Hearth Rate Monitor

Recommendations please

12 messages
21/11/2012 at 15:15

A non-running friend of mine is looking for a HRM and I said I ask if anyone had any recommendations.  She is very overweight and unfit and has been advised it might be an idea in the early stages of her loosing weight and starting exercise to keep an eye on her HR.  I know Polar are a good make but she said she'd had a look and they're about £60 which is out of her budget.

Can anyone recommend a cheap one that's not going to be total crap?  I don't think she'll be using it for ever, it's just been recommended while she's in the beginning stages, so I can understand her not wanting to spend a fortune on something.

Thanks!

21/11/2012 at 15:41

I had a DHB branded one from Wiggle a few years ago that did the basics and was really cheap (think it was just over £20), but sadly it doesn't seem available anymore

The Polar FT1 is a really basic HRM that sounds about right (but no personal experience).  A quick google found Halfords(!) offering it for £32.44 

cougie    pirate
21/11/2012 at 16:03

To use a HRM properly you need to do a max heart rate test. 

I doubt she's up to that ?

Save the money and work out on feel. If she can't chat - she's trying too hard. 

The 220- age calc is bunkum - and she'll be worried if she sees her heart at 90% of max or whatever.  Just do a search here and you'll find dozens of threads with the same kind of question.  

21/11/2012 at 16:13

No idea about a max heart rate test, no idea how you would do one!  She's been told she needs to raise her heart rate, and to be honest she'd struggle to chat going up the stairs so I don't really want to tell her if she can't talk she's trying to hard.  She's finally in the place to tackle her issues so I'm really trying to encourage her along. 

I think the idea isn't that she keeps checking the heart rate to perform within a certain level but that she doesn't raise it over a certain bpm, and also that it will show calories used as well as keeping an eye on her heart rate, and if she can see she's burning calories she'll be encouraged to stick at it?

As I say it's not something for the long term, just for a few months when she starts so it doesn't want to be a complicated technical thing!

Edited: 21/11/2012 at 16:14
21/11/2012 at 16:24

Argos do a couple for £20.

I think if it's just to see how much her heart rate is different for different activities that will do. Max HR is not necessary as sh'e not going to be at the stage where she needs to know what different zones to exercise in. I'm guessing at the moment a brisk walk is going to give her a certain rate. If she takes a note and plots it on a graph she will be able to see coming down over the weeks.

Good idea and motivational tool.

cougie    pirate
21/11/2012 at 16:24

Calorie counting on a HRM is rubbish too - they usually overcalculate it.  There is a calculation on RW somewhere that tells you how many calories you burn walking a mile - you input your weight and it'll tell you. Going off a HRM calories could be worse than nothing. 

21/11/2012 at 16:29

Can you still edit the thread title? It might help in furure searches.

21/11/2012 at 16:42

I know they're not acurate, and have told her that, and it's not to count the actual calories it's just to show her she's burning some off as an incentive to keep going and to try and make sure she doesn't raise her heart rate above a certain level.  I'm not sure of the ins-and-outs of it, but she's been advised by a health professional that it would be good for her to use one, so if she can pick one up for £20-30 and it keeps her motivated to keep going I don't see the problem. 

She asked my advice on getting one and I told her I'd post on here as people are helpful in recommending things and at the end of the day I'd rather she purchased something someone on here has used, can recommend and we then know won't break in a few weeks than just guess at what might be ok and buy some old tat on ebay that's crap

lol TimR   Didn't notice that, will teach me to be in a rush!  Can't seem to edit it though

21/11/2012 at 17:11

I'm assuming she wants a tool that will help motivate her, and that advanced training options (like zones & intervals etc) aren't decision factors. Its just to give her some way of quantifying her efforts, rather than to assist in measuring her performance against a 16-week training schedule etc.  Personally I'd pay a couple of quid more for the basic Polar unit over the basic unbranded units sold by Argos etc, as the heart rate strap is probably more comfortable and  it may also be compatible with Gym equipment etc.  You'd probably also get a few more quid for it if she decides to sell it on eBay after shes finished with it.

Another choice would be the Nike+ sport band that seem to go for £35 - 40 or around £20 on ebay. If she's got an iPod or iPhone, then the Nike+ sensor is an even cheaper option although they don't include heart rate monitoring, but do provide calories burned and activity tracking to help motivate her.

21/11/2012 at 17:18

Thanks Stutyr, you have it exactly right.  She's not even able to run yet, so the training she is doing may not see measureable progress like you would see if you were adding a bit to a run each time.  I hadn't thought about the actual strap comfort but that will be a big consideration as she has measurement of over 50" to get it round. 

Will have a look at the Nike+ sport band as I don't know anything about it, but if she can pick one up for £20 on ebay that sounds ideal.

22/11/2012 at 13:19

Amazon.co.uk are doing the Beurer PM 25 Heart Rate Monitor at 30% discount at the moment, so it's just £28 down from £40. Here it is: Amazon - Beurer PM 25

One of my running partners has this watch. It's got all the functions that most people would need.

Edited: 22/11/2012 at 13:21
22/11/2012 at 15:05

Tesco do basic hrms for about £20. Ditto Decathlon.

I'm currently using one from Aldi, cost £12.99 and for light use is perfectly okay.


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