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Which heart monitor?

JAH

Senior Member
Messages
497
Location
Northern California
For those of you who use a heart monitor, is there a brand or model you would recommend? Also, is there a heart monitor- that works- where you don't need to where a chest strap?

Thanks,

JAH
 

Sallysblooms

P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!
Messages
1,768
Location
Southern USA
I have a Heart Smart watch. I have a chest strap also. I don't need it much now but it works great. Chest straps are more accurate. I tried one without a strap.

heartratewatchsm.jpg
 

voner

Senior Member
Messages
592
I got a chest strap style monitor. there are pluses and minuses with it the good thing about it was that I could monitor certain sessions or time period and then take them to my computer and upload the data automatically and up popped a graph of that session, or sessions. That enable me to do my own POTS heart rate check. I did numerous of those 20 minute POTS sessions and walking session showing my heart rate, and then took the stack of graphs into the doctors offices. That's seem to convince them a lot faster and give them more information than just a verbal description.

On the downside, there certainly more uncomfortable than a watch style. I can't imagine having to wear one around all day, though I'm sure some people do. I certainly could not, due to some pain related problems wearing a monitor caused.

The model of heart rate monitor I bought was a Garmin FR60 Black Fitness Watch Bundle (Includes Foot Pod, Heart Rate Monitor, and USB ANT Stick), and it's useful, although the software is pretty darn sketchy. Especially considering the price you pay for one.

Maybe there is a watch model that will make grass, etc. also?
 

SOC

Senior Member
Messages
7,849
The last time I looked, you have to use a chest strap if you want continuous monitoring. If you want one that alarms when your HR gets too high, then I believe chest strap is your only option.

Daughter and I both have Omron brand monitors that allow you to change the batteries yourself. We're very happy with them.

I had a Polar the first time around which often stopped reading (and needed goo to keep a good contact with skin), was uncomfortable, ran out of battery very quickly, and had to be sent in for battery replacement. Bleah.
 

Sallysblooms

P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!
Messages
1,768
Location
Southern USA
JAH, I have several watches with straps. The one I showed the picture of has a chest strap. They are more accurate.

I did try a watch with no strap, but it was not accurate.

I have Polar and the cute smaller one in the picture is Health Smart. I don't need it now but I used to like to wear the cutest I could find. Most are BIG.
 

Sparrow

Senior Member
Messages
691
Location
Canada
Mine is a Timex 30 LAP, and I'm quite happy with it. It has the chest strap, but I don't find it too bad (usually I'm able to forget about it after a while). I wear it all day without huge issues, though I wouldn't want to have it one constantly more than a couple of days in a row. The watch part is fairly small compared to many others (I agree with Sally that many of them are GIANT. ...And I'm pretty petite). It can be set to make an alarm go off when the rate goes above a particular threshold, which is convenient sometimes.

To be honest, if I'd had the money, I now sort of wish I'd been able to get one of the ones that lets you upload the data to computer and get a graph of where your heart rate was over the course of the day. Mine reports on the average, maximum, minimum, etc. for a particular period of time (which is the most important stuff outside of showing my heart rate from second to second), but I can't tell at what time they occurred. I can pretty much guess when my heart is going up, and get a good sense by keeping an eye on the watch, but it would be nice to see it laid out that way.
 

Sallysblooms

P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!
Messages
1,768
Location
Southern USA
They need to make dressy/pretty monitors. Most are so HUGE and sporty. I found the smallest I could find since I also had big ones.
 

JAH

Senior Member
Messages
497
Location
Northern California
Thanks everyone for your feedback. Looking at the website Inester mentioned, the epulse 2 looks like an option, if I want a strapless model. I am very inactive, really just curious about my heart rate when I have to do stuff. PEM can get bad for me. Learned a lot from Pacific Fatigue Lab about keeping heart rate low, and was just curious if there were an inexpensive and convenient way to monitor my heart rate a little more objectively.

JAH
 

Ocean

Senior Member
Messages
1,178
Location
U.S.
I have Polar. Was disappointed that I had to send it for repair twice before it worked consistently and that occurred only weeks after purchase and with almost no use at all. They did repair it but still it took a long time and left me without a monitor for quite a while so soon after I finally purchased one. Currently it does work.
 

Patrick*

Formerly PWCalvin
Messages
245
Location
California
I am using this one and love the purple pink color. Don't like that I haven't figure out a way to put the alarm in a way that makes sense.

http://www.heartratemonitorsusa.com...emonitorsusa&gclid=CPftgoeOkLICFQJp4AodBxAA3Q

I recently bought the Polar FT4 too (although not in pink). It doesn't seem to have a feature where you can set the alarm to go off when you surpass a certain heart rate. I've read the full manual twice, and played around with the watch itself, and couldn't find any such setting. Major oversight! I'd avoid Polar, JAH

[Edit: 9/4/12]

On the FT4, under Training Settings, there is a menu for "Training Sounds," and the options are simply "On" or "Off." When Training Sounds are set to ON, and the watch is in training mode, the watch simply gives off a double chirp every 12 seconds -- apparently just to let you know that the watch is still on and still reading your HR. I've set my target range to start at 105 bpm, and have jogged in place and watched as my HR surpasses 105. No audible or visual cue...just the regular 12 second chirping.

This regular chirping at 12 second intervals is completely useless, and frankly, makes it so one cannot keep the sound on while doing ordinary daily tasks, as the chirping becomes too irritating.

[Further Edit - Solution]

OK, I found a work-around to this problem. The double chirp occurs only when you are outside of your "training zone." Once in the zone, it becomes silent. So you just need to shift your training zone waaaay down so that your AT is set at the upper, not lower limit of the training zone.

For example, based on my age, height and weight, the watch automatically set my training zone as between 125 and 157 bpm. At first, I decreased the lower limit so that I would enter the training zone at 105. But this led to the problem described above where the watch chirped constantly unless I was above 105. (I didn't realize at first that the watch stopped chirping when I went above 105 because I never wanted to stay above 105 for more than a few seconds when I was testing it out.)

Anyway, the solution is to move your range down so that you'll be spending most of your daily time IN the training zone, and your upper limit is whatever you think your AT is. Now I have my training zone set to 60 - 105. It almost doesn't matter what the lower limits, as long as you set it to something so low that you'll rarely if ever fall below that limit so you don't have to be annoyed by the chirping.

Maybe this was an obvious solution that I should have seen all along, but I blame it on brain fog!
 

JAH

Senior Member
Messages
497
Location
Northern California
I recently bought the Polar FT4 too (although not in pink). It doesn't seem to have a feature where you can set the alarm to go off when you surpass a certain heart rate. I've read the full manual twice, and played around with the watch itself, and couldn't find any such setting. Major oversight! I'd avoid Polar, JAH

Interesting. In the pacific fatigue lab video, someone asked for a hm recommendation, and he said they usually recommend the Polar brand.

What do you think of this one?

http://www.heartratemonitorsusa.com/e-pulse.html
 

Patrick*

Formerly PWCalvin
Messages
245
Location
California
Interesting. In the pacific fatigue lab video, someone asked for a hm recommendation, and he said they usually recommend the Polar brand.

What do you think one?

http://www.heartratemonitorsusa.com/e-pulse.html

IIRC, he said they used to recommend Polar because that was the most common brand, but a recent consumer survey revealed that Polar was not the best, therefore they now tell people to do research and find the brand that works best for each individual.

I looked at the specs for the HRM you linked and it doesn't say if you can set an alarm or beep to sound when your HR reaches a certain limit. That may not be a deal-breaker feature for everyone, but it is for me because right now I find myself constantly -- obsessively -- checking the watch to see if my heart rate is above my AT.
 

JAH

Senior Member
Messages
497
Location
Northern California
IIRC, he said they used to recommend Polar because that was the most common brand, but a recent consumer survey revealed that Polar was not the best, therefore they now tell people to do research and find the brand that works best for each individual.

I looked at the specs for the HRM you linked and it doesn't say if you can set an alarm or beep to sound when your HR reaches a certain limit. That may not be a deal-breaker feature for everyone, but it is for me because right now I find myself constantly -- obsessively -- checking the watch to see if my heart rate is above my AT.

Thanks for the clarification, J

I looked for the alarm too, and didn't see it - looks like it changes color when threshold is crossed.
 

Ocean

Senior Member
Messages
1,178
Location
U.S.
I recently bought the Polar FT4 too (although not in pink). It doesn't seem to have a feature where you can set the alarm to go off when you surpass a certain heart rate. I've read the full manual twice, and played around with the watch itself, and couldn't find any such setting. Major oversight! I'd avoid Polar, JAH
My Polar has this. I have FT7.
 

taniaaust1

Senior Member
Messages
13,054
Location
Sth Australia
What I did was brought two extremely cheap new heart monitors on ebay of different brands and then compared them (as I thought one at least would be bad). One was only $1 plus postage, while the other one was only $15 which included postage (it was a $55 dollar one but I got it on super sale) (aussie dollars)

Amazingly they both are coming up with exactly the same readings.. (finger thou needs to be warm thou as if too cold they dont read).

(they both thou dont work if I have bad arrthymia happening where my heart rate is going all everywhere.. but then Ive found expensive BP monitors which take heart rate, dont seem to work on me when I have that either so maybe the expensive heart monitors would be stuffed up there anyway).

anyway.. this cheap option may work quite well for many (esp if its only tachycardia one is getting rather then all over the place, beat to beat arrthymia). Im quite pleased with both of mine thou they are quite basic.
 

Patrick*

Formerly PWCalvin
Messages
245
Location
California
Thanks for the clarification, J

I looked for the alarm too, and didn't see it - looks like it changes color when threshold is crossed.

I found a solution to this problem for the FT4, so I edited my first post in this thread (#13) to describe how to get the alarm settings correct on the FT4. The problem is these HRM's aren't designed for people like us who want to stay below a certain level. They're for athletes who want to say above a certain level, so you have to sort of artificially adjust your "training zone" waaaaay down so that you're spending most of your time in the zone, not below it.

But hey, now I can say I'm training. Even as I type this, I'm in my "training zone"!!