How To Find the Best Heart Rate Monitors : The Ultimate Guide
Are you an absolute novice thinking about buying your first Heart Rate Monitor? Or an experienced athlete looking for the most suitable Pulse Watch out there? Are you not sure which model to go for? Does all the “Heart Rate Lingo” such as bpm and MHR drive you bananas? Or are you already the proud owner of a Heart Rate Monitor but feel you are not making the most out of it?
Well, you have come to the right place… HeartRateMonitorAdvisor.com will help you to find the right Heart Rate Monitor for your needs and gives you all the tips and tricks you need to make the most out of your device.
What is a Heart Rate Monitor?
A heart rate monitor measures your heart rate during both periods of rest and exercise. The measurement is calculated in beats per minute, allowing you to determine trends over time. When you understand more about the function of your heart, you can better design your workout to positively impact your health and physical fitness.
Who uses heart rate monitors? Why do you need a heart rate monitor?
Heart rate monitors are used by athletes and health enthusiasts to track the number of beats per minute of their heart while engaged in cardio or other workout activities. These activities can include running, aerobics, biking, or using an elliptical machine. If your heart rate monitor indicates that your heart rate during exercise exceeds the expected level even when you are not at full exertion, discuss this with your medical practitioner. Heart rate monitors may also be used by individuals experiencing issues related to their heart, at the advice of their physician.
Why is choosing the best heart rate monitor important?
Finding and using the right heart rate monitor can help you to understand more about your own health and level of fitness while you engage in workout routines. It is important to understand two different heart rates when exercising. First, you must determine your resting heart rate – how many beats per minute does your heart produce when you are doing nothing more than sitting or standing. Then, factoring in your age, gender and physical fitness goals, you can determine what your maximum heart rate should be during cardio exercise. Your fitness goals will dictate what percentage of your maximum heart rate you should attain while working out – if you do not work out hard enough, you will not achieve your goals. If you work out too hard, you could damage your heart.
Best Heart Rate Watch Reviews for 2019
# 1: Apple Watch Heart Rate Monitor Review
The Apple watch comes equipped with a built-in heart rate monitor. It is programmed to automatically check and record your heart rate every ten minutes. This data is recorded on your Health app on your iPhone for your perusal.
During a workout, however, as your heart rate rises, the watch will check and record your heart rate more frequently. If you wish to check your heart rate on demand, you can also do that, even outside the preprogrammed increments. To do this, you simply launch the heart rate app from the watch home screen and wait for it to measure your beats per minute. The benefit of the
Apple heart rate monitor is that it measures incrementally (and accurately) automatically throughout the day. The drawback, however, is that you have to prompt it to measure your heart rate outside the designated increments, and the information is not always immediately accessible if you don’t have your phone on you, or are not in a position to check your Health app.
# 2: FitBit Charge 2 Review – Best Strapless Heart Rate Monitor
The FitBit is the most ubiquitous, common fitness tracker watch on the market today. With its interchangeable colored accessory bands, it is not only utile, but fashionable as well!
The Charge 2 boasts its patented PurePulse heart rate monitoring, a connected GPS, multi-sport tracking, call and text alerts, customizable fitness goal setting and monitoring, real time updates on your current cardio fitness level, and guided breathing sessions designed to help you regulate your heart rate during times of stress or anxiety. The FitBit Charge 2 helps you monitor not only your physical health, but your psychological and emotional health as well!
# 3: Nike Sport Watch Review
The Nike+ Sport Watch is comparable in form and function to Strava for Apple Watch. The Sport Watch is a malleable, comfortable watch that records your time, distance, pace, heart rate, and calories burned during a workout. The Nike+ watch syncs with your online Nike+ account so that you can view your progress over a course of multiple workouts.
Through the Nike+ site, you can also join groups with friends to make your workouts competitive and interactive; you can give or receive recommendations for running routes; find popular or busy running areas; and share your workouts or runs on social media. The Nike+ Sport Watch is compatible with Nike shoe sensors.
# 4: Garmin Forerunner 35 Review
The Garmin Forerunner 35 is another GPS-enabled watch device that works without the need to connect it to a smartphone. Its self-contained fitness tracking capabilities include continuous 24/7 heart rate monitoring, vibration alert to keep you on track during a run, virtual pacing calculations, and the option to connect your watch to your other media devices.
The Garmin’s GPS capabilities are clear and high-functioning, providing you real-time progress monitoring even under heavy tree cover. Its sleek design and high user review rating have earned the Garmin Forerunner 35 an Amazon.com recommendation.
# 5: TomTom Spark 3 Review
The TomTom Spark 3 is an ideal choice for the exercising music lover! This GPS fitness tracker has an optional music bundle, which includes 3 GB of music storage and Bluetooth earbuds to make listening to music more convenient. With the Spark 3, you can monitor all your fitness activities, including running (outside or indoors on a treadmill), cycling (indoor and out), and swimming (since this fitness watch has the added bonus of being waterproof).
The activity tracker measures time, distance, speed, pace, and calories burned, and provides live statistics. An additional unique feature is the audio feedback the Spark 3 offers to motivate your and give you feedback that you can hear, not requiring you to stop your workout to read about your progress.
# 6: Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch Review
Polar FT7 is truly sophisticated and advanced in its features to help you monitor and keep track of your heart rate and fitness level over time. Polar FT7 goes way beyond just being a heart rate monitor. This is actually a training computer. It consists of a transmitter which is attached to the chest and receiver which is generally put on wrist like any other heart rate monitor machine. But Polar FT7 has a coded transmission that prevents any crosslink with other HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) gadget transmission.
It consists of large digital display, and also has a back light feature. Polar FT7 model can count your days of exercise, your length of workouts, your calories, and can measure your HR zone. This gadget has a unique data recall feature where you can access data from your last 99 workout sessions, and hence can monitor and compare the amount of fat burnt, calories burnt.
# 7: Fitbit Charge HR Review
The Fitbit Charge HR is an enhanced version of the Fitbit Charge activity tracker with a built-in OLED display. It continuously monitors and track your heartbeat. This heart rate monitor is slim and comfortable enough to wear all day, also comes in different colours and has an excellent supporting ecosystem. Fitbit gives an indication that the Charge HR will last for around five days on a single charge which I found to be accurate. The device comes with a small charging cable that plugs into the back of the strap and hooks up to a standard USB socket. A full charge will only take a couple of hours and a press of the button will let you know the progress.
As a step counter, the Fitbit Charge HR is solid. It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s not a million miles off, and it’s consistent. Its estimates of how far you’ve walked are pretty worthless but I don’t really have a problem with that. Its calories burned estimates seem unusually accurate to me – a lot of fitness bands are clearly trying to flatter their wearers with ludicrously inflated calorie-burn numbers. That’s presumably helped by the HR monitor helping to give a more accurate estimate.
# 8: Polar RS300X Heart Rate Monitor Watch Review
The Polar RS300X Heart Rate Monitor Watch is a running and multi-sport wrist training computer and heart rate sensor with strap that allows athletes to track, monitor and control their heart rate and various other aspects of physiology during fitness training sessions. The RS300X comes with a chest strap monitor that is easy to wear and helps accurately monitor your heart rate. This heart rate monitor includes heart rate tracking capabilities including, calories burned, variable heart rate, and training intensity guides.
Polar heart rate monitors can record and monitor up to 99 laps, each lap record safely recorded for review anytime. It is resistant to water with backlighting and zoom display. Not only does it measure heart rate but the watch feature actually does work too. Polar watches will alarm you when each target zone goes below or above limit during training. The Polar RS300X Heart Rate Monitor Watch comes with an S1 pod for your foot to determine pace and distance in real time. It has with it a transmitter that is compatible with a sensor called G1 GPS.
# 9: Garmin Forerunner 620 Review
The 620 has been released to replace the popular 610. It has come out at the same time as it’s lighter weight (both functionally and physical) little sibling, the new Garmin Forerunner 235. These new models share some common features, including high-resolution colour display. If you ever used a 610, you may have struggled operating the touch screen with gloves on, the 620 works more like an iPhone style display, even works fine with gloves on; the 620 is a touch-screen than works even if you’re wearing gloves. The GARMIN Forerunner 620, when used in conjunction with the new HRM-RUN chest strap, will give indoor speed and distance, as well as leg cadence (strides per minute) and stride length.
One of the new motivational features that we really like is your PERSONAL RECORDS. At the end of a run, the 620 will display a congratulatory, WELL DONE – PB message if you’ve just your best 1 Mile time, 5K time, 10K or similar. It’s these little touches that prove that Garmin work closely with runners of all abilities to give features that EVERYDAY runners will appreciate and take motivation from.
# 10: Timex Ironman Easy Trainer Heart Rate Monitor Review
The Timex Ironman Easy Trainer is a great entry level HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) machine. It consists of a digital wristwatch styled monitor which is very trendy and the digits on the display meter are also very large and readable. It consists of a chest trap which can wary from size 25 to 53 inches. The device attached the chest strap can provide inputs on your workout, as in the peaks and lows of the workout session and also the average activity time.
It has indiglo option and comes with a two year battery life. It is also water resistant and can withstand accidental water splashes but this does not mean that you can dive and swim with it.
# 11: Garmin Forerunner 735xt Heart Rate Monitor Watch Review
The Garmin Forerunner 735xt with optional pulse rate is a must-have for any triathlete. As a GPS-enabled training device, the Garmin 735xt offers such a lot over the competition. Its rugged style makes it an essential training tool for triathletes, providing superior data following also as water-resistance up to 164 foot (50m). Finally a heart rate monitor that can work with you while you are within the water.
# 12: Suunto Ambit3 Peak Heart Rate Monitor Watch Review
All you would like for outside sports – navigation, speed, altitude, weather, optional pulse rate and options for running, biking and swimming. Thousands of Suunto Apps available to feature new functionalities to your watch. Packed in a optical fibre reinforced casing with battery lifetime of 30h battery with 5 sec-GPS accuracy, Suunto Ambit3 is prepared for any journey.
# 13: Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Watch Review
The Polar FT4 heart rate monitor is that the ideal coaching companion for anyone who wants a basic heart rate monitor that keeps things easy. With an easy-to-use style and easy options, the Polar FT4 is a excellent choice for recreational exercisers or people who wish to get started with heart rate training.
How can you choose the right heart rate monitor?
You can find the best heart rate monitor watch by evaluating different designs and functions.
- Simple models strap directly to your body and provides a constant read out of your heart rate.
- Multifunction models also provide information on the length of your workout or the range of your heart rate over the duration of your workout.
- Digital watches with built-in heart rate monitors track your heart rate consistently and not just when you are exercising.
- Built-in heart rate monitors on stationary bicycles, treadmills and elliptical machines gather information including your normal resting heart rate, age and gender and tests your heart rate at specific times over the course of your work out.
Top 7 Tips for Choosing a Heart Rate Monitor
There are so many options to choose from when it comes to heart rate monitors and it is important to choose one which will serve its purpose. In order to find the best heart rate monitor, here are the top 7 tips for choosing a heart rate monitor.
Tip # 1: Know what your goal is
Heart rate monitors differ in features and it is best that you know what you want for your HRM. There’s always a
- General Fitness: Choose a heart rate monitor that provides fitness information and training intensity.
- Sports: Look for a heart rate monitor that provides multi-sport support, feedback, and other advanced features like having a GPS. Running heart rate monitors have always been popular heart monitor choices.
- Weight Loss: There are heart rate monitors that give information on your heart rate as well as the calories you burned.
Tip # 2: Check the features
There are heart rate monitors that is a combination of a wrist watch and a pulse heart rate monitor. You’d also want to consider if you want a simple heart rate monitor or you want the more complex types.
Some other features of heart rate monitors include:
- Have ECG accuracy readings
- Target zone recorder
- Multiple User option
- Fitness test
- Calorie Counter and Calculator
- Stop watch
- Water resistant
You’d also want to consider a heart rate monitor that’s easy to use and that you can read the screen easily.
Tip # 3: Look for a trusted brand
It is no surprise that a lot of companies who specialize in manufacturing healthcare equipment come out with their own version of heart rate monitors. But there are the trusted brands that athletes and experts recommend. Here are some of them:
Tip # 4: Check your budget
Heart rate monitors differ in prices which depend on their functionality and features. Cost for heart rate monitors that have simple heart rate tracking features, calorie counter and stop watch range from $50 to $100. Heart monitors which can track your progress and customize workouts cost about $100 to $200. And the more complex ones like those with GPS or comparison functions is priced at $200 and up.
Tip # 5: Consider the look, comfort and style
Each manufacturer of heart rate monitors come out with its own unique functions that each individual may be looking for. But it is also one consideration if the particular heart monitor model reflects your personality. After knowing what type of heart rate monitor you need, check out the styles for each manufacturer and choose which fits you best.
Tip # 6: Strap it up
Be sure to get the heart rate monitors with secured and snug straps. If the straps don’t fit properly, the heart monitor reading won’t be as accurate. Also check on the comfort of the chest strap and the watch strap. And be wary of the material used for the straps as low grade materials may chafe easily or may cause allergic reactions.
Tip # 7: Read reviews
It’s always best to check out the merchandise you are about to buy. Especially with heart rate monitors, you will need to make sure that whatever brand and model you are eyeing has good feedback. It’s not enough that you depend on your judgment because of what it looks like. Read heart rate monitor reviews online for your own peace of mind before hitting the store.
Final Note !
As the world becomes increasingly connected and further dependent on technology to keep us productive and useful, heart rate watches rise to the top of pieces of technology essential for living a healthy and productive life.
While there are many heart rate watches on the market today, these six have proven themselves to be the consistently most sought-after, highest functioning models, prompting positive user feedback and the results people want and need.
When considering which heart rate monitor watch will best suit your needs, compare the features and your preferences to the options available. Do you want something that is intimately connected with your tablet or smartphone?
Or a watch with superior GPS connectivity? Or one that is more versatile in monitoring a broad range of physical activities? Each of these six watches, along the with dozens of others on the market, offers its own unique array of features. Find the one that best caters to your needs…and happy exercising!