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Heart Rate Watches - Helping You Choose

heart rate watchesThere are now hundreds of heart rate watches on the market, offering a myriad of functions and at numerous price points. Choosing the appropriate one for your needs can be major task. Here are a few tips that might help make your decision a little simpler.

* First off, do you really need it? Will you use it regularly? Plenty of people - in fact, most people - get their regular exercise without a heart rate monitor.

* Take your time to decide what functions you want. So many are now available, and some are seductively attractive. But they add to the cost, so think hard what is important for you. A cheap and very basic model might be eminently suitable.

* If accuracy and real-time readings are vital, you will need a model with a chest strap, not the cheaper strapless versions.

* Check the display. Can you read it when you are jogging? Can you read it when you are jogging at night? Some displays try to cram in so much data that they are hard to decipher.

* Does it include watch and stopwatch functions? Some monitors even incorporate calendar and alarm clock functions. Is the monitor designed so that you can wear it at all times as a wristwatch?

* Ease of use - talk to friends or check out user reviews at places like Amazon.com to learn about the experiences other have had in actually understanding all the functions of their new monitor.

* Many users find that one of the best functions is the ability to set a target heart rate zone. An alarm sounds when your heart beat falls below or above the target zone. Many heart rate watches - even some that sell at quite reasonable prices - include this function.

* Calorie calculators are another popular function that are now found on even some of the cheaper models. These give a read-out of how many calories you have burned during your work-out session, and also usually will tell you your accumulated calorie expenditure over an extended period. This allows you to set long-term weight-loss targets.

* Think about if you need a coded transmitter, to avoid interference from nearby monitors. This will cost more, but can be an important consideration if you regularly work out in gyms or at other places where many people might be using heart rate watches.

* Can you change your own battery? Some devices do not allow this.

* Is it water resistant? You may think this is not an issue, but a water resistant model will block out your sweat.

* How much connectivity is there with your PC? Many users like to track their progress on their computers.

* How much memory is included? Can you check the results of previous work-outs?

* Finally, here are some of the functions that can now be found in heart monitors - a wide range of exercise programming, pedometer, calculation of speed and distance, warm-up routines, recovery heart rate, fitness tests, and, increasingly, much, much more.

See also my Guide to Buying the Best Heart Rate Watches. And check out the heart rate monitor bestseller rankings at Amazon.com to see what people are currently buying.

November 25th, 2009

 

See Also:

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Omron Heart Rate Monitor
Omron HR-100C Heart Rate Monitor
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Sportline Heart Rate Monitor
Suunto Heart Rate Monitor
Timex Heart Rate Monitor
Timex Ironman Heart Rate Monitor

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