What is a Heart Rate Monitor?
Sometimes called a cardiac monitor, a heart monitor is an electronic device that is used to continuously track your heart rate. Using this information you can determine the target heart rate at which you will maximize the cardiac benefits from your exercise. There are more complex versions of heart monitors which physicians use to detect any signs of deterioration in your heart functioning and make the necessary adjustments immediately.
Types of Heart Monitors
Today a wide range of heart monitors are produced designed to cater for the specific requirements of different types of individuals.
Some heart monitors are primarily designed for weight loss programs – allowing the person to keep close monitoring of their heart rate during exercise and dieting to ensure they are not pushing their weight loss regime too hard.
Other kinds of heart rate monitors are designed for use by athletes in training and for people regularly involved in fitness programs.
Most heart rate monitors operate with a battery and emit wireless/electromagnetic waves.
Most personal use heart rate monitors can be portable – such as having the monitor fixed to your body by a strap and the display on your wrist – and not interfere with your movements, particularly if you are exercising.
Other types are built into standard exercise equipment like treadmills and exercise bicycles. In these situations you can read your heart rate by holding on to the handle of the equipment and checking the displayed result.
Selecting Your Suitable Heart Rate Monitor
• Monitors with Chest Straps:
Heart monitors that come with chest straps are usually the most accurate. You fix the chest strap around your chest, a few centimeters below your breast. Fixed into the strap is the device which can detect the electrical activity of your heart and transmit that to the display – the same process as your physician uses when you are hooked up to an ECG machine. While, for most people, the simplest form of display straps to your wrist like a watch. There are some heart rate monitors which provide their results as an audio message through earphones;
• Finger tip monitors:
An alternative are those heart rate monitors which fit over your finger tip, and are usually connected by a wire to a display screen. These are not only generally less accurate than the chest strap type, but are in no way as convenient in terms of their portability.
Advanced Features of Heart Monitor
The basic, lower end heart rate monitors usually display only your heart rate and some show your elapsed exercise time as well. This does not provide you with sufficient information you will need if you are trying to maximize the benefits of your exercise. The models in the higher end range provide a range of additional features but these come at a price.
Some of the additional features available are:
• heart rate zone alarms – which sound a buzzer alert if your heart rate begins to fall outside the target zone rate you have set;
• timers which act like stop watches and alarm clocks;
• some monitors even calculate the number of calories you have burned – calculated on your heart rate and the time you have been exercising.
Should You Buy a Heart Monitor?
Heart rate monitors can be expensive, particularly if you want to buy one of the high end models with all those advanced features. If you decide to buy one of the cheaper, basic heart rate monitors you should be aware that, like any cheaper electronic equipment, some of those cheaper models may be of such poor quality that they are only providing you with inaccurate information about your heart rate.
John Vanse has a network of health related websites.All these sites can be accessed through the key site: http://www.thebetterhealthguide.com
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