By Jan Spalding, RPM editor
‘Tis the season . . . to motivate your fitness level. If you’re reading this, I am guessing you have surpassed couch-to-5K in Januarys past, and likely looking for the next great motivator in your fitness routine.
This year, am I am taking a clear-cut two-step approach to my own fitness bump: Step No. 1: I joined the M-W-F 5am FIT Endurance class at Beacon Health & Fitness in Granger. Early but awesome! As a pretty much runner-only for the past 21 years, I know I need this and have already started to feel more rounded. An additional bonus is the myzone wearable heart rate monitor we strap on at 4:59am.
This “wearable” heart rate system is worn on the chest and we see our levels on the big screen in the room during class. That’s fun to watch – though with instructor Kathleen Kavanough, class camaraderie, and the fact I am 56, I have no trouble getting to the desired level. For me, I expect the most valuable myzone motivation will be when I work out on my own, for example, step No. 2: training for the Carmel Half Marathon in April.
Lori Schrad, a 5am classmate, has been using myzone for a few months to set goals and track progress. “I have enjoyed tracking my heart rate information with a variety of workouts and I use it to vary my daily routine accordingly,” Lori said. On the big screen in class, it offers a new level of camaraderie (aka, motivation.). When working out on her own, however, Lori follows her real-time results on the app on her phone. “With any workout, I like the immediate feedback so I can monitor my results and drive to maximize efforts.”
The National Institute of Health tells us the gold standard of accurate exercise tracking is training in your target heart rate zone. The emphasis here is on “accurate” – there is fairly universal agreement that heart rate monitoring via chest strap has proven to be more accurate and reliable than wrist wearables in their ability to provide the wearer the most accurate, real-time feedback on their intensity levels. Myzone is said to be 99.5% accurate to an EKG machine during exercise. (Now of course, you can connect myzone data to read on your wrist fitness tracker via the app.)
What’s the at-a-glance? Heart rate monitoring, calories and time exercising that convert into Myzone Effort Points (MEPs) with a focus on rewarding effort rather than fitness. The myzone app provides the social and personal challenges, goals and motivation, gamification*, and commenting / sharing with fellow myzone wearers.
Whether January is calling you to up your walk, run, up your fitness class attendance and effort, add a HIT routine or any exercise, checkout the myzone belt at any of the three Beacon Health & Fitness locations.
Like to hear more on the science, here’s a YouTube explanation.
*Admittedly, I had to look up the word “gamification” (did you catch that I am 56?) Here you go for those not in the know:
the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.“gamification is exciting because it promises to make the hard stuff in life fun”