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KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (82,009)
Fitness Minutes: (48,676)
Posts: 5,092
11/24/12 4:59 P

Invest in a good HRM! Don't just buy the cheapest one you can find. I love my Polar FT4 - it was $60 on amazon (4.4 out of 5 stars), and I don't regret buying it for a second. I use it 5-6 days a week and I've never had a problem with it.

11/21/12 9:42 P

I have a Polor HRM as well, but I've never replaced the batteries in the chest strap..only the watch itself. I've had it for 5 years or so.

This may be a silly question, but how would I know if the chest strap even has a battery or if it needs replaced.


MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (79,204)
Fitness Minutes: (79,213)
Posts: 2,170
11/21/12 6:29 P

You really should not go for the cheapest make and model. For the device to be useful, it should be practical. It should have a good chest strap; it should not lose signal sporadically, it should be able to tell the average HR along with the instantaneous one. It would be good if it has the modes for walking, running, cycling and swimming (all are very common exercises that all of us do at some point in time).

I second the Polar option, although I own a Garmin 310xt and terribly happy with it. It is not the most inexpensive HRM but its current price is a bargain compared to what it used to be simply because they have a new model which does exactly the same so the old one had its price slashed.

If you can't afford a reasonably good HRM, do not buy one. If your only purpose is estimating the calories burned correctly, a stopwatch and SP's fitness tracker should suffice. Just measure your trajectory using google maps, and use your stopwatch to tell the time it takes for you tor walk/run/cycle that distance. Now you can calculate your speed and use the nearest entry in the SP fitness tracker database. You won't be off by much, especially if you interpolate.

Edited by: MPLANE37 at: 11/21/2012 (18:33)
TANGERYNE SparkPoints: (4,899)
Fitness Minutes: (2,898)
Posts: 60
11/21/12 1:06 P

I love my Polar HRM. It's an older model they no longer make but their HRMs always have great reviews. Mine does show the calories burned and it's a nice motivator for me.

I recently bought a new chest strap online for 40 bucks(non-coded is even cheaper), because I didn't want to ship back and forth etc. Considering what a gym costs a month, spending that much once a year or so is worth it to me.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (200,180)
Fitness Minutes: (299,303)
Posts: 27,333
11/21/12 1:00 P

Here's something to consider about that Omrom HRM, it doesn't calculate calorie burn. If you're looking for an HRM that calculates the amount of calories you burn during cardiovascular exercise, then you're going to need to spend a bit more money for a better model.

This is a typical "no frills" HRM. that means, all it does is measure your heart rate when you're working out. So, let's say you're taking a spinning class and your instructor says your heart rate should be in a cardiovascular zone at around 120-140bpm. you'll check your HRM to make sure your HR is where it needs to be. If you're at 110 bpm, then you know you need to pick up the pace a bit.

Also, that's true about Polar HRMS i.e. the chest strap needs to be returned to Polar to have the battery replaced. That's the way they've always been. Good quality HRMs are not cheap. Hate to say this, but the old cliche is right. You get what you pay for.

Here's the thing, an HRM is a great tool that could help a person lose weight. But, you don't need one to lose. Many people lost the weight without an HRM, Fitbit, Body Bugg, etc. They all tools a person could use, but doesn't need to use.

GAMMALEAK Posts: 224
11/21/12 2:33 A


I'm thinking about getting a heart rate monitor, but, wow, the prices! I would never have imagined they would cost so much. Call me cheap, but I balk a little even at a $40 price tag for what these things do.

I don't need a ton of fancy features, so this Omron one seems to get the job done. Although it has many, many good reviews, it also has about 15% 1-star reviews as well, which seems fairly high.

Polar seems to be the big name in HRM's, but from what I understand you can't change the battery on their transmitters, which seems sort of unacceptable to me.

What would you recommend?

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