Heart Matters: Physiology of the Body's Powerhouse

Matters of the heart: how to choose a heart rate monitor for your needs?

It would seem that all heart rate monitors are the same: their main task is to measure the heart rate (HR), and each of the gadgets successfully copes with this. Not many people know that all heart rate monitors fall into two broad categories: bibs and wrist rests, and these are not all features worth paying attention to. Check out our compilation for details!

Polar H10

Probably the most outstanding chest heart rate monitor ever. The Polar gadget is deservedly considered a legend, and the H10 is not the first reissue in the line. The history of consumer heart rate monitors of this brand is more than half a century old!

The Polar H10 model is a novelty, and in addition to aesthetic improvements, it received a number of missing features. Firstly, the electrode strip is longer than its predecessor, which increases the accuracy and stability of measurements, excluding possible external interference.

Matters of the heart: how to choose a heart rate monitor for your needs?

Photo: istockphoto.com

Secondly, you no longer need to train with your smartphone: Polar H10 has been equipped with a built-in memory for one training session. And finally, the device has added to its versatility - now you can train in the water! Yes, the sealing characteristics allow it to be used while swimming, which is a very logical addition to the previous parameter. Is it the best chest strap? We believe so.

Mio Slice

Mio Global gadgets are some of the most popular in the amateur and professional sports market.

Interesting: early heart rate monitors in the Garmin line were powered by Mio sensors.

Mio heart rate monitors are considered to be one of the best optical heart rate monitors today, and their accuracy is no longer questioned. All of them are made in the form of watches or bracelets, which means that they do not involve the use of a chest strap, which is also an additional convenience for many users.

Of the simple models, Mio Alpha should be noted: sports watch with a permanent optical heart rate monitor. And last year, an intellectual novelty appeared - the Mio Slice bracelet.

Matters of the heart: how to choose a heart rate monitor for your needs?

Photo: istockphoto.com

An innovative metric for evaluating the effectiveness of training: PAI, or personal activity index, has become a feature of the model. It is calculated individually for each user. The task for the week is to get 100 PAI, and it's not that easy. The logic is simple: the axiom of 10 thousand steps a day, on which the niche of pedometers was based, is outdated and, moreover, ineffective, since simple walking does not give an optimal load on the heart. PAI is just the opposite: it records the work of the heart muscle and interprets only this healthy data.

ISport W117

A special type of heart rate monitor - the so-called closed models. They do not require a connection to a smartphone and are a watch + chest strap design. The latter, in turn, is connected onlyabout a complete watch, on the display of which heart rate data are displayed in real time. Such models are suitable for those who do not pursue the goal of keeping training statistics.

Most often, such gadgets are cheaper, their average cost fits into the range of 2-4 thousand rubles. As a rule, large brands also have such heart rate monitors, although marketing attention is not on their side ( Polar FT-1 ).

Matters of the heart: how to choose a heart rate monitor for your needs?

Photo: istockphoto.com

Less famous models are heart rate monitors of the German brand Sigma . And from the very young - ISport W117 . This uncomplicated model of Chinese production is going through its second season in the Russian market. She proved to be accurate and reliable, which secured her a place among the already popular models. A few simple adjustments, a comfortable fit on the arm and chest, a relaxed sporty design - and you don't need more.

Lifetrak C400

For those who do not need to measure their heart rate constantly, models are suitable episodic heart rate monitors. This category of devices does not have a task to monitor the heart rate 24/7, but measurements are made on demand. The user, having felt the need, presses the button and receives the heart rate data. The leader in this niche is the well-known brand Lifetrak (company - Salutron). The company is known in the US market as a developer of government gadgets and has a number of health projects for the army and NASA under its belt.

Matters of the heart: how to choose a heart rate monitor for your needs?

Photo : istockphoto.com

Collaborations with popular sports brands such as New Balance are known in the fitness device market; in Russia it is sold under its own brand - Lifetrak C400 . In addition to undeniable accuracy, one more important feature should be noted! Unlike most episodic heart rate monitors, Lifetrak shows the heart rate in an interval of up to 30 seconds, and not only at a specific moment, which allows you to see the dynamics of the heart rate: a tendency to increase or decrease. Also, the watch has a proprietary application for saving statistics and analyzing physical activity: distance traveled, calories burned.

Cardio clothing

As already noted, most heart rate monitors take their place either on the chest or on the user's wrist, and some have noted some inconveniences in use.

Matters of the heart: how to choose a heart rate monitor for your needs?

Photo: istockphoto.com

One of the alternatives to a wrist gadget is cardio clothing. The user puts on a T-shirt, which already includes thin conductive threads, and any heart rate monitor that will act as a processor clings to it. Heart rate data will be saved in the application with which the selected heart rate monitor model can synchronize. Examples include the Caballero Sport model.


Another alternative is the heart rate monitor headphones. It's no secret that many in the hall, and on the street they prefer to train to music, so there is certainly logic in this category of devices.

Today, there are a dozen models that have already confirmed both accuracy and convenience, but we will mention a couple of them. Firstly, the wireless version of Jabra should be noted. The heart rate sensor for this headset was made by Valencell, one of the leading researchers and developers in the sports market. The company itself assures that they are doing not just precise, but ultra-precise optics, adding additional translucent diodes to eliminate external interference, which work even with weak contact with the skin, since they distinguish between weak blood flow.

Matters of the heart: how to choose a heart rate monitor for your needs?

Photo: istockphoto.com

The second model is Samsung headphones. The Gear IconX model is notable primarily because it belongs to the new category Truly Wireless, or True Wireless Headphones. Not only are they not connected with a wire to a smartphone or player, but the speakers themselves are not connected in any way!

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