Heart rate monitor watches can help a variety of different people. We will take a look at what they are, how they monitor your heart rate, and also explain some of the features now available. This should help you understand just how far these devices have come since the early days.
Heart rate monitors you wear on your wrist
These monitors are an excellent addition to your regular workout sessions. The heart monitor function works on the same principle as a regular heart rate monitor minus the chest strap.
They can function as an everyday watch, and they will also have a stop-watch function which includes a calendar. This function allows you to keep track of the days you train.
So, when you purchase such a device it is doubling up as an everyday watch as well as a training aid, and it is for training purposes that the stop-watch function is extremely useful.
One basic option is setting it to time your running intervals. Let’s explain how that works, and then how you will benefit from this function if it is weight training you are into:
Stop-watch function and analysis
Start your stop-watch as you begin your running session. Warm up for 10 minutes, sprint for 30 seconds and then jog for one minute. During each of these periods you can check your stop-watch to understand where you are in the workout.
This stop-watch is also one of the features to look for in heart rate monitor watches if you are into lifting weights on your regular gym visits.
It can be an excellent aid in terms of ensuring you are specific with your rest intervals. Those who do a circuit workout benefit if their intention is to keep rest intervals short.
Simply start the stop-watch function after a set, and stop it at say 1 minute, then you will know exactly when it is time to do your next set, this process can continue throughout the circuit.
How do you monitor your heart rate?
This is extremely straight forward, so let’s explain how this monitoring is carried out before we look at which are the best heart rate monitor watches for your individual needs.
The wrist monitor has a top and bottom sensor which is above and below its digital screen. When you want to find out what your heart rate is you simply place your index finger on the lower senor and your middle finger on the top one. You then hold it steady. Very shortly after this your heart rate will appear on the screen.
When to check
Those who are carrying out high intensity weight training should check their heart rate during rest periods. For those who wish to keep a check on their heart rate while running or performing exhausting cardio exercises it is not easy to check while you are moving. To overcome this, simply stop at intervals for around half a minute and check your rate then.
Heart rate monitor watches with advanced features
Advanced features of these watches are becoming available on a very regular basis. One that you may find useful is when you are looking to lose weight.
Watches that offer this function work by you inputting personal information such as how old you are, what weight you are and whether you are male or female. The monitor will then use this information to estimate how many calories you are burning during your workout.
It is important to understand that the result will be dependent upon the intensity of your workout not the activity you are carrying out.
Taking things a step further
If you are really into your long distance or cross-country running you should take a look at the best Garmin heart rate monitor GPS watches. There is an excellent selection which will give you features that include GPS tracking for distance as well as pacing.
By being able to measure your pacing this helps you achieve your distance at the correct speed. The watches will also target heart rate zones, and several of the models allow you to synchronise the data you have gathered during your run for upload to an electronic device such as your computer.
You can then review statistics at your leisure, understand how you are performing and put in place plans to improve things.
While analyzing your performance is all well and good you also have the opportunity to connect to online training communities such as Garmin Connect or Polar Personal Trainer. Such communities offer invaluable advice, tips and training methods to ensure you get the most from your training and competitive schedules.
Staying with Garmin
While we are on the range of Garmin products in this range you would be well advised to take a look at their Polar ft80 heart rate monitor black white display model. The functions it offers are excellent and the accessories really do offer you a personal trainer out of a box.
The Polar ft80 is designed for those fitness enthusiasts who are looking to improve strength and cardio. It will guide your strength training with heart rate based recovery periods between your sets of exercise.
It does not stop there. It will create a training program based on your personal goals and sets new weekly targets for you to train towards.
It comes with the company’s registered Polar Flow Link which makes for really easy data transfer to your online training diary. This diary is sitting waiting for you at the polar personal training website. Such a facility means you can get maximum benefits from your workout sessions time after time.
Keep a check on that heart rate and do so much more
If you haven’t checked out the technology behind these devices in a while you will really benefit from doing so. There are some fantastic functions now available, and they are all targeted at ensuring you can exercise in the most beneficial way.
Heart rate monitor watches have come a long way since the early days and now is the time to take advantage of these advances.