How Does a Heart Rate Monitor Work?

How Does a Heart Rate Monitor Work?
Heart rate monitors measure your heart rate during exercise by detecting impulses from your chest or your fingertip, which are then displayed on a monitor. You can use a heart rate monitor to track your physical improvements.


The main purpose of a heart rate monitor is to aid you in maintaining your target heart rate during a workout. Performing within your target zone ensures that you are getting the best aerobic workout.

Chest-strap Monitors

A wireless monitor is worn around your chest and continually measures your heart rate during a workout. The monitor relays the heart rate information to a receiver typically worn on your wrist

Strapless Monitors

A strapless heart rate monitor works by measuring your pulse from your fingertips. You can measure your heart rate at any time during your workout by placing your fingertips on a sensor located on either a wristwatch or clip-on monitor.


All heart rate monitors identify your heart rate throughout your workout. Monitors can also identify your average heart rate, highest rate and lowest rate for your total workout. More advanced models can provide speed and distance information as well as tools to help analyze your workout.


Heart rate monitors are a great tool for monitoring and improving your performance. Monitors can calculate your target training zones and alert you when you have reached it.

Article Written By Wren Mcilroy

Based out of Salt Lake City, Wren Mcilroy has been writing outdoor recreation and travel-related articles for 3 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and biology from Winona State University in Minnesota.

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