Today I wanted to do a review on the three best heart rate monitors. I’m a die hard fan when it comes to heart rate monitors. Okay that sounded weird but hey..it’s true. I never workout without one on my wrist and I’ve tried a LOT of them.
As mentioned a second ago, heart rate monitors are a necessity to my gym experience. They act as my own personal trainer while working out. Heart rate monitors will display your heart rate at all times so you always know when you need to push it a little harder or even when you need to take it down a notch and slow down.
A secret to reaching your fitness goals is not necessarily the amount of time you spend working out, but how efficient you do it. A hart rate monitor (HRM) will help you find that “sweet spot” of heartbeats per minute to maximize your time in the gym!
Most heart rate monitors also track your calories burned based off your heart rate, age and weight in addition to telling you the time, workout duration and you maxium and average heart rate. If storing workouts within the watch is something that’s important to you, that’s also a function that most of them have.
Have you been in the market for a HRM but are overwhelmed by all the info and just want to know the scoop on what’s the best heart rate monitor? Well, you’re in luck because I’ve done the research for you. Hopefully this article will help you narrow your search!
Who wears heart rate monitors?
I remember the days of connecting heart rate monitors to that annoying chest strap our middle school gym teacher made us wear while we ran around the football field. I used to hate them because they were so “uncool”. Now….I don’t workout without one!
The strap is no longer an annoying, uncomfortable strap. The products have changed and now you’ll forget they are even on!
The watch portion of the heart rate monitor now comes in many different colors making them fashionable and sleek. The technology of the watch has improved tremendously as well over the years.
So to answer your question, anyone can wear them!
What exercises can I do while wearing a heart rate monitor?
The possibilities are endless. Go for a walk, jog, sprint session, biking, skiing and more. Most of the watches are water resistant, but not water proof meaning you shouldn’t go in deep water with them.
If you’re working out and want to maximize your workout, looking to lose weight, monitoring your heart for health reasons or even if you’re just interested in finding out how many calories you burn a day, you may want to invest in one of these watches.
Different types of heart rate monitors?
There are two different types of heart rate monitors: those with a chest strap and those with a finger sensor.
What should my heart rate be?
You can set your target heart rate on your watch and have it alert you anytime you step outside the “zone”.
Exercising in the correct heart rate zone helps improve your athletic performance.
Here is the simplest forumula for discovering your heart rate maximum:
HRmax = 220 – your age.
Here is a helpful guide to find out what your target heart rate zone should be during a workout based on your age and goals.
|Heart Rate Target Zone
|Avg. Maximum Heart Rate
A maximum heart rate at different aerobic zones provides specific results:
- Endurance (60%–70%): Considered ideal for endurance and weight-loss programs. Develops cardiovascular and muscular efficiency. The body learns to use stored fat as fuel.
- Aerobic (70%–80%): Ideal for overall cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and weight management. The body burns mostly fat and carbohydrates in this zone.
- Anaerobic (80%–90%): Used for interval workouts or consistent speed. At this zone, your breathing will be heavy and your muscles tired. Enhances lung capacity and increases lactate tolerance.
- VO2 Max (90%–100%): Helps enhance speed in athletes (who exercise at this level only for short periods as muscles quickly go into oxygen debt).
From my own experience, here are the 3 best heart rate monitors. (I’ve used each one of these extensively).
This is the staple to EVERY one of my workouts. I absolutely love the pink color of the watch as it adds a nice pop of color to my fit fashion. This watch does everything you need it to do without all the fancy bells and whistles. It will track your heart rate, calories burned, duration of workout and display your overall max & average heart rate. It can also store several workouts in it’s history in case you want to look back a few days to log your activity. It comes with a chest strap and is priced perfectly!
#2 – Polar FT60 –
The FT60 is a close second to the FT4. It’s a bit more advanced. If you like more of the bells and whistles, this one is for you. The difference between this one and the FT4 is that it shows your fat burn percentage and has a back-light to read in the dark. It is a unisex design so you can share it with your husband or boyfriend (if he’s lucky enough of course). It also comes in different colors.
Polar H7 –
If you have already have the F4 or F60, keep the watch and just buy this H7 sensor from even more benefits (just the strap comes with it). By wearing this sensor you’ll be able to connect your heart rate monitor to your iPhone or mobile device. You may wonder why you would want to do this? Well I’m a numbers geek and when it comes to all the information you can find out via the app, it’s pretty darn amazing. You can find charts and graphics to tell you everything you’d ever want to know!!!
As you probably noticed, I have had the best experience with my Polar HRM watches (although there are Garmin and Timex but to be honest, I didn’t have the best luck with them). I have found that Polar HRM watches are extremely durable, reasonably priced, the battery lasts and the data is consistent.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite heart rate monitor? If so, leave a comment below!