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Purpose of a Heart Rate Monitor (?)

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Old 10-13-2008, 12:53 PM   #1
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Default Purpose of a Heart Rate Monitor (?)

I know it's used to keep track of your heart rate, but what does that really mean? I'm about to order a pedometer and I see heart rate monitors recommended to buy too. Is having one necessary? I'm about to start getting into cardio workouts soon if that helps. Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:05 PM   #2
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A lot of cardio machines (especially at the gym) already have one built in, so you'd probably only need one if you're doing something like running. Using a heart rate monitor can help you get the best workout possible, for both fat burning and your heart's health. Once you learn your target heart rate range, you can use it to find out when you should speed up/slow down, and it always helps when you're cooling down, so you know how much more cool down you need (if you just stop with your heart rate too high, you could really get dizzy and sick!).
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:47 PM   #3
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Also, many HRMs include calorie counters based on your heart rate, weight, gender, age and height. It is much, much more accurate than anything you will find on the machines at the gym. I do use it to monitor my heart rate, though I almost always go high-intensity when I'm at the gym, but to me the calorie count alone is worth it. It lets me know all my hard work was not done in vain, haha!
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:53 PM   #4
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For me a heart rate monitor helps me to make the best of the time I spend exercising. As Kelly said, above, it helps me to judge where I am and how well I'm doing. It especially helps me when doing HIIT cardio.

I also like that I can get an idea of how many calories I've burned with any given workout.

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Old 10-13-2008, 02:44 PM   #5
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The heart rate monitors on machines at the gym are not accurate. You need a chest strap heart rate monitor for it to be accurate.

My heart rate monitor helps me know how hard I'm working and how many calories I'm burning. If my heart rate is low, I know I need to step it up. If it is high, I may need to back off a bit. I personally love mine.
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Old 10-13-2008, 05:00 PM   #6
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it can be a motivator to work a bit harder. don't trust the ones on the machines at the gym.

enjoy!
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:56 PM   #7
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Well, I'm going to oddball that disagrees. I don't think an HRM is necessary. I can see where it would be nice to have, but I use the perceived exertion scale to monitor the intensity of my workouts and it's worked fine for me (and it's a lot cheaper than an HRM).
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:46 PM   #8
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I don't think an HRM is necessary but that doesn't mean I don't love mine and not sure how I lived without it
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:17 PM   #9
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Barbara - thanks for the link. It made me laugh out loud when I read 9-10!

I have a chest strap HRM which is great, but I don't honestly use it a lot right now. I work with my trainer 3x a week and I let him set the pace. When I do cardio I pretty much do what Barbara mentioned. I have found that at my gym the HRM on the machines and mine with the chest strap are pretty much the same. I don't believe the calories on the machine for one second.


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Old 10-14-2008, 01:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueToBlue View Post
Well, I'm going to oddball that disagrees. I don't think an HRM is necessary. I can see where it would be nice to have, but I use the perceived exertion scale to monitor the intensity of my workouts and it's worked fine for me (and it's a lot cheaper than an HRM).

What a coincidence! I was reading about this today on About.com. It's seems interesting. I took notes so that means I'm going to look into it.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Well, I'm going to oddball that disagrees. I don't think an HRM is necessary.
I don't think anyone here said it was NECESSARY. We all listed why we have them and what we think the benefits are, but no one said "yes, it's necessary".

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Old 10-14-2008, 11:23 AM   #12
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What brand of HRM do you all recommend? I like the idea of getting an accurate read on calories burned; especially as I'm a calorie counter.

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Old 10-14-2008, 11:26 AM   #13
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I have a Polar Ft40 and I like it a lot. My next HRM will probably have GPS tied into it.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:31 AM   #14
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I have the Polar F6 which works great for me. It doesn't have a lot of fancy features - but it allows me to put in my height, weight, gender, and therefore to get a pretty accurate calorie reading. I can also set it to flag my max and min heart rate and to beep at me when I drop below or get above ... so I don't have to constantly monitor where I am by looking at the readout.

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Old 10-14-2008, 08:48 PM   #15
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Another vote for Polar F6. It even works in the pool.
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