So in my opinion, with a HRM you get what you pay for, and anything under $50 will probably be a waste of your money. The first time I bought a HRM, I got a cheepy one -but the second time I learned my lesson and spent just a little more. Here's what I can tell you about HRM and then you can decide if you'd like to get one (which they are WELL worth it, I promise!)
First - there's 2 kinds of heart rate monitors, ones that have a Chest Strap and ones that don't. The ones that don't rely on the fact that you STOP working out, press a button (which only works half the time in my experience), wait 10-15 seconds while it takes your reading (in which your HR comes down) so by the time it actually generates your reading, its innacurate. Then it uses that number to calculate your cal burn until you take another reading - which makes the whole workout burn really inaccurate.
When you get a HRM with a Chest Strap, it fits right along your ribcage (directly under your sports bra) and this allows for a continuous reading - meaning you can just keep working out and you don't have to stop moving until the workout is over!! They are comfortable and once you get started, you can't even tell that you're wearing it.
Second - go with a brand that is recommended. There's lots of "off" brand HRMs out there that are really unreliable. There's a few brands (such as Polar and Timex) that are truly trusted in the fitness community - and their equipment is around the same cost as the "off" brands. Also - when you go with the trusted brands, they usually have additional software enhancements to truly customize the watch - which means you can enter your age, height, weight, gender, etc that assists with creating a more accurate calorie burn. Other brands only take your age & gender into account which means they might not be as accurate
Okay - so now that I've totally written a novel (I apologize, but I want you to be educated so you don't waste your money!) which one do I recommend? I personally use (and my hubby uses as well) a Polar Ft4. Its a reliable brand, has a chest strap, is waterproof (and the chest strap is washable), customized settings for calorie burns and lots of other fun stuff - PLUS its really not that pricey. I picked mine up at Best Buy for $90 and its WELL worth the extra $40 (over the $50 you wanted to spend) to ensure that you're getting a reliable piece of equipment.
Here's a link for the one I would recommend - it comes in silver or bronze depending on which color you prefer (the only difference between the "mens" and "women" is the color - I personally liked the silver over the bronze, so that's the one I bought): www.bestbuy.com/site/Polar+-+FT4+Men's+Hea
I know that's a lot of information - and if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask!!!
~~~~~NCSF and ACT Certified Personal Trainer~~~~~
-Certified Fitness Nutritionist & Licensed Zumba & Zumbatomic Instructor!!-
Follow My Crazy Fitness Adventures at www.themadnessofhilly.blogspot.com
Co-Leader of the Official NM & Albuquerque teams, Going INSANE with Insanity! Team, Final Goal Weight in 2012 Team & the Trainers In Training Team!
| current weight: 180.8