Fitness gadget reviews – Part 2 – Heart Rate Monitors Reviews

Heart rate monitorsHeart rate monitors are now becoming standard equipment for fitness enthusiasts to monitor their heart rate to attain the maximum results when working out. To get the most from your workout you should be aiming to get your heart rate in the target zone during training sessions. Training in between your target zone allows for maximum weight loss and increased fitness levels to occur.

Training can be an up hill battle at the best of times so training at you optimum level will allow you to get the most from your training, I also find using a heart rate monitor will allow you to measure your improvement each time and get you motivated and focussed in the process.

Knowing your target zone is vitally important while training, so before purchasing a heart rate monitor take the time to calculate your target zone using the simple steps below.

Simple formulae to calculate your target heart rate.

The age we will use in this example is 40.

  • Firstly subtract your age fro 220, this gives you 180 (maximum heart rate).
  • Then we will calculate the lower end of your target zone, multiply 180 by 0.7 equals 126.
  • To obtain the high end of you target zone multiply 180 by 0.85 this equals 153.

So if your aged 40, your target zone is between 126 and 153, (between 70% and 85% of maximum heart rate) this is the range that will give you optimum results for fitness gain and weight loss without putting undue stress on your body.

This is only a guide, the numbers can vary depending on fitness levels and body types, to get a more accurate reading a personal trainer or exercise specialist can give you an exact measurement. In most cases though using this formulae is accurate enough.

Some heart rate monitors such as the Polar ft40 will store your weight and age to automatically calculate the training zone for you and this particular model is full of great features and one that I highly recommend.

Now that we know our target zone how to we use it for maximum results?

When starting out it makes sense to train between 50 to 60% of your maximum heart rate but as your fitness improves you can increase that to 70 to 85%. Elite atheletes train to higher levels but most people that want to improve general fitness and lose weight don’t need to train any higher that 85% of their maximum heart rate.

I like to use interval training by getting into the target zone for periods of a minute or so and then slowing down to my minimum zone and stay there for another minute before getting into my target zone again. Doing this for 10 to 15 minutes is a very effective way of getting excellent results to lose weight and to improve fitness.

Please note: before starting an exercise program consult a phsician who may suggest a lower target zone due current health or other reasons.

Heart Rate Monitors Reviews:

The main purpose of a heart rate monitor is obviously to measure your heart rate, but nowadays most of the monitors contain a stack of features such as gps, calories burned, pedometer, computer connectivity, interval and countdown timers and much more. Generally speaking the more features a device has the more you will expect to pay. If you want a heart rate monitor that you can use during fitness activity I would suggest buying a monitor that has a chest strap which delivers data to a wrist allow to allow for constant monitoring and adjusting your workouts depending on the readings.

There are generally two types of HRM’s, the wireless chest strap version and the finger-tip sensor.

The wireless chest strap sends it’s data to a wrist watch device, they are generally very accurate, the data is instantaneously and continuously displayed on the wrist watch, phone applications and some gym equipment are also compatible to receive the data from the chest strap.

Some popular and well priced HRM’s are the polar ft7, comes with a wrist watch and chest strap with a feature that displays your target heart rate in a graphical display to allow you to keep constant track of your progress, stores 99 training sessions with many other features, an all round good heart rate monitor.

Another good choice is the Omron HR-100C model, this is reliable and also includes the chest strap with programmable zones to keep you updated at all times.

For a full list of chest strap heart rate monitors

The finger-tip sensor HDM’s have no strap and requires you to place two fingers on a wrist watch device to give you the reading, in some cases this may require you to stop or pause from your workout or run to take your reading.

For a full list of finger-tip heart rate monitor

If you have any comments that could help potential buyers in making a more informed purchase please leave your thoughts below. Good luck in your training.

Reference to calculate target zone:

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