What is a heart-rate monitor?

Monitoring your heart rate is easy: You’ve got one if you’re living. A heart rate monitor allows you to effectively train at your target heart rate for optimal results during competition. But, first, you’ve got to understand how monitors work. Most look like wristwatches and combine timekeeping functions with heart monitoring. For constant heart rate readout, purchase one with a chest strap transmitter that sends heart data to the wrist unit. Devices without a chest strap provide heart rate data but only when touching the monitor with your hand. If you decide to buy one, you can find a few examples of what’s available, plus some characteristics.

One of the leading manufacturers is Polar (www.polar.fi), which offers, amongst many others, these products:

Polar FS1

The heart rate monitor target zone has an audible high/low heart rate monitor alarm. It displays heart rate and exercise duration during exercise. Has the option to recall total exercise duration and average heart rate after a workout. Its clock has a selectable 12/24-hour display. It includes a T31 chest heart rate monitor transmitter and elastic strap. It is available in dark blue or yellow colors. This is just the thing for beginners and basic exercises.

Polar AXN 700

These heart rate monitors offer a complete set of features for hiking, climbing, mountaineering, skiing, or other outdoor activities. It has a titanium case and the following features: a resting heart rate test, a slope counter, three sets of heart rate limits, and a bearing set. Amongst the usual specs of a heart rate monitor, you can also find:

HeartTouch™, button-free operation of wrist unit – lap information can be momentarily displayed by touching the Polar wrist unit to the chest transmitter belt.

Polar OwnCode® prevents cross-talk from other heart rate monitors. As more and more people use heart rate monitors today, preventing cross-talk from other devices in-group situations at the gym or when jogging with a friend becomes essential. The unique coded technology blocks unwanted signals from other heart rate monitors, ensuring the disturbance-free transmission of your heart rate data.

Another manufacturer is Reebok (www.reebok.com), where I found a few designs of heart rate monitors, presented below:

Reebok Personal Trainer Heart Monitor measures your heart rate to ECG accuracy. In addition, it displays the time of day and calendar and has a daily alarm function. Scan Sequence – Press a button; the unit will show average heart rate, highest & lowest heart rate, and total exercise time. Contour Lite Transmitter included.

Reebok Precision Trainer Monitor

It has a heart rate zone high/low limit in 1 beat steps for the same heart zone and a zone alarm audible warning when out of the area. In addition, it displays heart rate and percentage of maximum heart rate. You don’t have to calculate the percentages since it does that for you—for example, 99 Hour stopwatch with 50 lap memory plus an accumulated time in the target zone. The triple display is its main feature, which makes it unique; it can be swapped through: Time of Day, Heart rate and percentage of maximum heart rate, Stop Watch, Heart rate and percentage of maximum heart rate, or Time in Zone, Heart rate and percentage of maximum heart rate.

The best advice is to do your research and consult with your physician.

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