Cardio equipment – like a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike – comes with a lot of bells and whistles these days. You can choose your terrain and how long your course will last. You can base your settings on how much weight you’re trying to lose and how challenging you’d like your particular workout to be. You can even add warm-up and cool-down times.

People often base their workouts on this data that’s provided through the screens and consoles attached to their machine. They try to push themselves to go the extra mile or burn off a certain amount of calories. But there’s one piece of useful information that often gets overlooked, and that’s the heart rate monitor.

Most of the workout equipment at our Greenville gym shows you numbers portraying your approximate heart rate. It’s important that you understand what these numbers mean, and track your progress as you exercise. You might be feeling fine in terms of energy, endurance and muscle strength. But that isn’t a completely accurate summary of how well your body is coping with the strains of your fitness regimen. You could be getting close to your body’s breaking point and not even feel like anything’s wrong until you’re suddenly dangerously short of breath or extremely dizzy and tired. But this can be avoided if you track your heartbeat.

A normal heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute at rest, according to the Mayo Clinic. An athletic adult, or someone who’s in better shape with a healthier heart, will have a lower resting heart rate – and this can even be as low as 40 beats per minute. But when you’re working out, you want to see that your heart rate is 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate. You can quickly estimate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. But remember, your workout heart speed should not exceed about 2/3 of this number!

However, a doctor or fitness trainer can help you figure out a more exact number that takes into account your overall health, including factors such as gender, strength, diet and other lifestyle factors. Feel free to ask any expert at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club for more advice on tracking and targeting your ideal heart rate.

January always brings a big boom of newcomers to the gym. Whether you received a Greenville gym membership as a gift over the holidays or simply resolved on your own to lose weight or get in shape for the New Year, we just want to say…welcome!

This week, we though we’d provide you with a brief overview of the membership benefits when you join Pivotal Fitness’ Greenville health club. Here are five of our favorite perks:

1) Get started with a FREE 7-day trial. You can try out our workout equipment and attend some of our group fitness classes before you ever commit to one of our flexible membership plans.

2) Speaking of classes, we’re proud to offer a variety of old favorites and contemporary alternatives, ranging from yoga to spin class to martial arts. Don’t forget to check out Boot Camp—now there’s one powerful way to kick your healthy year off right!

3) Child care you can trust—for all ages. The nursery is a safe place for infants and toddlers. And KidZONE keeps your older children occupied and supervised with great activities while you work out or take a class. Your kids will love it!

4) More than just machines. We pair exercise equipment with personal training, group activities and even nutrition and weight loss guidance. Who says you can’t have it all?

5) Convenience. Aside from having a gym in your own home, we’re the next best thing. Actually, with knowledgeable staff and support from your gym friends, working out in public may be even better. Although we’re easy to access from most of Greenville, we also have locations in Columbia, Charleston and Summerville.

Of course, we can’t fit every perk into one blog post! Here are a few more:

  • 50,000-square-foot gym with more than 150 pieces of equipment
  • Ladies-only gym—right inside our own facilities!
  • Mind and body room (Pilates and Yoga)
  • Locker rooms with lounge area and sauna

But seeing is believing. Once you come by, you can see the space, meet the staff and check it out for yourself. We can’t wait to meet you!