It’s on every smartwatch out there, but not many people know exactly what it does: heart rate tracking. Tracking your heart rate is vital for a myriad of reasons. It indicates how intense your body is working, especially during heavy cardio workouts. Monitoring your heart rate ensures you’re getting the most out of your workout and ensures you are aware if you’re pushing yourself too hard- or not hard enough.

When you’re not moving, you’re at a resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate depends on your level of fitness, and someone who is more fit will have a lower resting heart rate. Your heart rate will decrease the fitter you get, and the stronger your heart and lungs become.

If your goal is to lose weight and improve your cardiovascular health, you have to know your target heart rate zone. That way, you have a solid goal you are working towards. And that is why it is crucial to track your heart rate. The more you work out, the lower your heart rate will become, and the closer to your goal you get. That is where smartwatches come in handy- they help you reach your fitness goals without even realizing it.

And once you reach your target heart rate zone, it’s essential to stay there. Staying there ensures working out at an intense enough level that is challenging without being dangerous. Pushing yourself too hard, or beyond your target heart rate zone, could result in injury- which will only delay your fitness goals further.

Being aware of your heart rate and your target zone ensures you’re doing the proper workouts. You can plan out your workout schedule better (lighter cardio, more strength training one day, and heavy cardio the next), which will lead to more results from your workouts. There’s also the built-in motivation factor that comes with being aware of your target heart rate zone. Nothing motivates a person more than having a goal and knowing the steps that need to be taken to reach it.

So, if you’re contemplating if wearing a smartwatch during a workout is pointless, I’m here to say it’s quite the opposite. Not only is it beneficial, but it will also motivate you to work that much harder during your next workout. So next time you’re running out the door to your workout and realize you forgot to put on your smartwatch, turn around and grab it- you’ll thank me in the long run.