Let me tell you about my heart rate monitor – it’s basically the bomb diggity and I love it.
Background: When I first starting exercising back in college I bought a MIO brand watch that had a heart rate monitor. I liked it and it was ok except that you had to push and hold 2 buttons in order for it to read and display your heart rate which was not very convenient and a bit awkward while running. Sometimes it was hard to get a readout if you weren’t still or if you were sweaty, also not very convenient. But for my purposes it was fine and I mostly just used it as a digital watch to time my runs until it bit the dust.
This spring I started feeling like I might be in a bit of an exercise funk and that I really wasn’t pushing myself hard enough in my spin and aerobics classes. I figured the best way to measure that since I couldn’t really measure distance or speed in those classes was by my heart rate. I (and when I say “I” I mean Michael) did some research online and talked to a few people, decided that a watch with a chest strap that monitored my heart rate was the best choice, and chose this Polar RS100 watch.
I. Love. It. It was a bit pricey but so worth it to me. I wear a chest strap that has a transmitter which sends my heart rate to my watch at all times (when I have that function turned on). All I have to do is look down at my watch and see what my heart rate is. It also shows what percentage my heart rate it at and – get this – it shows how many calories I burn. Awesome! Of course it does other normal watch-type things like timers, alarms, lap time, etc. But for me the two biggies are the constant heart rate readout and the calories burned.
I can tell that I have started pushing myself harder since I started using this watch. Now when I look down and see that my heart rate is low I know I need to increase my intensity. Also seeing those calories burned is highly motivating and when I have a certain goal in mind I push harder so I can reach that. I think I am getting much more out of my workouts then I was a few months ago.
Lots of people ask if it is accurate and I really think it is. It’s definitely consistent. I enter my age, height, weight, and gender and the watch uses that to calculate my target heart rate zones and how many calories I burn. For me personally I aim to keep my heart rate in the 150-170 range the majority of my workout, with it getting up into the 170s during particularly intense times. A 45-minute spin class for me burns about 500 calories and a 50-60 minute aerobics class usually runs at 400-500 calories.
Using a heart rate monitor to help me have better workouts works for me! (Linking up with Works for Me Wednesday)