Monitoring your heart rate is an important part of managing your health and is ultimately what makes the biggest difference in how effective your cardio workouts are.

Most doctors and trainers may recommend that you purchase a heart rate monitor so that you are acutely aware of what’s going on inside; however, if you’ve ever owned one, you’ll like agree that most are annoyingly bulky. Plus, it’s hard to always remember to tote another device with you when you’re off to the gym or heading on a trip. A new iPhone app, Cardiio, will help you keep track of your heart rate from your phone.

This incredibly innovative app is really easy to use. Unlike other heart rate monitoring apps on the market, you don’t even have to touch the camera to make it work. You just look directly at the front camera of your phone while it calculates your heart rate.

Based on cutting-edge scientific research, the app tracks tiny changes in the color of your face related to changes in the volume of blood.

Think that sounds crazy? Turns out it’s super accurate, measuring within 3 bpm of a traditional heart rate monitor.

Here’s a shot of my heart rate taken while I was writing this. Looks like I’m fairly calm right now at 68bpm. I guess it’s true what they say, writing is quite soothing ;)

The app also facilitates tracking changes in your heart rate over time, calculating daily and weekly averages and displaying them in easy-to-understand graphs.

You can also use these calculated averages to gain insight into your overall health. Cardiio will use your resting heart rate to estimate your fitness level and expected life span. You’re able to compare your averages to the general population or random animals (this part is kind of weird), so you can see how you stack up. I, for instance, am going to live to be 83, according to this app. Looks like we’ve got at least 57 more years of Brit + Co. for ya!

For only $4.99 and with the potential to make a huge difference in your progress towards your personal fitness goals, this app is definitely worth a go.

How do you track your heart rate? Will you incorporate this tool into your daily health routine? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.