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Watch Buying Guide

With any exercise program, it is useful to know what your goals are. Do you want to lose weight, improve your general health or train for a sports competition? Clearly, someone training for a marathon will need to work a lot harder than someone just trying to stay, or get, fit. This is where a heart rate monitor comes in. It allows you to accurately ascertain how long and hard you must work out to see the results you are aiming for.

A heart rate monitor basically shows you, at a glance, how hard you are exercising. Monitoring your heart rate allows you to track the intensity of your workout. You might be sweating, but are you working hard enough? Or are you working too hard? With a heart rate monitor you can be sure that you'll exercise efficiently and effectively. Before embarking upon any exercise regime it is a good idea to consult a physician about your target heart rate to make sure your aims are appropriate and healthy.

The monitor works by recording your heart rate by means of a strap worn across the chest. The heart rate information is then transmitted to a wristwatch which you monitor to see how hard you are exercising and respond accordingly. Achieving and maintaining the correct heart rate is a crucial step in meeting exercise goals. Work too little and you may not burn enough calories, but if you overwork your body you may put yourself at risk of injury.

When choosing a heart monitor keep your fitness aims in mind. There is no need to spend good money on extra features when all you want is to measure the number of heart beats per minute. On the other hand, if you are planning to do some serious training, for a marathon for example, the full-featured model may well assist you in fulfilling your goals.

Whatever your goals and requirements, remember to look for the following things:

  • The chest strap should be comfortable, fit snugly and not slip when moving
  • The wristwatch should likewise feel comfortable and be lightweight, adjustable, flexible and not too bulky
  • Your heart monitor should be easy to use, you should not need a PhD to operate it
  • A big, easy-to-read LCD screen will make monitoring your progress much easier

A Heart Rate Monitor Is Your Ideal Training Partner!

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This Buying Guide gives general advice on Training Technology. It is intended as a guide only and we always recommend visiting one of our stores and talking to the experts in our sales team if in any doubt about what to buy.