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HR monitor app to track?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by alice111, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. alice111

    alice111 Senior Member

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    Hi guys,
    for the next two week I will have a Fitbit and a mio heart rate monitor. My goal is to see if there is any correlation between good days bad days, and over exertion that I am unaware of.

    The Fitbit app is really targeted for people who um... Do more than I do ..
    Specifically I would like to be able to track how many times I go over my max hr per day, does anyone have any ideas or suggestion how I can do this?
    Thanks! :)
     
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  2. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    @alice111 I'm not at all familiar with the Fitbit. But, I do have a Timex HR monitor watch with chest strap. It can be programmed with an "in zone" range. The typical method for calculating the top of the range is 220 minus age, multiplied by anywhere from 50 - 70 percent, depending on how impaired/sedentary you are. For myself, I've set the upper limit at 65 percent. If not using a percentage calculation, I believe 110 bpm is the maximum suggested for ME patients, at least to start with.

    My HR monitor doesn't track the number of times I go over my max; but rather, the total time recorded (which involves starting the chronometer), and the length of time "in zone". From this, it is easy to calculate the time "out of zone". The lower figure is also important, because having a HR that goes below your "low" will also be considered as being out of your zone. For this reason, my bottom for the zone is set at an otherwise unnecessarily low "40".

    The figures that my monitor records are: "Total Time" and "In Zone" (hours and minutes), "Minimum", "Peak", and "Average" (bpm). Some days I let the chronometer run/record all day, which can be helpful in seeing the trend. Other days I start/stop recording before and after a specific type of activity to establish how specific tasks (eg. cognitive vs physical, sitting vs standing) affect my HR. I'm learning a tremendous amount, but it is rather discouraging to see how effort that would barely register for a healthy person has such a dramatic effect on me.

    I've been recording consistently for more than two months, so have lots of data for my husband to input in a computer spreadsheet he's developing, with graphing options. Of course, the Mio is probably more sophisticated, and may have an App that does this for you. However, my experience is that these devices are intended for an entirely different purpose than the "pacing/activity management" most ME patients use them for. The pre-set HR target zones don't apply to us, so you may need to figure out a "work-around" to get the statistics you need.

    Good luck -- I hope this opportunity provides valuable insight.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  3. AndyPR

    AndyPR Senior Member

    I have a Fitbit HR and while I really like it, the lack of any ability to set up alarms based on current HR and set up individual HR zones let it down in my opinion. I use the desktop app and I can view the historical data it has recorded, so you could track it that way, but it is less than ideal.
     
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  4. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Senior Member

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    I have a Mio and an iPhone app that will keep track of the data. (Be aware that the available apps are all annoying, but they are the only ways to record the data over time).

    It's good for two things - first, it can be programmed to beep if you exceed a certain heart rate (say, 120) and second, the patterns it shows can be very useful. I've found that early in the day, episodes of activity would cause my heart rate to rise and fall as you'd expect. Later in the day, when I am more run-down, the heart rate would tend to rise, and instead of falling between episodes, it would just keep on climbing higher with each new activity. That's a clear warning sign for me.

    The Mio works well for me unless I'm using my hands. It will read high if I raise my hands over my head or if I am using my hands in an active way, like washing the dishes. Other than that it has been very well-behaved, much better than any chest-strap unit.
     
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  5. alice111

    alice111 Senior Member

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  6. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Senior Member

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    I have an ancient iPhone running iOS 6 that uses an equally old copy of Cyclemeter that works just fine.

    My new iPhone (iOS 9) has a built-in Health app that should work OK, but mine won't work with the mio at all, because the bluetooth keeps dropping. So I carry both phones.

    I also noticed that the new version of Cyclemeter requires a yearly payment.
     
  7. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Can you use a Mio successfully without a smart phone if you just want to watch real-time data? I use a chest strap one now but they are uncomfortable for continuous wear.
     
  8. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Senior Member

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    Yes, it shows a nice display and it will beep at you if you go over or under a preset limit.
     
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  9. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    What model do you recommend? And can you change the battery yourself or do you have to send it somewhere? Thanks!
     
  10. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Senior Member

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    I use a Mio Alpha, it has a built-in rechargeable battery.

    I also might have found a suitable app that seems to work well and provides a higher-resolution graph that the Health app does. It's called 'Heart Graph' for the iPhone.
     
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  11. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    I only use the Mio Alpha for real-time data. It has clock mode, silent heart rate mode, and noisy-flashy heart rate mode with multiple low and high alarms.
     
  12. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Does it have a real-time (not averaged) flashing pulse indication? The chest strap one I have now has a heart symbol that flashes in direct response to your pulse. This allows you to watch for rhythm problems. This is a function I need.
     
  13. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    I have the older model, and it doesn't show actual heart beats, so can't see if any are missed. I don't know if the uploaded data would show that either.

    But the actual heart rate monitor output is very responsive. A delay of maybe a second or two before big changes show up (such as from standing).
     
    Sushi likes this.

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