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Choosing the Best Heart Rate Monitor For You

Do you know what the best heart rate monitor is for you?

Many years ago, having a device strapped to your wrist or chest to measure your heart rate was a dream. Nowadays, people feel silly if they go to the gym or training sessions without one. Thanks to technology and good business acumen, a whole lot of people can now afford to collect and analyze data from their workout routine using their heart rate monitor to track their progress.

Seeing that there is an overwhelming number and type of heart rate monitors out there, it could be pretty difficult to find the best heart rate monitor, if you do not have the right information. Let’s help you with that, shall we?

Do you really need the best heart rate monitor?

For some people the answer to this question is a big NO. If all you want to do is get a little more active through activities like hiking, a little jogging around the neighborhood, a few push-ups before you hit the shower for work, and the likes, then you do not need the best heart rate monitor. You can simply put your fingers to the side of your throat to count your pulse for a minute.

However, if you require more data to help you create an efficient workout timetable then getting the best heart rate monitor is ideal. Workout timetables allow you to workout with purpose so that every session is productive.

How much is it going to cost me to buy the best heart rate monitor for my needs?

Well, how much can you spare and how seriously do you take your training? The answer to those questions will largely determine how much money you will end up spending. There are very low-cost heart rate monitors that hook up wirelessly to an app on your phone and measure basic heart rate. They cost anywhere from $30 to $100 (brands like Endomondo, Wahoo Tickr X, and Strava).

There are really high tech versions with built-in photo sensors, GPS trackers, accelerometer, calorie-checkers, and many more awesome features that may cost up to $300 to $400 (brands like Polar and Garmin). Honestly, the best heart rate monitor isn’t necessarily determined by its price but by the need it meets, be they simple or complex. So,…

What type of heart rate monitor should I buy?

Again, this depends on your needs. Some people would rather be comfortable than accurate, some others prefer aesthetics to functionality while others would prefer extreme accuracy. So which of these groups do you belong to? There are heart rate monitors that use Optical heart rate sensors (OHR), Optomechanics (measuring your heart rate through your ears), and the chest strap versions that glean data directly from the heartbeat.

So to be clear, make a list of the kind of data you’d want your device to gather and then go through online reviews to see which device has everything you want. And if it’s too expensive, look for a feature or two that you can do without and remove them from your list. As a general rule, the more features a heart rate monitor has (the more data it collects), the more expensive it’s likely going to be. In the end, the best heart rate monitor is the one that works best for you.