A heart rate monitor, abbreviated as HRM, is a device that electronically check’s the heart rate of a person and displays results digitally via numbers. Heart rate monitors are used as a guide, mostly by runners, if their pace is manageable and can be tolerated by their heart. HRMs are also used to check a runner’s progress more accurately so that they will know if they are under or over training, instead of just relying on mere gut feel.
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:
• Polar – Polar is one of the leading brands in heart rate monitors. They sell high quality heart monitors which are mostly inclined with sports performance, rehabilitation, and weight management. Some of the notable Polar heart rate monitors include Polar FT 4, Polar G3 GPS sensor, and the Polar F6 fitness heart rate monitor.
• Timex – Timex, one of the best watch manufacturers, also come out with their own version of heart rate monitors. The Timex Ironman heart rate monitor series boasts of performance and functionality.
• Omron – Omron is another trusted brand in fitness and health care products. One of its heart rate monitors is the Omron HR-100C which has an easy program monitor, alarm option for heart rates, time display and is water resistant.
• Garmin – Garmin is another manufacturer of heart rate monitors that came out with the Forerunner 305. This heart rate monitor particularly does a lot of tracking and it can also compare previous workouts with the current one so you can check improvement and follow up on progress.
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.