Heartrate Monitor Users: You might be ignoring one HUGE component of exercise…

Howdy and happy Thursday friends! I hope you’re all having a good week. We’ve had some great weather this week here in Eastern PA (except for today – it’s rainy!)


Um, so I decided I’m actually going to start on July 5th ….I was persuaded to indulge in July 4th festivities! Regardless, I promise that I won’t change my start date this time!

I’m still working my way through the book and will probably start working on meal planning this coming week and the following week. Stay tuned for updates!



I want to talk about running in particular. I ran a 10k in November and literally have not gotten my distance past that point yet. I sort of feel like I’m starting over in a way, so I decided to set smaller goals for myself to avoid getting discouraged by failure.

Yesterday, I set a goal to run 3 miles non-stop at a 9:30 pace on the treadmill. Once I had gotten to the gym, I realized that I forgot my heart rate monitor! Slightly frustrated, I went through with my workout anyway. I not only met my goal, but I felt great!! This was odd for me because typically I get very bored on the treadmill. I think I just needed to prove to myself that I could in fact run that distance without stopping. I did an upper body circuit after and left the gym feeling refreshed.

I decided to go sans heart rate monitor again today! I did a leg workout with some supersets of deadlifts, squats, and some leg press, etc. along with some cardio. I attempted to do 30 minutes of 30 seconds on/30 seconds off at 7.5 mph/6.0 mph. It was kind of a bust – I ended up only doing 20 minutes and my 30s off ended up just being a straight up rest at some points – and I even threw in some tabatas at 9.0 mph. The point is – I did what my body felt like doing because that is what gives me a feeling of satisfaction.

These two days have been quite eye opening. I realized just how much I was checking my HR monitor during my workout and how it basically dictated how hard I was going to push myself in that next moment. I’m no athlete. I am, however, very grateful for the body I was given and that I have the ability to move it as I please

The Problem: Not listening to your body enough.

If you frequently use a HR monitor, it’s easy to forget how much it distracts you from focusing on how you feel as opposed to what your heart rate is. While HR monitors are great – particularly for those just learning how to exercise or with a large amount of weight to lose – it can become sort of a crutch when exercising. When it comes to running, however, you really just have to go with how you feel.

The Solution: Set daily fitness goals that are feeling-based.

These goals should not be calorie-based. They should be be feeling-based. That means to run until feel reach a sense of accomplishment, lift until your muscles are reasonably spent, and wake up the next day and do it all over again.

Exercise, while it can be science-y times, is usually an emotional experience for many. I don’t mean that folks are sobbing while on the treadmill or giggling everytime they do a bicep curl. We all know that exercise serves as a great de-stressor and offers people an opportunity to clear their minds.

I conclude with this: heart rate monitor users, every so often, allow yourself the opportunity to remind yourself why you fell in love with exercise in the first place, before you ever got a heart rate monitor. Allow yourself to focus on the physical and emotional feelings that accompany exercise. 

That’s all I’ve got for today folks! Some questions for you:

How did exercise change for you after you got a heart rate monitor?

If you choose to go a day without it, post your thoughts/reflections/feelings in the comments on this post – I’d love to hear what you all have to say!!!


2 responses to “Heartrate Monitor Users: You might be ignoring one HUGE component of exercise…

  1. Great post Elyse – I can easily be caught up in numbers by both fitness and food, but when I slow down and think of why I’m doing it, it really is about how I feel. Most people know the difference when they “have fuel in the tank” so it’s important to listen to that measure, and the fewer the number counting the louder your bodies singles are. Thanks!

    • Thanks Georgie! I’m glad I’m not alone in this. Our bodies are loaded with mechanisms that help us determine what to do next so it’s super important to give them the attention they need!

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