How to choose a fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor
This guide will help you choose the best fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor built-in.
03 Apr 2019
What should my heart rate be?
A normal resting heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute, and children will tend to have higher rates than adults. When exercising, you get the most benefits when you’re in the “target heart-rate zone”, which is 60%-80% of your ‘maximum’ heart rate. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can figure out your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.
Getting the most out of your exercise routine
If you’re trying to get in shape for a big event, or even if you just like to keep trim, setting goals and targets can help keep you motivated and on track. Some fitness trackers will also have ‘goal-based’ exercise modes that are perfect to make sure you’re pushing yourself and getting the most from your workout.
The Fitbit Inspire HR lets you pick your own goals – just choose the type of exercise you’re doing and you can set targets like an amount of calories to burn, a distance to run, or maybe a personal time to beat. Whatever your goal, the Inspire HR keeps track of all your activities and by showing your heart rate on the screen, you can make sure you’re always pushing yourself and reaping the rewards.
Need some motivation? Pick a tracker with move reminders
Sometimes we don’t feel like exercising, and for those of us that work in an office environment, it can be easy to sit at your desk for hours on end when you’ve got a project to focus on.
Sitting for long periods of time isn’t good for you - it can slow down your metabolism which can make it difficult for your body to do things like regulate your blood sugar/blood pressure and break down fat. According to the NHS, lots of adults in the UK spend more than seven hours a day sitting or lying down, and this can increase to 10 hours as we get older. It’s recommended that we get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, while also trying to reduce the time we spend sitting down.
A Fitbit Charge 3 can help you remember to get up and get the blood flowing, as it encourages you to take at least 250 steps per hour. If you haven’t completed your 250 steps 10 minutes before the hour is up, the Charge 3 will vibrate and show you a notification, giving you a gentle nudge to get up and stretch your legs. It won’t remind you if you’re asleep though, so you can still enjoy that afternoon snooze uninterrupted.
Keep track of your results over time
One of the best ways to track and measure results is using statistics and graphs. They can reveal certain trends and can be used to show that progress is being made, so you can make changes depending on the results you want to see. If you take heart medication, you might want to keep track of your pulse and share the results with your doctor, to make sure you’re on the best treatment plan and that it’s working for you.
Most fitness trackers will show you statistics for a chosen period of time, but seeing it plotted out on a graph can make trends and patterns more obvious. The Garmin Vivosmart 4 does just that, measuring your heart rate and letting you see the levels on a graph. So, whether it’s a newly adopted exercise regime or some new medication, you’ll be able to see how it’s affecting you over time.
Another helpful feature is the ‘Body Battery’, which measures your heart rate and determines your body’s energy level, so for things like interval training, you’ll know exactly when to hit those sprints and when you need a rest.