Heart Rate Monitors - Are they necessary for an exercise program?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jason L., Oct 13, 2004.

  1. Jason L.

    Jason L. Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 1999
    Messages:
    483
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've been looking at picking up the Polar S610i and getting the USB/InfraRed connector so that you can download your information to your PC. However, it is a bit pricey.

    I have never used one of these before. I am not a cyclist, and until I can undergo arthroscopic knee surgery I wont be running any time soon. I can see how they can be a motivational tool. My worry is that I will be wasting my money on something whose value is questionable.

    My quesitons are, how valuable are these in meeting your exercise goals? Is it necessary to try and be in your target heart rate whenever you work out? Are they annoying to wear? Do they break easily? Do the batteries run out often?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Michael Varacin

    Michael Varacin Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jason,

    Heart rate monitors are helpful, but not always needed. I've used them for almost 10 years now, but I am an avid cyclist who trys to maximize my performance.

    The downloadable Polar monitors (I have a 720i) have some great motivation tools. The one that works for me is the graph and calender tools in the software. It will display a bar graph of the time spent working out each week...it makes you feel guilty when you look and see a blank space where a thick bar should be showing your hours for that week.

    The calender will display your weekly total calories burned directly on it...so at a glance, you can see how much you've done each week. Very motivating.

    I also like the totals it stores for a motivator...for example, last year I burned 151,100 calories during my workouts...my goal for this year was 200,000. It makes you feel good when after a workout you see that total rise.

    I use the heart rate zones for different types of riding...I know that once or twice a week, I need to do some intervals above a certain heart rate. (I display and measure everything as a % of my maximum heart rate.) Being able to ride at a certain heart rate has REALLY improved my performance. So being within a target heart rate during a work out can certainly help reach goals.

    I also like it because it's a good indicator of other problems. If I'm riding at an easy pace, and my heart rate is unusually high, I know something is wrong and I need a rest day.

    The strap is not a problem to wear, after a while you forget you have it on. The batteries last a long time, and from what I hear, the monitors are tough and don't break often.

    I love mine, and would never run / cycle without it. But my goals are performance, not general fitness. If you are just starting a fitness program, any excercise will make a difference, no matter what your heart rate is.
     
  3. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 1999
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I recommend a heart rate monitor, as they allow you to exercise smarter, not harder.
     
  4. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I used be a full time athlete when I was younger and we used heart rate monitors. They work great, are comfortable, and give you lots of good info.

    But...its a lot cheaper to look at your watch and take your pulse. That's what everyone did before the fancy heart rate monitors came out. I would only buy one if I was taking my heart rate all the time the old fashion way and it was starting to get annoying. If you are not doing that then you don't really need one except as an expensive toy.

    Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with expensive toys. This is Home Theater Forum after all!
     

Share This Page