Sunday, March 3, 2013

.: what the H is a HRM? :.

have you guys been missing me???

i am seriously embarrassed by how long it has been since i have posted. i am even more embarrased by how long ago one of my followers asked me to write up this post - to that follower, i am sincerely sorry!

ok, enough gushing! this post is a basic breakdown of a heart rate monitor - the specific model is a Polar FT40. when i was able to run, i was trying to decide between investing in a GPS or a heart rate moniter. the HRM won because it was more versatile than a GPS - it doesn't track distance, but it tracks your heart rate (obviously), whether you are in a cardio (fitness improving) range or fat burning range, how long were in each range, length of work out and number of calories burned. you are able to enter your height, weight, gender, birthdate, etc., so your HRM is tailored for you and your workout stats are accurate unlike what the machines at the gym tell you.

getting started:.

first, you have set the time and enter your biometrics in - height, weight, gender, etc. if you buy a new HRM, you will be prompted to do this. if you buy a used one, it is easy enough to hit a few buttons and change them. another bonus, it is easy to change these if you happen to lose or god forbid, gain weight to ensure your results are always accurate.

that's pretty much all you need to do and you are already ready to use it in a workout!

the chest strap - the strap is very comfortable, adjustable and easy to put on. before you put it on, you need to wet the back of strap where the transmitter attaches. the transmitter is the small chip-looking piece that will snap on and off the strap. when i say wet, i mean spreading a couple drops of water (or spit), not running it under water - too much. plus chances are you may sweat during your workout so you just need something while you warm up. placement - you will want the transmitter to lie flat, for me that is either to the left or right of my sternum. picture this, place the strap either under your sports bra band or right above whichever is more comfortable for you. i tend to place mine a little above the band so i don't feel too constricted. play around with it, see where you get a 'signal' and adjust it from there. guys, i am sure you can picture where a sports bra band were to lie if you wore on.

now, all you have to do is hit the middle button on the right side of the watch (twice) and get moving! it may take up to 30 seconds for your watch to link with the transmitter, but your heart rate should soon take over the watch screen. if it does not pick up your heart rate, it will say 'check your transmitter' - if that happens, adjust the transmittier, end the session and start it again. extra bonus, your heart rate monitor will most likely automatically sync with the cardio machine you are using.

the HRM does have the ability to pause - hit the 'end' button once to pause or twice to end.

what else do you need to know??? after you hit end, it will automatically break down your workout data and you can interpretate how ever you would like!

here is one of my workouts as an example:.

breaking down how long you were in each 'zone'

tracks your average heart rate throughout the workout and the highest that your heart rate reached 

tip: detach the transmitter from the strap after every use - this will help extend the battery life of the transmitter.

i hope i gave a decent overview of a HRM - let me know if you have any questions. the user manual is EXTREMELY helpful.

i use my HRM for just about everything - yoga sculpt, barre, buti, ellipticalling, lifting weights, spin, biking outside. i love that i can see how productive each work out has been regardless of what it is - a GPS watch can't do that..... i have also found that i can use my HRM as an indication of being sick or not getting enough sleep - for instance, i noticed my heart rate spikes really quickly and has a hard time coming down when i am sleep deprived or am getting over a cold.

heart rate monitors range in brands and prices. it all depends on what you want to use it for. i am biased towards to Polar brand because they seem to be the largest and most popular HRM, but they can come at a cost. i was lucky enough to have my employee wellness program offer discount prices. do some research - there are hundreds of makes and models that can benefit you in a different way!

do yourself and your workouts a favor, buy a HRM - it will keep you honest.

always strving for more,

 dee b.

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