Heart rate monitors are used to sense and display your heart rate during different physical activities. Most people who use this are cyclists, walkers, and runners. They use it to adjust the intensity of their exercise. It is either they will slow down or speed up to achieve their preferred heart rate zone.
Two people going at the same intensity can have different heart rates. If you do your chosen physical activity often, it is possible that you perform at a higher intensity but you stay at the same heart rate.
What are the different types of heart rate monitors?
In this article, you will be introduced to three types of heart rate monitors.
- Pulse Monitors
This kind of monitor works by placing your fingers – either one or two – to the sensor buttons to detect your pulse. However, a pulse monitor cannot provide you with constant reading. In fact, they are more difficult to use compared to other heart rate monitors. If you always have cold fingers, it can display wild readings or no readings at all.
- Continuous Heart Rate Monitors Without a Strap
Continuous heart rate monitors are worn as an armband or a wristwatch. It reads your pulse through your skin with the optical sensors located at the back of the device. With this monitor, you can receive real-time heart rate readings.
However, just like pulse monitors, this device also has its limitations. If you use a monitor with infrared, your muscles might interfere with the readings. While if you use a device that uses green light as the Apple Watch, you might get zero readings if you have dark skin or tattoos.
If you prefer this monitor, you should look for one that uses yellow light to avoid the problems stated above.
- Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitors
This device is the most accurate heart rate monitor in the market. It comes with a chest strap that can be placed around your chest, just below your breast. It has a transmitter that reads your heart rate like an ECG does.
The results are then displayed via Bluetooth on a wristwatch or through a mobile phone application.
Make sure that the strap is in close contact with your chest skin at all times to avoid wild readings.
What are the features that you should look for?
If you are going to purchase a basic model, you will also get the basic features which are: elapsed exercise time and heart rate. However, it is better if your heart rate monitor has the following features:
- Pre-programmed workouts
- Computer/app link
- Fitness test
- Time in zone splits
- Calories burned
- Timers: alarm, clock, interval timers, stopwatch, countdown timer
- Heart rate zone alarm
What other things should you consider in purchasing a heart rate monitor?
Aside from the different features, you should also consider its display, ease of use, and of course, the price. Make sure that the monitor is worth the money you are paying.
If you want to learn more about heart rate monitors, you can go to My Heart Rate Monitor.