I am passionate about fitness not just because it makes me feel and look better; I am passionate about fitness because I need fitness. I had open heart surgery in 1976 at Mayo Clinic. I still have a heart murmur which someday must be addressed. I am awaiting the new technologies that are just being launched this year. My sister in law was the 49th recipient at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, Illinois for a new heart procedure that repaired her aortic valve - a non-invasive procedure meaning no heart and lung machine (the method is similar to an angiogram). So now you know my personal heart story. As a certified personal trainer and aquatic exercise instructor, I have learned something very important about myself and fitness. The number fitness tool:
...is not a piece of equipment
...is not the movie star instructor
...is not a motivational DVD
...is not a new infomercial gadget
...is not an aquatic fitness tool
...is not a resistance band
...is not an exercise poster
What is this number one fitness tool - do you ask?
Remember the movie Wizard of Oz and in the end the Wizard came out to help Dorothy find her way back home? Remember the answer to her long journey was simply to "click three times". The answer was in herself. She could simply state "there's no place like home" and click three times. It was within her own magic that she was able to take her to a new place.
Number One Fitness Tool - Your Resting Heart Rate
The same is true for our fitness goals - the greatest tool is right within us. The number one fitness tool is your resting heart rate. It is simple to access and read, it is simple to track over time. You need no equipment other than a clock and finding your pulse. For those attending the health club, the club is filled with equipment with heart rate monitors, simply take note of your resting heart rate before you begin exertion. Write it on your calendar and track this number over time. I like to track it weekly - for others monthly is probably sufficient.
What Does the Resting Heart Rate Tell You?
It tells you how efficient your heart is. An efficient heart beats less, a heart that is struggling must beat more often to maintain our human body.
Elite athletes have very low heart rates. Don't believe me - read more below:
Resting Heart Rate Table
Heart Rate Chart
Resting Heart Rate = Number One Fitness Tool
How to Find Your Resting Heart Rate
While I love my heart rate monitors that I own and the heart clubs I attend all have a myriad of machines that will readily tell me my heart rate. You can find your resting heart rate right at home with nothing more than a watch or clock with a second hand. Simply follow this link and this premier site will guide you not just on your resting heart rate but also finding your maximum heart rate for your stated fitness goals: Heart-rate-training
"Resting heart rate (HRrest) is a person's heart rate when they are at rest: awake but lying down, and not having immediately exerted themselves. Typical healthy resting heart rate in adults is 60–80 bpm, with rates below 60 bpm referred to as bradycardia and rates above 100 bpm referred to as tachycardia. Note however that conditioned athletes often have resting heart rates below 60 bpm. Tour de France cyclist Lance Armstrong has a resting HR around 32 bpm, and it is not unusual for people doing regular exercise to get below 50 bpm. Other cyclists like Miguel Indurain and Alberto Contador have reported resting heart rates in the mid-20s." [ citation needed ] source: wikipedia.com
Resting Heart Rate - Step by Step Guide
RAS - Reticular Activating Systems
The reticular activating system (RAS) is an area of the brain (including the reticular formation and its connections) responsible for regulating arousal and sleep-wake transitions.
My Resting Heart Rate
I wanted to share with you my personal story. I have been tracking my resting heart rate over the five years I have been certified as a personal trainer. I find it fascinating for both me and to be able to share with my clients, my resting heart rate varies from the low of 64 to the high of 94. When I exercise simply 3 times a week, my heart is very happy, and it rewards me with an efficient heart rhythm of 64 beats per minute. When I slack off and I feel sluggish - my heart must also because it shoots up to 94 beats per minute.
Track your resting heart rate and feel free to share your story. Be sure to let us know if you feel better at the lower rate.
Health is More than Appearances
We concern ourselves with our weight - slender is good, obese can be dangerous. But our health is more than just what we eat. And I am not saying that proper nutrition and portion control is not important. I am saying we have a great fitness tool literally at our finger tips (sorry pun intended - bear with me!) and we are not using that tool.
"Life Will Pay Any Price You Ask of It"
Tony Robbins says to take your "shoulds into musts". Life will pay any price you ask of it. The bible says ask and you shall receive. Ask intelligently. You are getting what you are asking for. The more clear you are about what you want, the sooner you will get there. If you condition your brain, it will condition your brain to get there.
RPM and RAS From Tony Robbins
When you decide what is most important to you, your brain goes after it.
As Mr. Robbins details in this motivating video, every one Mr. Robbins knows who is successful, knows the result that they are after. They know precisely what they want. A part of your brain RAS (recticular ) RPM metaphor the way you get to where you want - you have to built power. You need to know exactly what you want. Clarity is power - you must know the exact have to know the specific result that you want. Emotional drive is built upon reasons.
Let your resting heart rate serve as your foundation for reasons. Track your resting heart rate and see if your motivation for fitness increase over time. Know your body. Know when you are exercising 3 times a week or more what your heart is capable of for efficiency; and know when you slack off how your heart changes.
Medical Advice - Physician is Number One
Having stated all of this, I must be clear, while I am huge promoter of tracking your resting heart rate, nothing - absolutely nothing - replaces sound medical advise. The information on the resting heart is simply an added tool to help in meeting your fitness tools. Always consult with your physician - let that professional be your number one guide.
New Fitness Goal - Beyond the Weight - Track Your Resting Heart Rate
Take Mr. Robbins advice and be very clear about your goals, have a clarity in what you wish to achieve. Use the fitness tool of your resting heart rate as a motivating factor in your fitness program and see if this helps. Let us know your personal results and what motivates you. Let us learn from you too!
Resting Heart Rate
Resting Heart Rate Chart
© 2010 Kelly A Burnett
Kelly A Burnett (author) from United States on January 30, 2015:
Yes, one article at a time to get the word out about health and fitness. The heart rate is the key. If we learn that the heart is the one piece that can make a difference, all the other pieces fall into place. The resting heart rate is known by top physicians to give the best indicator of health so it only makes sense to include this piece in our fitness routine.
Maisyn on January 24, 2015:
Ennnthgeliig the world, one helpful article at a time.
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on November 16, 2010:
Hard fast numbers motivate me too! Thank you for sharing - I love to hear when I motivate and am able to encourage.
Terry Chestnutt from Cleveland, Ohio on November 16, 2010:
What an excellent article! I like it partly because it is based on fact and truth, rather than wishful thinking. Knowing that we get what we expect is very motivating and encourageing to me. I am suddenly charged with a strong second wind. Thanks much.
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on October 25, 2010:
I greatly appreciate your enthusiasm! Like you, I am passionate about fitness and health. You will be a great personal trainer!
tonks21 from V-Town on October 25, 2010:
I love it! I am passionate about fitness and hope one day to become a personal trainer and really help people to lose weight and to live a healthy life! Hard work and patience is all that is needed!
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on September 14, 2010:
Thank you so much! I am not good at titles and with fitness it seems to be an issue of how to motivate people - your compliment means allot to me.
As a personal trainer, we detail the heart rate but for me personally I have found the resting heart rate my best indicator - I think we relate to hard evidence and the scale is scary but the heart rate is something we can aspire to and understand how it directly affects the efficiency of our body.
Love your moniker by the way - I am a huge fan of books. You are the marketing maven for promoting a great past time - reading.
readabook from Texas on September 13, 2010:
wow, i really didn't know that the resting heart rate was an indicator of fitness and I have been working out pretty much all my life. Very good title for your hub, caught my interest right away.
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on September 13, 2010:
You are ahead of the curve and were in the the very elite range - congratulations. Thank you for sharing!
You are terrific to have a favorite fitness tool - I wish everyone had the motivation and drive that you do and we would all be healthier. You have inspired me - a bike is on my radar. I know how my knees enjoy the low impact workout and I love the great outdoors. Keep pushing this great exercise. Thank you for stopping by.
Thank you so much! Always enjoy you stopping by.
H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on September 12, 2010:
You are great with great heart no matter with heart rate high or low so long adjusted with the normal function.
Micky Dee on September 12, 2010:
Yo Goldie! Great hub. My favorite tool is my bike and I just try to keep up. I watch the BP and let the rest go. I guess it all has to come into play- the "speed", strength, the activity and the individual. Great hub! Thank you!
Jai Warren from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas on September 11, 2010:
GmaGoldie, I haven't measured my resting heart rate in years, but remember when I was running 3-4 days a week (10 years ago), it was in the mid 40's. Your Hub reminded me that heart rate is a good barometer of overall fitness. Great Hub! Thanks, Ciao.