Most heart monitors involve a monitoring and transmitting chest strap that sends readout information to a wristwatch display. A few incorporate both monitor and readout into a wristwatch, and you may also encounter ring-models that measure your pulse.
In order to achieve an accurate readout, the monitor portion of the heart monitor must fit snugly. This can be a problem for women; most chest strap monitors are designed to fit a man's larger chest.
Special sport bras--such as the Polar's Heart Bra and Numetrex Sports Bra--have been created to help women keep the chest strap transmitter in the proper place.
Extra features you may find on high-end heart rate monitors include the ability to calculate or measure calories burned, ambient temperature and how much oxygen your body is consuming. Some can also interface with your computer.
While most heart monitors are used to track your body's response to exercise, some--like the Holter monitor--are used by a physician to continuously record your heart's rhythms in order to diagnose heart problems.
Article Written By Marie Mulrooney
Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.