Thursday, February 24, 2011

Heart Rate Monitor

If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know that I credit my bodybugg as one of the main sources of my success.  It does a lot of stuff, such as counting my calories, counting my steps, and counting my daily activity level.  The one thing it doesn’t do is monitor my heart rate.  I’ll be honest – when I first got it, I was glad it didn’t do that.  That last thing I needed, at that point, was something constantly beeping at me, telling me I wasn’t moving fast enough when I felt that I was doing good to be moving at all.

A few weeks ago, though, I started feeling the need for a heart rate monitor.  I wanted my workout time to be as effective as possible and I knew that it wasn’t if I wasn’t working out in my target heart rate zone

Additionally, I’d started walking with a friend during Megan’s music class and we wanted an accurate count of how far we were walking in miles, not just steps like my bodybugg tells me, and what our pace was.  So, I knew that, in addition to a few other features, I wanted a built-in pedometer.

I also knew I wanted a heart rate monitor that could be used with or without the chest strap, since I wanted that for at home, but didn’t want to have to fool with it at Megan’s music class.

I shopped around and finally decided on the Sportline Duo 1060, which I picked up the Sunday before Valentine’s Day.  (Brian said it could be my Valentine’s present, which I thought was rather appropriate – Valentine’s Day.  Heart rate monitor.)

HRM

I love it!  It has a time setting with the time, day of the week, and date.  The exercise setting tracks your calories, steps, speed, distance, and heart rate (and probably a few other things I haven’t figured out yet).  It also keeps a history of up to seven workouts, so you can compare or, if you’re tracking your workouts (which you should be), you don’t have to stress if you can’t write everything down right away.

It also features a chronograph, so I can time my laps, a timer, and several other features that I either haven’t quite figured out yet or haven’t had occasion to use.  I can either wear the chest strap for continuous heart rate monitoring or just touch my finger anywhere on the silver sensor surrounding the watch face to check my heart rate.

I was a little afraid that I would get the heart rate monitor and decide that I really hadn’t needed it after all, but I have loved having it.  First of all, I discovered that, generally, when I’m on the treadmill or the elliptical going at a normal workout pace, I’m within the target zone for fat burning, which is a relief.  Sometimes, I even move into the endurance zone when I’m running.

I love that I had to put in my weight, my age, and my stride length for both running and walking (which I had to measure and figure out).  I feel that, with all of that information, plus my heart rate during workouts, I get a really accurate measure of how I’m doing, how far I’ve run or walked and how many calories I’ve burned.

I use the heart rate monitor in conjunction with my bodybugg.  If I had to choose one over the other, I’d choose the bodybugg because it continuously monitors my calorie burn.  However, the heart rate monitor has made a great addition to my weight-loss arsenal.

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