If you go in for sports and are used to controlling the whole process, then you just need a device such as a heart rate monitor. And how to choose it, what to look for?
What is it, how does it work and who needs it?
As the name implies, a heart rate monitor is a device that measures a person’s heart rate. Who needs it? Firstly, people suffering from certain heart diseases (arrhythmia, tachycardia and others) and forced to control their heartbeat in order to be able to take the necessary drug or take action on time.
Secondly, this device will be useful for athletes who must monitor the training process and record data about their condition.
Thirdly, ordinary people who play sports unprofessionally, this device can also come in handy. The fact is that, for example, effective fat burning is observed only at a certain heart rate, which must be calculated individually for each person, taking into account his heart rate in certain situations. So the heart rate monitor can be useful for running or, for example, fitness.
All such devices consist of two parts:
- Sensor. This part is needed in order to receive cardiac impulses and then transmit this data to another department in which processing will be carried out.
- The receiver picks up the sensor signals and processes them, and also translates them into the indicators we are used to.
How to make a choice?
Now you have figured out what these devices are for. If you decide that a heart rate monitor is necessary, then you will have to decide on the choice. When buying, you should pay attention to several important points. Let’s dwell on each in more detail.
The convenience of using the device directly depends on the design of the case. There are two possible options:
- Wrist watch with heart rate monitor. This is a great sports option for those who are constantly on the move. Such a device is convenient to use and is suitable for practicing almost any kind of sport, since the wrist strap does not interfere with movement and provides a reliable fastening.
- A bicycle computer is a special device designed primarily for cycling (although it can be used for other sports, it is inconvenient). Such a device is something like a clock that is attached to the handlebars of a bicycle.
The accuracy of the received data depends on the sensor. Here are some options:
- Built-in sensor. It is built right into the watch case and measures the heart rate from the wrist. This is very convenient, but the data obtained with this type of instrument is not always accurate and correct.
- The chest strap is attached directly to the chest (in the area of the heart). This option is perhaps the most accurate. The data is correct.
- The sensor can also be mounted on a finger or on an earlobe. The data obtained is very accurate, but such devices are not always convenient to use, since with heavy traffic and loads, the sensor can simply fall.
Signal transmission method
By the method of signal transmission, the heart rate monitors can be divided into two groups:
- Wired. The sensor and the housing are connected to each other by wires, through which data is transmitted. Such devices are very, very inconvenient to use, because you can get tangled in the wires, sometimes they hinder movement. Fortunately, such devices are practically not sold today.
- Wireless do not have wires, which is very convenient. This type, in turn, is divided into two types: analog and digital. The former are cheaper, they can transmit a signal, for example, to the display of a simulator. But on the other hand, such devices are highly susceptible to interference and signals from other devices in the vicinity, which can make the data inaccurate. Digital models are more modern and accurate, but they will cost a little more.
Pay attention to the power source. The simplest option is replaceable batteries, that is, batteries. But they must be simple so that they can be replaced at any time. And some people prefer models with a charging battery, which can be recharged after discharge. On the one hand, it is more economical, on the other hand, it is not so convenient.
What functions can such a device be equipped with? Let’s list some of them:
- Memory (training history). Such models are necessary in order to track trends in heart rate changes over several sessions. This heart rate monitor can memorize training time and heart rate. For some, this is important.
- Heart rate and exercise time bar. This function allows not only to record the frequency of contractions for a certain period of time, but also to track the fluctuations in the pulse, which is especially important for people suffering from certain cardiovascular diseases.
- Laps, lap times, average heart rate over several laps. This option is very convenient for those who train at intervals or, for example, go through one section and record their achievements.
- Calorie counting. Of course, such calculations are arbitrary and imprecise, but still, for those who want to get rid of excess weight, this function can be very useful.
- Automatic calculation of training zones. Such a device, when entering your age, gender and weight, will calculate the optimal heart rate and compare it with your current heart rate.
- Heart rate zone change warning. The function is convenient for those who need to control their heartbeat.
- Fitness test. The option will help a beginner to determine the level of physical fitness and calculate the optimal and acceptable heart rate.
- Communication with a computer will allow you to transfer data to a computer or some other device, which is quite convenient.
- Creation of your own program. This option is necessary for professional athletes and allows you to train according to a specific program.
- The ability to pause (it can be automatic).
- Screen settings. This allows you to choose what data is shown on the screen.
- Changing workouts is useful for “advanced” athletes.
Heart rate monitor overview
Before heading to a sports store, for example, “Sportmaster”, study the overview of the most popular models:
- Polar heart rate monitors are simple and convenient to use, but they have a number of additional features. Many are repelled by the price, it is quite high.
- Sigma is a more affordable and inexpensive option. There are additional functions, but there are fewer of them.
- Beurer devices are moderately priced and highly functional. There is also a wide variety of design options (eg for women).
Let the heart rate monitor help you exercise and monitor your heart rate and be comfortable to use!