Heart Rate Monitors: Helping You to Lose Weight & Become Fitter

Before starting,I would like to put on record the assistance received from BestReviews.com and Top 10 Reviews during the preparation of this post.

If one of your fitness goals is to lose a bit of excess ‘holiday’ weight, using a heart rate monitor is a great way to get started – By keeping your heart rate inside a key target zone, you can burn off that excess fat more effectively. For example, you can calculate your personal target zone by taking the number 220 and subtracting your age. So,If you’re 35, then 220 – 35 = 185.  This is your maximum heart rate. Your target heart rate zone is between 50 and 85% of your MHR, which is between 93 and 157 if you are 35 years old.

A heart rate monitor can help you not only calculate your personal, heart rate target zone but also help you exercise within that optimal, fat-loss range. If you keep your heart rate within a certain parameter while working out, and add in proper nutrition, you’ll boost your metabolism and lose weight the healthy way.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS.

1).Overall Health :

 If you suffer from a medical affliction, exercise can be more complicated. Checking your vital signs with a heart rate monitor watch while exercising might be a normal way of life for you. If you’re recovering from a heart attack, recouping from an injury or suffering from high blood pressure, the best heart rate monitor watches can help make exercising a little easier for you. Working out to maintain your stress levels, combat depression or boost your immune system can also be improved with a heart rate monitor. When your goal is to not push yourself too hard, monitoring your heart rate can help you achieve the best fitness balance for your overall health.Using a heart rate monitor to track your progress long term is a great way to keep your motivation and attitude high.

2). Chest Strap vs. Optical : When it comes to finding the right HRM, the biggest question is whether to choose a classic chest strap, which uses an electrical pulse to read heart rate, or something that uses optical technology instead. Optical technology is what’s used in many Fit-bit devices, the Apple Watch, and other wrist-based activity trackers. It’s also typically used for in-ear measurements in the case of sports headphones that read heart rate.

Without getting too technical, chest straps read the small electrical signal your body creates to make your heart constrict. Optical technology sends light into the skin and reads the light coming back. Based on that information and what we know about how light scatters when it hits blood flow, the data is translated into pulse.Electrical technology tends to be more accurate. Taking a measurement from the arm or wrist is more difficult because it’s a part of the body that can swing rapidly during activity, creating more data noise that must be accounted for when computing the final reading. Ear optical Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs) tend to be better than wrist-based ones because the ear doesn’t move nearly as much. Also,the skin of the ear is better suited to optical readings than that of the arm.

3). When Does Accuracy Matter? (PC Magazine, August 2017)

Now that you know a little about how different HRMs work and why some are more accurate than others, it’s important to address the issue of how much accuracy matters. There are generally two reasons consumers (i.e., not medical professionals and not elite athletes) want to know their heart rate data: To get to know their resting heart rate, and to use heart rate data for exercise and training.Resting heart rate is easy. You can read it by feeling your pulse with two fingers and counting it. You can also read it using a free app and a smartphone camera. It’s easy to read resting heart rate with or without a device, and it’s easy to check any reading against one collected from a different method.More importantly, ask your doctor whether they care if your resting heart rate is, say, 58 versus 60. The answer is probably no. It’s more important to know whether your resting heart rate is within a healthy range. So, your doctor will care if your heart rate is 80 when it should be closer to 60. My point is a very fine degree of accuracy isn’t important for any practical reason for most consumers.Similarly, when people use heart rate for training and exercise, the exact number of beats per minute matters less than the heart rate zone. Many fitness apps that pair with HRMs either estimate or calibrate custom heart rate zones for you, and show them on a graph with the zones blocked out in different colors. The point, again, is that knowing the exact number of beats per minute isn’t as important as knowing the reading within a general range.There is one more use of heart rate data, and here, accuracy does matter more, but it’s a different kind of accuracy. Heart rate recovery, or how quickly your heart rate decreases after intense activity, is a great measurement of one’s health and fitness. In my experience, chest straps are much more accurate than optical heart monitors for this kind of reading. Optical monitors tend to lag slightly behind when it comes to detecting rapid heart rate change. Is it enough of a difference to matter to the typical consumer? Probably not. But if you use heart rate seriously for fitness, you might care more about this issue.

4).Comfort / Wear-ability

In terms of comfort, chest straps will never get a thumbs up across the board. Chest straps wrap snugly around the chest at the sternum, and if they’re not tight enough, they can slide down or wiggle out of place. Re-positioning them while you’re in motion is tough. A bad one can chafe your skin, too, and they’re poor at providing visual feedback because you can’t see them.The Mio Link is one of the most comfortable HRMs for sports because it’s an arm band rather than a chest strap. It’s much easier to wear, you can adjust it quickly even while you’re in motion, and it doesn’t cause chafing. My favorite feature, however, is its LED that flashes different colours depending on your heart rate zone. That’s the kind of visual feedback you can’t get from a chest strap alone. Usually with chest straps you have to rely on a connected tracker to see your heart rate numbers.

5).Double-Duty HRMs

Earlier we mentioned in-ear optical HRMs. They’re neat because they’re built into sports headphones, so you essentially get two devices for the price of one. One that scored well in PCMag’s tests is the JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Heart Rate device. Whilst this device costs a lot more than other HRMs, it’s good value if you’re also in the market for a new pair of wireless sports headphones. [More details described below! ].

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