Heart Rate Monitors - an Overview
By Sophie Goldman
A heart rate monitor is a device that allows users of exercise machines to check their heart rate whilst training. It usually consists of two elements, a wrist receiver and a chest strap. The chest strap uses electrodes to monitor your heart rate, and if the device is connected to your exercise machine, its console will show your heart rate to you. Wrist receivers usually come in the forms of watches that measure your pulse by calculating the time before blood pumps through your wrist veins. Heart rate monitors are becoming more and more popular and most high-quality exercise machines come with a heart rate monitor of their own.
If you are suffering from heart or blood pressure problems, having a heart rate monitor while training is a must. Not only will you be able to see how your heart handles physical effort, but you will also be able to control your heart rate by adjusting speed settings on the exercise machines. Some treadmills and elliptical trainers come with a built-in heart-rate management system, which automatically slows down the machine if your heart rate is too high. This is useful, as it helps avoid many heart-related problems that used to occur in the past with people training harder than their heart could handle.
Even if you do not have heart-related problems, it is still a good idea to use a heart rate monitor from time to time. This way, you will be able to track how your body handles intense effort. To make sure you are healthy and there will be no problems in the future, you should make a daily pulse-rate table for one or two weeks, while training at the same intensity. You will notice if there are extreme pitfalls or ascendings in your pulse, but the best thing to do would be to show this report to your doctor, who will immediately notice any forthcoming troubles.
If you are planning to buy a quality heart rate monitor, one of the more popular manufacturers around is Polar. Polar technology has been around for two decades now and the company has achieved the status of being the industry leader in the heart rate monitors field. They have different series for heart rate monitors, ranging from beginners and intermediates to professional athletes. You can also choose your heart rate monitor from different categories, depending on what your needs are: Cardiac Rehab, Jogging, Cycling, Swimming (this includes a waterproof monitor-watch), Fitness, Weight Management and so forth.
Heart rate monitors mean a big step forward in home exercising, as they may help to prevent and avoid many cardiac problems. Always pay attention to your heart rate monitor and try not to push your heart over the limits. Consult a doctor about what the normal pulse rate should be for your body type, in an effort regime. Combine this data with an exercise machine that supports heart rate measuring systems and displays them on their console, or even better, one that adjusts its speed to your pulse rate.