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ideas on heart rate monitors and apps

Discussion in 'Problems Standing: Orthostatic Intolerance; POTS' started by Richard7, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

    I have been using a borrowed polar heart rate monitor for a while. An old one that just displays the HR of the watch face and records the average and max heart rate of each session (day in my case).

    It has been pretty useful. It is a much better indicator of how well I am doing than my own senses, which only seem to tell me when I have overdone it.

    But the sensor I have been using just died. And I do not think I can really afford to replace it.

    The h10 and h7 monitors are at the upper range of what I can spend, but they do not work with the old polar watches and it is the watches that are the most expensive part of the polar system.

    I imagine this is a pretty common problem, as we are the people who need these sorts of things the most and have the least money.

    So I was wondering if anyone had had any success with the less expensive chinese brands of chest based HR monitors found on ebay, Amazon and elsewhere. Preferably one that works with a watch and has an alarm that can be set to tell me when I am overdoing it.

    Or a good cheap watch that will work well with a polar or wahoo or something monitor.

    (Preferably one that just has black LCD on a grey background, I am a migrainer and have issues with flashing lights LEDs and so on.)

    Or some other solution that I have not thought of.

    I was also wondering if anyone could give any suggestions about good apps that log all the heart rate data so that I can get a better idea of patterns.

    Sidney likes this.
  2. Sidney

    Sidney Senior Member

    SF Bay Area, USA
    I sympathise, and I too would be grateful for any info. I had the polar H7, but it was uncomfortable, you were only supposed to use it for short periods, and the watch itself didn’t last long. This expensive Polar watch not only died quickly (battery needed charging constantly) but kept falling out of the strap. There was no alarm.

    The only one I can find with an alarm is Alpha mio, which I gather is very inaccurate. I just use my old Fitbit Charge which they also say is inaccurate over 80 bpm ( just when you need it) but at least tells you the time, date, your HR on the same screen. ( I am definitely not doing workouts!).

    I tried the ' loggsall' app, but didn’t have the brain power to use it.

    Thank you!
    Richard7 likes this.
  3. bombsh3ll

    bombsh3ll Senior Member

    I have a polar A300, bought reconditioned as new on Amazon in November for about £28. the price for the same is now about £40.

    This replaces an older Polar that I got second hand, not sure which model but you couldn't change the strap battery on that so it didn't last long. That one did alarm if your heart rate went above a level that you could select. My current one has a rechargeable battery in the watch - lasts several days - and a changeable battery in the chest strap - lasts about 2 months. The A300 probably does have an alarm function but I haven't found it or really looked hard as generally a glance at it when feeling bad is enough.

    My previous one did start embarrassingly beeping at my son's parent's evening when I had to follow the teacher from reception to the classroom, and I couldn't turn it off.

    These devices are generally aimed at healthy people exercising for a short time rather than the chronically ill wearing them to assist pacing throughout the day, so it does have a few unnecessary functions for me eg type of workout.

    I am not very technological and what I like about both the polar's I've had is they do not require any connection to a computer, although I believe the A300 at least can be used to link up to a computer and upload your data if you want.

    So far I am very happy with it. I have POTS and from what I have learned from others you really need a chest strap for accuracy. A sensor at the wrist will not pick up every beat especially if you have low blood volume or poorly perfused extremities so can read your heart rate as falsely low.
    Richard7 likes this.
  4. caledonia


    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    You might be able to find a working version of the same thing on ebay.
  5. .jm.


    I think that chest band HRMs work much better than wrist optical based HRMs. At one point I sewed some custom chest pickups into a few of my sports bras made out of spring-snaps and stainless steel thread and plastic washers so I didn't have to wear the band. The HRM would just snap onto the front.

    All of the HRMs work better if you put gel on them when putting them on your chest. You can use a water based lube like Astrogel or the generic equivalent at Walmart.

    Regarding monitors, I'd suggest the ones made by Wahoo fitness. The TICKRx has memory so it will remember your heart rate even when not connected to your phone. Suunto has a multi-purpose HRM device in beta testing. I have a set of the development units, but never did anything with them. It was supposed to support custom apps and data recording and have a high accuracy pickup and things like that. I don't know if there were ever any application released for it though.

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