In the last year or so there has been a significant shift towards using Smartphones with chest strap sensors in order to set up a fully featured heart rate monitor. Using Bluetooth technology this kind of set up has become very cheap and easy to set up. To provide you with all the info you need to get set up we have created a designated page.
Here at bestheartratemonitor.org we aim to provide you with all the information you need in order to help you choose the best heart rate monitor to suite your needs. With so many monitors available ranging in price from $30 to many hundreds of Dollars it is difficult to get all the information you need to compare brands, models and features.
Most visitors to this site will be looking for heart monitor watch reviews to help find one that will at the very least be used to track your heart rate during exercise. But that is only where the decision process starts. You may be looking for the best heart rate monitor for running or gym exercise, or you are looking for a HRM for women. We also have review articles about heart rate straps for iPhones and Android Smartphones which is quickly developing as a viable alternative.
The easiest way to see all the differences between the most popular HRMs is to go to our very convenient comparison table. Here you will see all the monitors reviewed on this site with the most relevant information, which will make it easy to compare features and identify price differences. Whatever your own priorities are for features you can see exactly which devices are the most suitable.
All our pages can be broken down into different categories that will make it easy for you to find all the monitors available with all the models and features. Here is a list of our categories:
Each of these links will bring you to a set of article pages that describe the features of the most popular and well-reviewed heart beat sensors available. There are dozens of devices to choose from so its best to educate yourself on items either by brand or price range to make sure that you buy one that suits your personal needs and budget. If you are starting out for the first time, then maybe just get a cheap one until you get used to this training method.
We also have a very convenient comparison table that gives a quick overview of all the main features of the HRMs reviewed on this site. This is a great way to see how different models and brands compare to each other. You can decide on what the most important features are for you and then select a device that suits your budget. It really could not be simpler.
Up until recently most people would have thought of heart rate monitors only in a clinical setting. Not many hobby runners or non-professional athletes would ever have thought of using one to improve the efficiency of their workouts. But this has really changed in recent years because of the following reasons.
One reason for this would be that the cost of such devices was always quite prohibitive. Many of us who exercise only a few times a week would never have been able to justify the price and probably did not think that there would be much benefit in using one. With prices now as low as $40 for the most basic features this has all changed and you will be able to take advantage of gadgets that used to be only utilized by professional athletes.
So why should you look for the best heart beat sensor and what benefits can the use of one bring?
Whether you go running, swimming, cycling or you work out in the gym, you will have noticed that while you are training you regularly increase and decrease the intensity. The more intense you exercise the faster your heart will beat. This correlation exists no matter how you exercise and heart rate training takes advantage of this.
A HR monitor will give you direct feedback how fast your heart is beating at any given time. This feedback can be used to increase and decrease the intensity of the workout to match a certain planned level of higher than normal beats per minute. There are different ways to take advantage of that information, but essentially your body reacts in different ways dependent on what heart rate zone you are operating in.
That way you can vary the intensity on different days and during a training session. Professional athletes do this to maximize fitness levels and increase their performance, and now everyday people can do the same using the best heart beat monitor to suit your needs. Prices have come down so much for heart monitors that even a very tight budget will be able to accommodate one.
The vast majority of monitors consist of a watch and a heart rate chest strap that includes the sensor. This sensor picks up your heartbeats and sends this information, often via Bluetooth, to the watch. The watch then processes the raw data and displays your current heart rate on the watch face. This is the most important information you will need for heart rate training, but there are additional features that can make training and planning a lot easier.
The most basic types will simply display what your current heart rate is, but some of the advanced models will show you peak and average rate, target heart rate zones, distance and speed. With these advanced features you will be in a position to really tailor your training sessions to different intensities. Finding the best heart rate monitor for what you will be using it for ensures that you don’t overpay for unnecessary features and more importantly get exactly what you will actually need.
While there is a huge array of devices with a whole host of different features, there are some things that are very common for a running heart rate monitor that will help you to better plan running workouts. Dependent on what features you think you might need you will have to prepare to pay more, the more features your require.
First of all there is the watch that all HRMs come with. This is essentially where you will be able to view the heart rate and output from different features. Without this you will have no feedback during training, which is the whole idea of having a running HRM. There are some significant differences between devices and how they display the data, and you will find out about this in the individual reviews.
The heart rate is transmitted to the watch from a sensor that is held in place through a chest strap. For a beginner this may at first seem very unusual and does take a while to get used to. You should certainly make sure that the chest strap is comfortable, and if you have trouble with it, consider upgrading to a better fitting one.
As already mentioned the most important thing to display is the heart rate. This is generally shown as beats per minute (BPM), but dependent on the model you choose can also be a percentage of the maximum, or as a target heart rate zone. Having this information is crucial as it helps you optimize your workout sessions to spend certain periods of time at certain heart rates.
Another common feature is a stopwatch, which for runners is quite an important thing to have. If you go running on a regular basis you either aim to run for a set amount of time or you want to track the time it takes to run a certain distance. This is how most runners keep an eye on performance improvements and is a great way for beginners to do the same.
Many HRMs come with a calorie calculator. This is beneficial not only to people who are trying to lose weight and want to make sure that they burn more calories than they take in. Serious and performance athletes benefit from this information as well, as energy used up during workout sessions needs to be replenished through correct diets and eating habits.
The most expensive devices come with built in GPS sensors. These allow you to track your speed, distance travelled and also the route travelled. Hooked up to a computer this is very good information to have if you are looking to seriously improve your fitness levels. You will be able to tell which routes trigger which kind of intensity and use that information to plan out a training program.
One thing that has become extremely popular is to use your Smartphone as a HRM by linking it to a chest strap. There are quite a few Bluetooth based chest sensors available now that can be set up with many free and paid for apps. The fantastic thing is that you can have a fully featured GPS HRM for the price of an $80 chest strap and an app for less than $10. Compare this to some of the GPS based heart monitors reviewed on this site (which cost upwards of $200) and you can see the potential.
We have created some very interesting information for you in these articles that you should check out:
In the last ten years heart rate monitor watches have flooded the market from numerous manufacturers around the world, offering a large variety of different features and designs. The three most popular brands are Polar, Timex and Suunto, and between them they offer a whole host of monitors to choose from, with something for every budget and experience level.
Polar probably have one of the largest selections of HRMs on the market and they categorize their products into Get Active, Improve Fitness and Maximize Performance. Should you choose a Polar HR monitor watch, you will need to figure out first what features you really need. If you are very new to using a HRM, then you probably don’t want to spend several hundred Dollars for functions like GPS tracking, speed and large data storage.
In this case you may just want to go for one of the more simple HRM watches that shows you what your current heart rate is and what target zone you are in. But if you are a more advanced athlete or are planning to take training with a HRM serious then you probably want a Polar heart rate watch with additional features such as data storage and calorie counter.
Going for a Timex heart beat monitor watch is just as good a decision, and Timex also have a large selection of devices to choose from. The same applies here, in that you want to figure out what you will be using the HRM for and how much money you want to spend. The more features a device has, the more you will have to pay for it.
If you are looking for something that has a great design and is generally geared towards the higher end of the market then you probably want to consider a Suunto heart rate watch. Suunto have some fantastically designed HRMs, but their entry-level price is quite a bit higher than Timex and Polar.
Generally speaking Suunto try to appeal to the mid to high-end market when it comes to heart rate sensor watches, and this is reflected in the price of their most basic devices, which tend to not offer as many features as their competitors mentioned above. So if you are looking for an entry-level HRM then Suunto are probably not the best heart monitor brand to look at.
Choosing the best HR monitor for your needs is an important thing to do, as you don’t want to overspend for features you don’t need, or underspend and end up with a device that is missing features you want.
Hopefully you will find our heart monitor watch reviews helpful and we certainly appreciate any feedback. This will help us to provide a better service and other people might find your feedback helpful too.
Finally, I just want to share a great YouTube clip that I find really motivating on those cold rainy days when I just can’t seem to convince myself to put on the runners and get out there. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as well, might be worth downloading to your phone