Soon to be "Dr." Melissa Marotta joins me to discuss the findings of a study she created:

Are There Psychological Effects of Heart Rate Monitor Use During Exercise?

Biofeedback, the process through which individuals learn to direct their physiological responses by being presented with precise, rapid measurements of heart rate, body temperature, and even neural and muscle firing patterns and being taught to link these changes with their thoughts, emotions and behavior, is consistently supported in the medical literature for the treatment of anxiety, depression, migraine, cognitive and attention disorders, sleep disorders, and other conditions. Through biofeedback, people are taught that they can control their physiological states via diaphragmatic breathing and other mechanisms, and learn how to do so through self-correction.

This is the same concept that coaches and trainers use to teach athletes to direct their heart rates during training.

It stands to reason, therefore, that use of a heart rate monitor during exercise may achieve similar results to the heart rate component of biofeedback.

The present study seeks to explore:

1 ) Are there psychological effects of heart rate training — both that relate to exercise, and that apply to non-exercise(specifically relating to self-concept, self-confidence, and coping mechanisms)?

2 ) Are there specific ways that coaches and trainers can incorporate cuing language to reflect the potential psychological benefits of heart rate training?

I feel this information will be be of value to anyone wanting to improve the percentage of Heart Rate monitor usage in their classes.

UPDATE 12/17 2013 - now Dr. Melissa Marotta Houser (she also got married) has expanded her research on this subject and has published the results of her study; Exercise Heart Rate Monitors for Anxiety Treatment in a Rural Primary Care Setting.


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