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Must Have Fitness Gadgets: Pulse Monitors

Posted on April 13th, 2005 filed in Fitness    |   

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I bought my first pulse monitor in 1995 and never looked back. Polar, a Finnish company, dominates the market and they do a great job. The pulse monitors come in various shapes, sizes and level of sophistication. The pulse monitoring function takes place through a transmitter belt wrapped around the chest and a receiver in a watch-like device.The various models come with a range of bells, whistles and sophisticating features. There’s the stopwatch, the multiple profiles (allowing shared use between different individuals), alarm, watch, computer link to download training log to Excel sheet, and memory to store multiple days of workouts. In addition, there is the calories expenditure, duration of exercise, personal zones (range where one is in his or her aerobic zone i.e. 65%-80%) with the device beeping when one is out of zone.
The more specialized ones also include very advanced features. There are ones dedicated to running, biking, or hiking. For example, the running ones, come with a foot piece that give one the speed, cadence, and distance covered. The biking ones provide great info about RPM in addition to speed and distance covered. The hiking and outdoors sports ones track fancy features such as altitude.

The importance of monitoring your pulse while exercising relates to the fact that aerobic conditionning , which leads to many benefits such as increased basal metabolic rate (and thus more calorie burning all day long while breathing and sleeping) and the lowering of the resting heart rate and numerous additional cardiovascular benefits, improves when one spends at least 30 minutes in the aerobic zone three days a week. The monitoring allows you to ensure that you remain within your zone while exercising as the gadget would beeb when this is not the case leading you to work harder (or easier).

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One Response to “Must Have Fitness Gadgets: Pulse Monitors”

  1. Amy Says:

    I have heard that pulse monitors are a great way to keep track and motivate you and after i read my article I was further motivated to get myself one…so I went and bought just as you recommended a simple polar watch with the belt…At first it irritated me, since you have to stick the belt on your stomach and by sweating a bit, it picks up your heart beat…well, I do not sweat a lot so it kept on falling and it simply annoyed me….lately, I gave it another chance and it is working better but I am still not totally convinced it is the best gadget for me!

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