Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fitness Gadgets – Heart Rate Monitors

From the discussion about gadgets over the past few weeks, here is another very popular and useful gadget, which is very popular abroad and more common with medical cases as far as India is concerned is the Heart Rate Monitor.

As the name goes, the heart rate monitor is used to monitor the heart rate while exercising, so as to maintain or modify the exercise routine to stay within the appropriate heart rate zones. The monitors are quite common with people with heart problems, however they can also be used in a general setting like a health club or while exercising at home, to keep a check on the heart rate.

This is especially applicable while doing cardio activities, and even though most of the cardio machines come with an in-built heart rate monitor, that can be held to check the heart rate, sometimes, the very action of holding the monitor electrode bar, causes the heart rate to come down since one has to slow down to hold it, else risk getting injured.

Popularly available as a portable, compact, battery operated and easy to use gadget, the monitor is usually strapped (strapless options also exist) on around the chest or worn on the wrist, so that its sensors touch the areas where the pulse is felt the strongest. The reading is given as a digital output, similar to a stop watch!

Most of the monitors show the heart rate, time spent in the zone, with an alarm option sometimes to signal when one is in the required zone. The popular companies that offer interesting options are Polar, Timex, Omron and some more. The basic functionality to ensure before buying one, is the display area and clarity, ease of use and option to set time apart from many other functionalities like calories burned etc.

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