Heart Rate Monitors
Heart rate monitors used to be exclusively operated by physicians and
nurses alone but that was soon rectified with today’s multi-tasking
generation. Every person seemed to want to know about everything that was
related to them and that of course included monitoring their own
What is a Heart Monitor
Also known as a cardiac monitor, a heart monitor is a piece of electronic
equipment that can be used to track or observe heart functions
continuously. It allows people to place a numerical value on their
healthiness based on their heart rate and have a target heart rate to
work for. The more complex versions of the heart monitor allow physicians
to see any signs of deterioration or improvement and make the necessary
Types of Heart Monitors
Today, heart monitors are produced by the millions and designed to cater
specific types of individuals. Some heart monitors are primarily designed
for weight loss programs while others are meant for the use of athletes
or fitness programs. Some are wireless or come as a built-in feature of
exercise equipment like a treadmill or an exercise bike. It can be
strapped to your wrist or of considerable size. It may or may not emit
any electromagnetic waves, depending on its purpose. A fetal heart
monitor, for instance, must not produce any waves at all as this may
affect the health of the baby.
Factors on Selecting the Best Heart Monitor for You
ECG-Accurate Monitors with Chest Straps – Heart monitors that come with
chest straps are more often not the most accurate of heart monitors. The
chest strap is strapped around your chest, a few centimeters below your
breast. It contains a device that’s able to detect electrical activity of
your heart and transmit it to the brain of the machine – just like an
ECG. The results are shown on the display monitor, which most of the
times is attached to your wrist like a watch. Others however prefer
results to be transmitted through audio messages via earphones.
Upon choosing heart monitors with chest straps, you need to remember to
keep the strap constantly connected to your body lest you want the heart
monitor to produce inaccurate readings.
Lastly, the only alternative against buying heart monitors with chest
straps are the ones that rely on pulses on your fingertips. These however
do not provide readings as accurate as those with chest straps.
Heart Monitor Features – Basic and lower end models tend to display only
your heart rate and maybe the elapsed exercise time as well. This of
course does not provide sufficient information if you want to know
exactly how much you need to improve before you can be qualified as a
completely healthy individual. Higher end models will naturally offer a
wider range of features – for a price. Examples of such features are –
but not limited to – heart rate zone alarms, timers and number of
calories burned. It may also allow users to set pre-programmed workouts
along with a targeted heart rate.
Ease of Use – Lastly, you must purchase a heart rate monitor that you
will have no problems of using. What good would a high end heart monitor
do if it takes you an hour to operate it? Are the numbers and words
appearing in the heart rate monitor readable? Can it be used in no-light
situations? Are buttons well-labeled and ergonomically positioned?
To Buy or Not to Buy a Heart Monitor
Heart monitors can be especially costly, more so if you are intent on
purchasing higher-end models. If you have a limited budget, you should
ask yourself whether or not you truly need to buy a heart monitor. You
can of course purchase one of the lower-end models but low quality heart
monitors can lead to inaccurate results and that sort of defeats the
purpose of buying one.
If you are intent on purchasing a heart monitor, you need to ask yourself
another question: do you need to make a solo purchase or is it alright
with you to use the heart monitor that comes as a built-in feature of a
treadmill? Lastly, you should remember as well that you can always pay
your doctor regular visits and have him monitor your heart rate for you.