People nowadays are taking huge steps in improving their health. Lifestyle changes such as healthier food choices and regular exercise are part of maintaining good health. With an increased awareness on fitness and health people are searching for ways to support their healthy lifestyle by using health related devices such as a heart rate monitor.
The heart is a muscular organ responsible in delivering oxygen rich blood all throughout the human body. Through physical activities heart rate or the movement of the heart is increased which can efficiently pump more healthy blood to major blood vessels all the way to the lower extremities. Regular exercise helps in keeping the heart healthy and quality heart rate monitors support the quest for stronger heart and healthy lifestyle.
What is a heart rate monitor?
A heart rate monitor is a small electronic device that monitors and measures an individual’s heart rate. Measurement results are presented in real time informing the user of his exercise goal or progress. It is often used as a measuring device for heart rate when doing any physical activity such as exercise. It could also keep a record of heart rate measurements for future reference. Athletes and fitness buff often use heart rate monitors to gauge their progress according to their exercise goal.
How does a heart rate monitor work?
Consisting of two parts, a heart rate monitor features a small transmitter and a receiver. This small transmitter is securely fastened into a belt which is worn around the chest. Just like a watch, the receiver is placed on the wrist.
It needs an electrical signal in order for the heart muscle to contract resulting to a heartbeat. A beating heart can be felt through the skin and this is where the transmitter should be placed. With each beating of the heart, the transmitter will send an electromagnetic signal to the receiver where the heart rate data is being displayed.
Do you really need to track your heart rate when you work out?
For someone who is into serious physical fitness a heart rate monitor is a necessary gadget. One significant importance of a heart rate monitor is its ability to provide immediate output or feedback on how a certain exercise regimen affects the user. If you have a specific exercise regimen that you follow regularly then you will need the best heart rate monitor to track down your progress. Heart rate monitors offer instant feedback on how you are able to work hard on your fitness routine. Providing you clear information that you will need in order to assess and improve your progress towards exercising.
What are the benefits of using a heart rate monitor?
There are several reasons that a heart rate monitor is a necessary fitness device since it offers some benefits. With many people now into fitness training, the chances that they will maximize good results from doing physical activities would be disappointing since they are not able to effectively workout on the right heart rate zone.
Heart rate for maximum fat burning and effective workout varies form one person to another. There are variables that should be considered in order to identify which correct heart rate level should be targeted with every physical activity.
Understanding how important heart rate measurement in connection to doing exercises is the key to improved one’s fitness level and maximized good results. So what are the benefits of using heart rate monitors?
- Heart rate monitors will allow users to achieve an efficient heart rate level relevant to an effective exercise workout.
- Using a heart rate monitor will help exercisers to gauge if they are over exercising or will need to level-up. This will allow them to adjust the level of intensity and the types of exercises that they should be doing.
- Having a heart rate monitor is a good way to improve fitness level and can motivate a person to strive better.
How to Use a Heart Rate Monitor to Improve Fitness
A heart rate monitor is very important to people who are serious with their exercise regimen. It has two parts consisting of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter is placed on the chest area where the beating heart is felt while the receiver is placed on the wrist which will display the heart rate data. Other more modern devices such as heart trackers have technologically advanced sensors that can work even without the chest strap for convenience. The trick is to find out the best fitness heart trackers around for accuracy and reliability.
In order to properly use a heart rate monitor or a fitness heart tracker you must understand your own target heart rate zones.
Calculating your heart rate zone: understanding the heart rate formula
The reason why most people are exercising is to maintain a healthy weight and to be physically fit. If you are wondering why you are not benefiting from your regular exercise regimen and even after a long time of doing regular workouts then you must consider targeting your recommended heart rate zone.
The standard and conservative formula to calculate one’s heart rate zone is to deduct your age from 220- this is the maximum heart rate or MHR. This heart rate formula is the highest limit that your heart and body system can handle during any physical activity.
The general recommendation is to exercise within the 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. This is best for moderate intensity workout that you have to do for at least 20 to 30 minutes while maintaining the recommended heart rate. This will ensure that you’ll greap maximum results from your physical activity according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). For low intensity exercises you can workout at the 50 to 65% MHR and for high intensity workout at 70 to 80% MHR.
Using a heart rate monitor is very useful to determine if you are able to workout at your desired level and at the recommended heart rate zone appropriate for you. Without a heart rate monitor this is impossible.
Do wristband heart trackers actually work?
With the elevated consciousness about health and fitness several leading tech manufacturers joined the bandwagon and offered best heart rate trackers in the market today. These newly designed fitness trackers have no chest straps unlike the previous types of heart rate monitors but instead can be worn as watch on the wrist.
With the absence of a transmitter attached by a belt on the chest- are wristband heart trackers effective enough to work? No and yes.
There are many different brands of fitness heart trackers that are of inferior quality and still use older technology. Most of these popular fitness trackers only record steps, distance and calories burned. But on the contrary best heart trackers feature advanced technology thus making them accurate and effective.
Top brands heart rate trackers provide data of your physical activity including heart rate measurements. A heart tracker device utilizes light that will measure pulse. By shining a light into the blood vessels located at the wrist area, it will detect the changes in the amount of blood being circulated through the body with each heartbeat. With reliable sensors, a heart tracker can measure the amount of reflected light coming from the blood vessels and with low light reflection would indicate higher blood volume.
Heart Rate Monitor Watches: What to Look For
- Look for heart rate monitor watches that feature reliable sensors. These fitness monitors should be able to provide accurate measurements and heart rate readings even on high intensity levels workout. Some cheap heart rate wristwatch devices cannot deliver accuracy in terms of heart rate measurements since these monitors are not equipped with the latest sensor technology.
- There are several heart rate monitors that can provide important data of physical activities or workout. These should be capable of displaying distance, number of steps, calories burn, heart rate and even sleep or active minutes.
- A good heart rate monitor watch should feature progress monitoring. Aside from the usual information associated with every workout, it should also be able to inform a user if the set goal is completed. It will alert an individual if he’ll need more minutes to achieve his target goal for that particular workout. Some will alert users about this through vibration or light display.
- Fitness heart trackers feature connectivity and can synch info on smartphones or computer. This will allow users to seek out information about progress and accomplishments through various downloadable fitness apps online.
- There are a variety of heart rate monitors that come in various shapes and sizes. One consideration to look for in searching for the best heart rate tracker is comfort. The heart rate tracker wristwatch must fit comfortably on your wrist without any restrain or inconvenience. Material for the wristwatch heart rate monitor should not cause any skin irritations since this fitness device is worn during physical workout.
- Certain heart rate fitness trackers advertised to have the longest battery life but it is best to do some research to find out about it through heart rate monitor reviews. Some heart rate trackers have 5-day battery life while other types go beyond that.
- Stylish heart rate monitor wristwatches have stylish designs. If you are fashion conscious and would want a minimalist style then go for slim type fitness monitor watches. Lightweight models with colorful straps can sometimes come with interchangeable straps to fit one’s personal preference when it comes to style.
- The latest models of top heart rate wristwatch monitors have extraordinary recording features. Models with main screen can provide details and progress recording necessary details on your fitness goals.
- Able to provide stored information on demand. Some heart tracker watches have minute by minute as well as daily reports that can provide accurate analysis of your fitness level.
- Advanced features such as running stats, calories burned and food intake are available on high-end fitness tracker watches.
- Auto-synching of data is an added bonus. Some heart rate trackers are compatible with smartphones and through downloaded mobile apps. You will be able to access the stored data that you needed.
After Sales/Customer Service (Help and Support)
- Most fitness tracker wristbands have one-year warranty. Always ask about product warranty to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.
- Company website must be able to provide online as well as email and phone customer support. It is best to find a company that is available to answer in case you’ll need related information.
Best Heart Rate Monitors
Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor
Choosing a good heart rate monitor is as equally important as choosing the right gear or equipment in doing your exercise. A heart rate monitor (HRM) is a useful tool which acts as a pacer, telling you when you should speed up or slow down for you to achieve the results you want to get from your workout routine.
Heart rate monitors are essential fitness devices that can help in achieving one’s fitness goal. These heart rate activity trackers usually feature readings and measurements in terms of calories burned, heart rate, steps and other important data related to working out. Quality heart rate monitors will keep users motivated in sticking to their workout regimen.
Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor Features
Exercise watches like the Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor determines how many calories you burn during a workout, so you will be aware of the connection between your heart rate and how fast you burn fat. Many athletes can recover faster and attain their fitness goals quicker by training in the right heart rate zones.
- Energy Pointer feature that shows current fat burning status and fitness development
- Target Zone– helps you track you heart rate zones, gives you total control of the intensity of your workout.
- Training Load reveals how your physical training affects your body in general.
- Data Transfer that is compatible with both MAC and PC.
- Sport Watch appearance– sleek looking, also include features such as a clock, alarm and timer.
- Smart Calories– gives you an estimate of the number of calories you burned during the exercise
- Steps and Distance– estimates the speed and measures the distance you have covered in a specific routine
- 24/7 Activity Tracking– monitors your activity 24/7 and you get practical tips to help you attain your fitness goals
- Fabric heart rate transmitter that provides comfort
- Waterproof Design– for superior gear protection even while swimming
- Button-free convenient operation while exercising through the HeartTouch system
Easy to use:
The Polar FT7 is an easy to use heart rate monitor that can be worn comfortably even on intense training or while sleeping. The chest strap is made with soft fabric that would not irritate even delicate skin. High quality materials are used for the wristband. With on-screen display user can easily view data. Checking daily and weekly data is easy as 1-2-3.
Polar FT7 heart rate monitor are manufactured under strict quality standards through a company based in US. It offers a Limited Polar International Guarantee which gives each Polar heart rate monitor a 2-year warranty provided the item is bought in the US and Canada. Email and online support are also available with video tutorials.
Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor
One of the best heart rate monitors in the market today is the Polar FT4 which is very ideal for fitness and cross training. This heart rate wristwatch type monitor offers convenience in a stylish watch design. Sleek and simple design which is very easy to use this Polar FT4 wristwatch heart rate monitor is capable of counting calorie burned with basic heart rate measurement features.
Polar FT4 Features
- Manual Target Zone allows users to provide input on suitable target heart zone for a specific physical training. Setting options for heart zones are BPM (beats per minute) or HRR% (heart rate reserve) of the maximum heart rate based on each individual.
- Polar OnCal Smart Calories is a feature exclusive to Polar heart rate monitors. This feature offers accurate heart rate readings. Accurate calculations are based on weight, age, height, gender and intensity level of workout of an individual.
- Heart Rate based target zones can help in defining an individual’s target heart rate zones. It comes with an audible alarm and visual display. Preset heart rate target zones will keep users on track and with the alarm and visual feature it will tell if an individual is out of his zone through the training computer.
- Automatic Age based Target Zone features the beats per minute heart rate measurement system. This will ensure safe and effective training which will limit the intensity of workout within the target zone.
- Graphical Target Zone Indicator is a plus feature that provides graphic representations of the zone an individual is currently in during his workout session.
- Totals is a recording feature of FT4 heart rate monitor that is perfect for long term training. This will keep users focused on their goal while providing pertinent training data.
- Polar FT4 fitness watches feature alarm, time of the day, battery power indicator, backlight and date/weekday.
- Made from durable materials with quality textile transmitter that is comfortable.
- Water resistant up to 30 meters and can be worn while swimming.
Easy to use:
When it comes to user-friendly features the Polar FT4 heart monitor is one of the best. It has an easy to use settings that can be conveniently access with straightforward buttons on each sides of the heart tracker watch. Comfy chest strap snugs easily on the chest area. Pressing the button top right button will provide data of your training up to 10 sets. Display is easy to read and understand making workouts with Polar FT4 simple and enjoyable.
Polar is a reputable company that offers gadgets for health and fitness. The Polar FT4 heart monitor wristwatch comes with a 2-year warranty provided that the item was bought in the US or Canada. Video tutorials are easily accessible online for reviewing. Email and online support are readily available.
Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Sensor
The Polar H7 Smart Heart Rate Sensor is a Bluetooth enabled heart rate monitor strap accessory that provides accurate heart rate reading during training. This technologically advanced heart rate monitor sensor add-on is valuable in tracking an individual’s exercise progress via connectivity sending data to compatible devices.
With quality heart rate monitor accessories such as the Polar H7 fitness watch, conscious individuals can take their training into the next level which can enhance performance and comprehension of their regular fitness training regimen.
Polar H7 Smart Heart Rate Monitor Features
- Great compatibility with popular devices such as iPhone 5 and newer models. Great to sue also with android smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 through Android 4.3 (and newer) iOS systems.
- Can be used with selected compatible high tech gym equipment.
- Provides ‘live’ and accurate heart rate data during physical training.
- Compatible to use with other Polar heart rate monitors.
- Features Bluetooth technology for accurate transmission of data.
- Comes with a quality designed chest strap that easily conforms to body shape for easy and comfortable workout sessions.
- Can transfer accurate and reliable heart rate data transfer even during swimming activity with devices that support 5 kHz transmission.
- Chest strap is made from quality fabric material that is comfortable and hand washable.
- Available in funky and classic colors.
- Long range transmission up to 32.8 feet.
- Features a Slim and lightweight design.
Easy to use
Like other Polar heart rate monitor products the Polar H7 heart rate monitor accessory is very user-friendly. With easy to use directions, users are able to quickly make adjustments. The comfy strap conforms to user’s body shape for maximum convenience while in use.
Heart rate monitors and accessories from Polar all come with a 2-year warranty except on batteries when purchased in Canada or US. Customer service and email support are also available.
Fitbit Surge, Tangerine, Large
The Fitbit brand of heart and fitness monitors always come first into mind when searching for best heart rate wristwatch monitors. Known for its quality features the Fitbit Surge is currently the best in this class.
When it comes to accuracy and technology, the Fitbit Surge wristwatch heart rate monitor comes at the forefront of fitness trackers. This Fitbit Surge fitness comes with GPS tracking and can accurately provide real time fitness data.
Fitbit Surge Features
- The Fitbit Surge features a reliable GPS tracking system. This will allow users to review their route, pacing, distance and split times. Through this feature user can also view climbing elevations.
- With the Pure Pulse Heart Rate feature this Fitbit Surge heart monitor will provide not stop data transmission through a simple heart rate zone from the transmitter attached on the wrist.
- Multi-Sport and SmartTrack system is a unique feature of Surge heart rate monitor that can keep track of several types of physical activities such as running and other workouts.
- The All-Day Activity is a great feature that monitors steps, floors climbed, distance, calories burned and even active minutes.
- Fitbit Surge has reliable long-life battery that can work for up to 7 days and GPS battery lasts for over 10 hours.
- Comes with a smartwatch features which are perfect to go from work to workout.
- Fitbit Surge is capable of monitoring sleep. It could tell how long the sleep was and the quality of sleep. A gentle alarm can be set for morning calls.
- Wireless synching allows users to automatically and remotely synch data with up to 150 compatible smartphone devices and computer.
- Fitbit Surge fitness monitor wristwatch is splash-proof and water resistance up to 5 ATM which can withstand sweat and rain.
- Comes in a slim and lightweight design that fits perfectly is excellent to wear at the office and on the track.
- Convenient and very easy to use since the Fitbit Surge has no straps and no clips.
Easy to use
The Surge heart rate monitor is the most advanced Fitbit fitness watch ever produced. With a reliable touch screen and seamless app, the Fitbit Surge is very easy to use. With a simple press of a button a user can easily access various features while the touchscreen displays data in real time.
The Fitbit fitness trackers have a 45-day return policy and if a customer is not fully satisfied with his/her Fitbit Surge purchase for any reason he/she can return the unit under certain conditions. A 2-year warranty guarantees workmanship against factory defect for products bought in European Economic Area (EEA) and for the rest a one year warranty is given.
Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band – Slate
When it comes to serious fitness workouts a reliable and quality fitness tracker wristwatches would provide data essential for effective fitness regimen. The best activity tracker watches like Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band monitors training activities easily with accuracy. This fitness band constantly monitors vitals, quality of sleep and step count which can be instrumental in achieving health goals.
Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band Features
- Featuring a unique feature called Personal Daily Goals this smart feature of vivofit offers personalized recommendation of suggested daily goal. Daily goals are created through an evaluation of previous activities. In this way, a user will be presented with a goal of the day based on performance level. Garmin Vivofit is the only activity tracker that has this smart feature.
- Capable of delivering information such as progress non-stop 24 hours a day without having to worry about battery life.
- Sleep Mode helps a person track his own sleep activity providing information such as total number of sleep, movements during sleep and quality of sleep.
- Water resistant can be worn while taking a shower or under the rain.
- Intelligent activity notification feature that tells user to move after an hour of sedentary activity. This will help in keeping an active body all throughout the day without having to worry when to get up and do some short walks. Exercising during breaks can help the body maintain the level of fat burning enzymes that remain active when an individual moves constantly.
- The Vivofit activity tracker has a reliable wireless connectivity using the Garmin Connect mobile app. Provides comprehensive progress report in just a touch of a button, this Garmin fitness tracker allows user to access Garmin online community and is compatible with other mobile devices for seamless synching.
Easy to use
The Garmin Vivofit activity tracker has an amazing interface that is user-friendly. Buttons are well situated providing easy access to all features with just a touch of a button.
A 30-day money back guarantee is offered to customers. Garmin will provide full refund if a customer is not happy with the purchase. A one-year warranty is provided against factory defect. Online support is also available.
Garmin Forerunner 910XT GPS-Enabled Sport Watch with Heart Rate Monitor
Getting back into shape and maintaining a healthy weight entails devotion and motivation. Having the best heart rate monitor tracker such as the Garmin Forerunner 910XT can help in keeping motivation on its highest level while delivering vital information necessary to help users understand their current physical standings as well guide them throughout their fitness goals. The Garmin Forerunner 910 XT is the ultimate in activity heart rate monitor tracker wristwatch that can be worn across almost all forms of exercises.
Garmin Fore Runner 910XT GPS Features
- The Garmin Forerunner is the only all-in-one activity tracker that comes with a GPS. Capable of providing detailed information of the path a user traveled. Information is readily available via Garmin Connect mobile app.
- Reliable multi-activity heart rate monitor wristwatch that can be worn on various training exercises.
- This is the very first sports tracker watch that offers detailed swim metrics. Water resistant to up to 50 meters, the Garmin Forerunner fitness monitor watch is capable to work even during hardcore swim exercises on both manmade pool and even on open water. Swimmers will benefit with the information that this device can provide from swim distance to swimming stroke counts, the Garmin fore runner watch is great for swimmers and water sports enthusiasts.
- Perfect fitness tracker wristwatch for serious athletes. Garmin Forerunner is technically advanced with the latest design features suitable for triathletes. Comes with a reliable barometric altimeter that can accurately measure elevation, ascents and descents.
- Auto Multi-Sport feature is perfect for sports transition. With the Garmin Forerunner one can swim for several laps and then ride a bike right after the swim. Fitted with an optional release mount for bikes.
- Long lasting battery power that can work up to 20 hours.
- With easy to read display that comes in a streamline design.
Easy to use
The Garmin Forerunner all in one heart rate monitor tracker is very easy to use. With just one touch of a button a user can quickly select program functions for the next type of activity. Display is clear and very easy to read.
Garmin offers a limited one year warranty against factory defects. It comes with a 30-day trial period where a customer could avail of a refund through a money back guarantee. Online support is also available.