Read Full Article here… lifehacker.com

Photo: Maridav (Shutterstock) Your heart beats faster when you’re working hard, so it’s a good way to tell if you’re exercising hard enough…right? Well, not exactly. Your heart rate is only a good gauge of effort in certain types of exercise. And it can even steer you wrong if the numbers are miscalibrated. Don’t rely on heart rate tracking for calorie burn If your fitness tracker tells you that you’ve burned a certain number of calories in a workout, it’s basing that number on your heart rate (plus a few personal details, like how big you are). It’s mostly true that the higher your heart rate when doing a cardio workout, like running, the more calories you’re burning during that workout. But your watch can’t tell when your heart rate is high for another reason (you’re nervous or overheating, for example) in addition to your effort level. This measure is also notoriously inaccurate for some activities. Running and cycling are pretty straightforward since you’re doing the same motion over and over, and since the way your legs move the pedals is probably not that different from whatever cyclist the app makers used to calibrate their formulas. But if you’re doing a barre workout, or Crossfit, or you’re enjoying a day on the ski slopes, how is the watch supposed to know exactly what you’re doing and how hard it is? Spoiler: It doesn’t. Adding to the muddle is the fact that our calorie burn during exercise doesn’t tell us […]