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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.