Heart Rate Monitors

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Use a heart rate monitor to keep an eye on your health without using your hands

Whether your motivation is optimizing your workouts or checking in on your health, Best Buy’s assortment of heart rate monitors from brands like Polar and Runtastic help you keep an eye on how your heart health measures up.

Choosing a heart rate monitor

A heart monitor has as many uses for elite athletes as it does the recreational exerciser. Casual joggers can employ their monitor to detect and aim for fat-burning and aerobic target zones that optimize their cardio time, while hardcore runners can use theirs to stay in peak zones on intense training days. Patients rehabilitating from an injury like cardiac arrest can also use heart rate monitor data to gradually and safely return to full strength and endurance levels. Generally speaking, using a monitor for endurance, aerobic, and weight loss programs develops cardiovascular and muscular efficiency while for anaerobic activity such as interval workouts, a heart rate monitor helps to enhance lung capacity and increase lactate tolerance.

Heart rate monitor types

Basic chest strap heart rate monitor models have wireless sensors worn directly over the heart and around the chest; this sensor electronically detects and sends your pulse data to a wristwatch-style receiver. Chest strap monitors time your workouts and provide continuous, average, high and low heart information. Some can be paired with foot pods or incorporate GPS receivers to track speed, distance, cadence, and course information. Strapless heart rate monitors are units worn on the wrist, with built-in sensors that measure heart rate. While they can be less accurate than chest strap monitors since they sit further away from the heart, they alleviate much of the discomfort and potential wireless interference that occurs with chest strap models.

Heart rate monitor features

Heart rate monitors come with a host of features to help you optimize both your health and your workouts. Target zone tracking lets you preprogram your monitor for different workouts of the aerobic, anaerobic, and endurance varieties. Stopwatch or lap/split time functions let you see how your pace changes after every lap or mile on a marked-distance race course. Recovery heart rate mode tracks the time it takes for your heart to return to its normal resting rate, giving you insight into your level of cardiovascular fitness. Calorie counters and speed or distance monitor functions provide you even more data about your concentrated efforts to reach your optimal health. If you're an avid swimmer, look for models that are water-resistant. If you'll be using your monitor in gyms, during marathon races, or in other areas where many other people may be wearing their own, it's ideal to find ones that use digital signals rather than analog, to minimize interference.

Using your heart rate monitor to meet health and fitness goals

To optimize most fitness activities, your heart rate needs to reach the right pace for the right amount of time. A heart rate monitor helps you find your "sweet spot" and gauge the effectiveness of your workout by measuring the speed of your pulse to ensure you’re meeting the target levels required by your routine. Get readings before, during, or after an activity and have your stats sent from select models right to your smart device to track and monitor progress for a single sweat session, or over time. Other models offer extra functions like countdown timers, calorie burn and distance measures, or data synchronization with gym cardio equipment, effectively helping you improve your cardiovascular care. No sweat.

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