I have this weird quirk when it comes to working out: If I do any kind of exercise, no matter how seemingly insignificant, if I’m not wearing my heart rate monitor it just doesn’t count. Totally weird, I know, but that’s my deal. Workouts and HRMs always go hand-in-hand for this girl. From the first time I tried incorporating a heart rate monitor into my workout, I knew I’d be hooked.
Actually, that’s a lie – the first time I tried one was in a middle school gym class and I thought it was it was terrible. There’s just something so satisfying about seeing your heart rate rise, testing your limits, seeing your calorie burn, and, albeit eventual, really boosting your level of fitness. It’s addictive! And anything that turns a kill-me-now workout into an addiction is something I want in my life.
Using your gender, height, weight, and (obviously) your heart rate, the monitors are able to tell you exactly how hard you’re working and how many calories you’re burning. While you work out, you can set your watch to display a graph of your heart rate to see where you land in your target “zone”–in or out, high or low. When you finish up, you’re provided with the duration, calories burned, and information about the overall intensity of your workout. Cool, no? I’ve owned two different Polar HRMS and both have been awesome–the only reason I upgraded from the model I’d had since ~2006 last summer was because my puppy chewed up the chest strap. Tragic! Since I’m all about tracking, I’ve been dabbling with purchasing another fitness monitoring device for awhile now–either the Nike Fuelband or the Jawbone UP–but I recently came to my senses and decided to stick with my classic HRM. I mean, if it’s not broke don’t fix it, right? I’m still itching for change, however, so I looked into other style options. Spoiler alert: I found one! And happily, the change is purely aesthetic. Pink. Pink! Pretty, feminine, and still totally functional/powerful. Oh, they’re also ALL OVER Instagram. Seriously–check out #workout or #fitness sometime. #pinkforgirls. I love it.
If you’ve never worked out with a heart rate monitor before, you must! Believe it or not, it really changes the way you work out. Since you know your “numbers” (whether that’s a target heart rate or a calorie burn) you’re always kiiind of trying to beat your last record. It’s like a built-in challenge! Bonus: While these HRMS used to retail at over $100, you can now find them online for under $70. My only issue with previous models has been the size of the chest strap (they come standard in size M,) but apparently you can order replacement straps, bands, watches, and monitors online. Problem solved! You don’t even have to be into pink–Polar makes these babies in bronze, blue, white, red, lime…basically any hue you can think of 😉 Once you start working out with one you seriously won’t be able to stop. Promise.
What do you think of the pink HRM? Have you used a heart rate monitor to work out before? What are you wanting this Wednesday?!
Liza, Editorial Director