Heart rate monitors are a fantastic way to improve your fitness while being able to measure you personal progress over time. HRMs come with large ranges of features, and the more functionality implemented the more you can expect to pay. But since the advent of the Smartphone there is an alternative by buying a heart rate monitor for iPhone.
Most heart monitors came with two parts:
1) A chest strap that measures and sends data about your pulse rate
2) A watch that displays the heart rate along with a lot more information
While the chest straps generally differ in their level of comfort and the wireless technology used, it is the watch that contains all the data analysis and display functionality.
Generally speaking you will find varying levels of features in the watch and you essentially pay more for every extra feature. The most high-end devices will cost in excess of $200, but for this you will get an awful lot of functionality. In many cases you will be able to store data for many workout sessions, display averages and maximum values, calories burned and even GPS tracking.
The great thing about a heart rate monitor for iPhone is that you really only need to focus on getting the chest strap and an app for the iPhone. As all the functionality is based on the app, you can spend as much or as little as you wish, with many apps available for free. And with every iPhone equipped with GPS chips you can go all out and have the iPhone track your route as well.
There are a lot of apps available on the iTunes App Store that will help you display your heart rate and the training zones. There are a lot of free apps available and we would suggest you try some of these until you find one that suits your needs. Some of the paid apps may contain features you specifically want, so you can always opt for one of those if need be.
The Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Sensor is probably one of the best chest straps you can buy. With an average 4 Star Amazon buyers rating from over 350 buyers there is a very good perception of this device. The great thing is that Polar offer the Polar Beat app for free with the main features available.
There are several upgrades available in the app, which include Smart Coaching, Fitness Test, and Running Index. These are all features that are available Polar’s top rated watches, which would cost you several hundred Dollars. For less than $10 you can get all the above features and have GPS route tracking built in as well.
Another great option is the Wahoo Run/Gym Pack for iPod/iPhone, which is compatible with many of the most popular iPhone exercise apps. The apps range from free to a couple of Dollars dependent on the features. The main drawback is that it does not work with Bluetooth and therefore requires a small wireless signal key to be attached to the iPhone. Other than that it functions very much the same as the Polar.
A heart rate monitor for iPhone is fast becoming a very popular alternative. Because most people carry their iPhone during a workout session to listen to music you might as well hook it up to a Bluetooth chest strap and get readings of your exercise data. If you are an Android user then you should check out this page on general Smartphone heart monitors.