A big part of my journey success has been understanding my heart zone training. Heart Zone Training helps you understand your training intensity, are you not putting enough into your workout to get the best results, are you efficiently burning fat? If you know your maximum heart rate (MHR) and/or Anaerobic Threshold (AT) you can use heart zone training to gear your workout to the correct intensity.
For first time exercisers, have your physician perform a stress test to determine your max HR along with your target zones specific to your goal. This is especially important if you are just starting an exercise program or have not exercised for a prolonged period of time.

I took a metabolic exercise test at Life Time Fitness to get a more accurate number for both my resting and maximum heart rate.

-Try this if you want to get an estimate of your Anaerobic Threshold: Subtract your age from 180.
Subtract 10 if you have not been exercising. Subtract 0 if you have been exercising 2 to 3 times per week for the past year. Add 10 if you have been exercising 4 times per week for the past few years.-

Now take a look at this chart to get an idea where you are: LIFE TIME FITNESS® HEART RATE TRAINING maximize your workout

If you have reached a plateau, you should begin to alter the frequency, intensity and duration of your workouts. The body is smart and adapts to routine. If you follow the same program, and have done so for a while, you may have stopped seeing results. Variety is the key. Focus on different workouts, at different target zones, on different days while adjusting your workout time.

During exercise I wear a Polar watch to monitor my heart rate, very simple I can simply take a look at where my heart rate is, how many calories I have burned, how long I have been working out for etc. Some of the watches have additional features that will allow you to log your progress into a chart on your computer etc.

It seems like allot of work initially but once you know your zones it is well worth it!

Knowledge is so important for your succesful journey!

Stay active, stay healthy!