Recently our team at Iridia had a 90-day fitness challenge to promote healthy living within the organization.
I won’t get into all the details (see our previous blog), but one major part of the challenge was to increase our activity level though cardio interval training (physical training that involves bursts of high-intensity work interspersed with periods of low-intensity work).
To maximize your interval training, a measure of your heart rate is required. Your heart rate will give you an indication of your desired training zones.
Estimated heart rate zones for a 25 year old:
Now when I was told that I should purchase a heart rate monitor I thought “ok, sure, if it will help.” After a quick Google search it turns out they aren’t so cheap; I started thinking about alternatives.
Instant Heart Rate
I did a little more research and found a solution to my problem. A heart rate monitor that is not only free, but I already have it in my pocket – my phone. That’s right, there’s an app for that!
It’s called Instant Heart Rate. It is an accurate heart rate monitor for any smart phone.
You are probably asking yourself how it works. Here’s what the makers of the app have to say:“Place the tip of your index finger on phone’s camera and in a couple of seconds your Heart Rate will be shown. A real-time chart will show your every heartbeat. It uses your phones built-in camera to track color changes on the fingertip that are directly linked to your pulse. This is the same technique that medical pulse-oximeters use.”
It sounds “out there” but I have used it and it works. The only downside I have found is that you need to be quite still for it to work. If you’re in the middle of a workout you will need to take a little break to get a reading. All in all it’s a great alternative to a traditional heart rate monitor and a great addition to your fitness regiment.
Have you used Instant Heart Rate or other medical apps? If so, head over to our Facebook page and fill us in. We are always on the lookout for new tools and advances within the health industry.