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How To Choose a Heart Rate Monitor

Heart rate monitor watches now come in a vast array of options with all kinds of features and facets, and with prices ranging from budget to costly. To get the best heart rate monitor you need to decide what features you need and do some research on the varieties available. Lets review all aspects you have to consider in order to choose your best heart rate monitor.

1. Your Workout Experience Level

How to choose the best heart monitor watch depends, among other things, on the level of your workout experience.

If you are at the beginner level of a sports activity then you may want to go with a standard watch, as you’ll probably only require a few features such as the timer, heart rate zone measure and an alarm. With this, you can sustain your heart rate at safe but challenging limits, and also to track the progress of your exercise program.

For intermediary and advanced level sports people, more sophisticated heart rate monitors are available with features that track and measure your workout over many different parameters. These include heart rate zone, speed control, screen scrolling abilities, data entry (for weight, age, gender, etc), alarms, calendars and many more. Some advance watches can track how many calories are burned during the exercise routine – a very popular feature. You can also adjust the settings depending on the intensity of the exercise you’re doing – for example jogging, yoga, walking, etc.

More sophisticated heart rate watches allow you to download data onto your PC and this way you can track your progress over a long period of time. Another feature of advanced monitor watches is that they enable you to plan future workout routines, very useful if you’re working towards a particular exercising goal.

For the techno-phobic and the ‘keep-it-simple-and-sweet’ individuals, a basic watch with just the standard features is most advisable.

2. Your Sport Activity Type

Another consideration when making your purchase decision is the type of sports activity you are engaged in. Some watches are specifically designed for certain kinds of sports such as swimming, jogging or cycling. Joggers may want to calculate breathing rates and oxygen consumption. Swimmers may prefer designs that are solidly waterproof.

Some watches have GPS features as well as distance and speed trackers – great for cyclists traveling over long routes. For weight loss training, get a heart rate monitor watch that tracks your calories and heart rate zone.

3. Ease of Use

Keep in mind, as well, how comfortable and easy to use the watch is. Can you change the settings in the middle of a work out, or is the data on the screen easy to read? Are the buttons easy to operate and does the watch have back-light features?

For watches that come with a chest strap, how comfortable is it to wear? Some sportswomen have found the chest wraps problematic during workouts and prefer just the wristwatch. Polar and some other companies are now making smaller models for women.

4. Design

Some of the best heart rate monitor watches have become fashion accessories. You can find styles and designs that range from elegant to chunky, in different colors and with specific models for men and women. Manufacturers have also come up with designs that can be worn as an everyday watch as opposed to just during exercise time.

5. Selecting a Brand

Selecting a brand from a reputable manufacturer is another key element when for how to choose the best heart rate watch. There are many firms in the sports watch market, but some names pop up quite regularly in the field of heart rate monitors.

Polar heart rate monitor watches are acknowledged as a top brand in this field. They’re the leaders in the manufacture of general heart monitors and their monitor watches are some of the best. They have a series of options with different features and prices range from about $50 to $300.

Timex heart rate monitor is another good brand to try out, with their watches combining quality and reasonable prices of under $100. They’re also known for the ‘INDIGLOA® night-light’ feature which is found in many watches.

Best Heart Rate Monitor – How Can You Find One?

Summary: Heart rate monitor is an electronic device that is used to monitor measure and record the heart rate of a person.

The best heart rate monitor would be equipped with useful features like GPS, stopwatch, timer, alarm, etc. The heart rate monitors are available in various forms, but mostly preferred as strapless wristwatches.

Have you ever considered the benefits offered by a heart rate monitor? If yes, then you would definitely like to invest in the best heart rate monitor. A heart rate monitor is an electronic device, which can monitor and measure your real time heartbeat, and even record your heartbeat for a study.

A heart rate monitor consists of a transmitter and a receiver. The working of a heart rate monitor depends on the electrical pulses sent out by the user’s heart muscles. The transmitter in the monitor traps or detects the pulses, and then transmits them to the receiver in the form of electromagnetic signals. The transmitter is generally in the form of a chest strap, and the receiver is a portable device like a wristwatch or mobile phone.

Modern heart rate monitors are generally designed as wristwatch models to enable efficient and easy usage. With the evolution in design, strapless heart rate monitor watches were developed in order to ease out the inconvenience caused due to the chest straps. The strapless heart rate monitors are equipped with sensors and microprocessors that determine and display the current heart rate. Advanced models have the facility to measure other fitness parameters such as breathability rate, heart activity, variability, dehydration, core temperature, speed, distance, etc.

Features of the Best Heart Rate Monitors

When you take a quick look at the heart rate monitors available in the market, you may find the features of all those monitors to be quite similar, and hard to distinguish. Some of the following features can help you categorize a heart rate monitor as the best in its class.

  • Convenience: A quality heart rate monitor offers you the convenience to use it, irrespective of the weather. The monitor should be water resistant in order to work efficiently even in humid conditions or during a strenuous gym regime. It should be equipped with a GPS, safe workout zone alert, timer, stopwatch and a heart rate recorder.
  • Clarity: The monitor should be able to project clear results even during a workout or an activity. Genuine manufacturers maintain clarity on the warranty offered on their heart rate monitors.
  • Configuration: The heart rate monitor should allow you to connect or configure it so that it can work in synchronization with a treadmill or your computer.

How to Select the Best Heart Rate Monitor

Reviews on the various heart rate monitors available in the market will help you in selecting the right heart rate monitor. These help you in identifying your needs and matching them with the best options available to you. In addition to helping you in determining the type of heart rate monitor you need, the heart rate monitor reviewsassist in comparing the convenience factor and usability of the top heart rate monitors available in the market.

When you are confident about the features, you desire to have in your heart rate monitor, you can easily compare the top heart rate monitors available in the market. The best heart rate monitor watch provides you all the necessary options needed to monitor your heartbeat along with various other helpful features to aid you. Some of the top heart rate monitor watches include Suunto T6D, Polar FT7, Polar FT60, Polar F6, Timex Ironman, Garmin Forerunner 60 and ePulse2 strapless heart rate monitors.

Top 3 GPS Heart Rate Monitors

When hitting your target heart rate zone is important, nothing can help you out like a heart rate monitor watch.  One of the advanced features in modern HRMs is the built in GPS functionality. It adds an extra dimension to your training and hiking activities.  These devices range greatly in price and features.  While typical GPS watches are on the higher end of the price spectrum, you can find a few that will fit your budget. A GPS is not a must have when it comes to training, but if you want a more complete watch or you have extra cash to spend, then the following are some of the top choices when it comes to performance and reliability.  Here’s a quick overview of my top 3 choice for heart rate monitor watches with GPS functionality.

1. Garmin Forerunner 910XT

This watch is due to hit the shelves just before the Thanksgiving holiday.  It is built for serious training with a triathlon or high-endurance exercise in mind.  This piece comes with GPS on board to easily determine your speed, distance traveled, heart rate, cadence, power, swim metrics and even your optimum altitude with on board altimeter.

2. Polar RCX5

This heart rate monitor was designed with runners, cyclists, and triathletes in mind.  It comes with on board GPS as well and keeps track of your speed, distance and traveled route.  With an sensor, you can also track your cadence.    This device is especially recommended for runners as it does an excellent job of tracking speed, distance, pace, and lap information.

One of the cool features here is the Zone Optimizer.  This allows you to see 5 different optimum heart rate targets at once so you can easily see if you are meeting your goals or missing your target completely.

3. Timex Ironman Run Trainer

This watch also has a GPS feature installed.  It also allows for up to 5 target heart rate zones to be loaded and monitored as well as calorie counter, coded chest strap, interval timers that can be custom set, a recovery heart rate timer, and data transfer to a Mac or PC with the optional Data Recorder device accessory. This is a great watch monitor for anyone training for an event or just trying to meet and beat their best times.

No matter what your goal is, a heart rate monitor watch will be an aid you will soon wonder how you lived without.  A GPS heart rate monitor is a great addition to your training arsenal. If you want to have a complete all in one package, GPS is a must have for the travelers and hikers.