It is very important to consider that fitness is not just about the amount or quality of exercise that you engage in. As a matter of fact, it is also about the intensity level that you are getting – either just enough, not too low and not too high.
One useful tool that can be used to track your heart rate is a heart rate monitor. In a way, a heart rate monitor can serve as your pacer, informing you whether it is already time for you to slow down, or speed up in order to achieve the type of results that you want to have from your workout.
Different Types of Heart Rate Monitors
These involve the use of a sensor that is attached into the watchband of the wrist unit, or perhaps a case back. They can detect your pulse while you’re wearing them. These strapless models have been reported to be less accurate as compared to actual chest strap heart rate monitors.
They often do not pair up when it comes to distance and speed sensors, either. The advantage of using these strapless models, however, is that you can easily avoid the discomfort as well as instances of wireless interference which is commonly linked with the use of chest straps.
Chest Strap Models
These involve the use of a wireless sensor attached to a chest strap. It has the capability to electronically detect pulse, sending the data recorded to a receiver which usually comes in the form of a wristwatch style, displaying your heart rate.
These can time your workout while giving you average, continuous and low and high rate data. On the other hand, there are also other advanced models that can send a coded signal that can prevent other heart rate monitors from possibly interfering with the data.
They can also be used together with a foot pod which is attached to shoelaces in order to track your distance, speed and cadence. Others also have a GPS facility that can help in tracking distance, speed, elevation, find/mark locations and saving information on previous courses.
Features of Heart Rate Monitors
There are a lot of heart rate monitors that are currently available on the market these days. However, the best heart rate monitor usually comes with a standard set of features and several extras that can serve as an edge against competitors in the industry. Here are some of them:
Standard models can offer a maximum of three target zones, while models that are advanced may offer up to six target zones. With such a capacity of having multiple zones for targets, you can easily program your monitor for various workouts. On the other hand, if your heart rate monitor only offers a single target zone, you may have to reprogram it each time you need to change the parameters.
Stopwatch with split/lap times
After each completed lap or after each mile finished on a race course, you can easily click on the “Lap“ button in order to see how the pace has shifted all throughout the race or workout. This pacing is referred to as the “split”.
Mode for Recovery Heart Rate
This feature can track the actual time needed for your heart to recover and return to its resting, normal rate. It is a great indicator of your overall cardiovascular fitness and is particularly important if the workout includes interval training or sprints.
This feature can estimate the amount of calories that are burned while exercising. This can prove to be particularly handy if your exercise is a part of a complete weight loss program.
Distance and Speed Monitor
This feature works by calculating the distance and measuring the speed that is covered in a specific workout. This can be done through the use of a GPS receiver for outdoor use, as well as a foot pod if you are using it indoors. The foot pod utilizes an accelerometer in order to determine the actual length of every stride.
There are several other features that you can also look for when looking for the best heart rate monitor. Still, it is very important to look into your actual needs in order to determine the best model possible.