medical Care Heart Rate Recovery Test

Enhanced Medical Care offers a good guide to a healthy recovery:

Age Target Zone 2-Zone 3
20-29 120-160
30-39 114-152
40-49  108-144
50-59  102-136
 60-69  96-128
 70-79  90-120
 80-89  84-112
90-99 78-104
100+ 72-96
Click here to see our rant on how off 220-Age can be for heart rate zones, and how to make them better with Fitness Assessments.

Do any exercise you want to until you hit Zone 2 through Zone 3 (60%-80%), that is your Target BPM before starting recovery. Then tap/swipe for pause, then tap Recovery.

Subtract your 2-minute heart rate from the heart rate you took immediately after exercising. The faster your heart rate recovers (or slows down ) the fitter and healthier your heart.

If the difference between the two numbers is:

< 22 BPM Your biological age is slightly older than your calendar age.
22-52 BPM Your biological age is about the same as your calendar age.
53-58 BPM Your biological age is slightly younger than your calendar age.
59-65 BPM Your biological age is moderately younger than your calendar age.
66+ BPM  Your biological age is a lot younger than your calendar age.

 

Heart Rate Recovery Improved My Fitness

User Testimonial, by Jeff A.

I purchased Fitdigits for the most unlikely of reasons. It wasn’t to track my fitness, but to have a discussion with my primary care physician. Even though I am an active cyclist there are some things that can really slow me down. I became especially concerned when climbing several flights of stairs caused my heart rate to zoom up to the point where I would have to stop and wait for it to come back down. Surely, I thought that there must be something wrong with me, but how would I show this to my doctor? Then I thought, what about a chart showing the minute-by-minute changes of my heart rate. This is when I first used Fitdigits.

Not much heart rate recovery. Dec 2011

By the way, my doctor’s reaction was: “Don’t worry. You’re fine.”

Since I had purchased this fancy heart monitor, I figured I might as well use it for its intended purpose. I began to track my heart rate during my weekly spin classes and I now have over a year’s worth of data available to review.

For the first year, the only number I really looked at was the number of total calories burned. I wondered, “how hard was I working?” I wanted to challenge myself to work a little harder during class.

Showing recovery improvement. Jan 2012

This year I have been paying more attention to my heart rate. Recently I started a set of cycling classes led by a certified triathlete coach. During the first session, she conducted a lactate threshold test to determine each rider’s limits (watts and heart rate) which she structured the entire class around. For the first time in my life, I now have reliable data about what my thresholds are and I am being challenged to excel past those limits in very well structured workouts. I never knew I could get my heart rate so high and still live.

Further improvement. Feb 2012

I have to admit, that when I signed up for these classes I did not know what to expect. I did not exactly know how the workouts would benefit me, but I knew that I had to work hard. Thanks to Fitdigits, I have my answer about the benefits.

Take a look at the four images I have attached. The earliest, from 12/14/2011 is pretty typical for my spin classes over the past year. My heart rate would go up and stay up for the entire class. Now, look at the other three pictures, which are more recent. You begin to see that for the first time my heart rate is beginning to recover during intervals (not just at the end). The amount of recovery has been improving weekly. This has been extremely encouraging.

Drastic improvement. NICE interval recovery!! Feb 2012

Thank you, Fitdigits. I now go into my training and spin classes determined to work even harder.

Oh, and about the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Each of those images is worth about a thousand calories.