Do You Use It: Heart Rate Monitor

November 14, 2011

in Blog, News, Facts, Fitness

Happy Monday!  Today’s topic is a reader request!

I’ve never talked about heart rate monitors before, just my BodyMedia (which tracks calories burned among many other things).

I used to have a Polar heart rate monitor, since I hate how inaccurate the machines at the gym are, plus I wanted to track my heart rate while I was lifting weights.

I’m not sure whether I had a dud or not, but mine never worked properly.  Majority of the time, my chest strap and watch weren’t communicating with each other.  Perhaps there was too much interference at the gym with all the machines?  Not sure.  I know its a device typically used by runners.  I’m not a runner, but I know most runners use it for tracking their pace, progress and distance.

I still think its a great tool, for the following reasons:

1) Helps you find your zone

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults should exercise at moderate intensity (50–70 percent of maximum heart rate) for at least 30 minutes five days a week, or at a vigorous intensity (70–85 percent of maximum heart rate) for 20 minutes three days a week. Using a heart rate monitor can help a lot with this.

2) Makes you get the most from your workouts

If your short on time, it helps you ensure you get the most from your time at the gym. I’m a big fan of circuit training with weights.  You get the strength aspect plus the cardio.

3) Prevents over or under training

You’ll soon find out that if you go on the elliptical at level 2, your not getting much of a workout at all.  Monitoring your heart rate will tell you how hard your working and prevent you from slacking! You also can work out too hard, or too often, so its a great tool to ensure your not over-training.

4) Enjoyment / extra motivation

Some find it enjoyable to watch their progress while doing a workout, and find it motivating to keep pushing yourself.


All this talk is making me want another heart monitor… and hopefully not a dud this time!

Question: Do you have one, and do you use it regularly?

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I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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  • Roxyremix

    I have a HRM and I love it, use it everyday! It’s a Polar FT4 and it’s great for when I do workouts outside the gym such as running or cycling. I also think its great for group exercise classes. Mine tells me how many calories I’ve burned so that’s fun to look at after a hard workout. Mine is water resistant so I always use it to swim laps too. For me it is an essential exercise tool and I consider it an excellent investment in my health. (and yes, the machines at the gym are way off in calculating calories burned!)

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Polar F4T…cool! I will look into that one. You’re right…the machines are always way off!

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