Types of Heart Rate Monitors

Types of Heart Rate Monitors
Recreational heart rate monitors were developed in the late '70s for athletes to use in their training regimens. They continued to be used for a wide variety of uses, including heart rate target training and calorie burning and weight loss. For serious training, including marathons and triathlons, a heart monitor is an essential piece of equipment.

On-Board Heart Monitors

On-board heart monitors, or built-in heart monitors, are common on many modern pieces of cardiovascular exercise equipment, such as elliptical trainers, treadmills, and stair-steppers. Some machines offer a pair of handles that can be grasped to obtain heart rate at any time, and others have a finger clip that will constantly monitor heart rate. These are generally offered for exercisers who are particularly targeting a heart rate for weight loss, fat burning or cardiovascular strengthening.

Running Heart Monitors

Runners are one of the largest target markets in sales of heart rate monitors. Most models are worn as a wristwatch, which displays not only heart rate and time, but may also display calories burned (in case you need to refuel), lap time and other stop watch functions. Wrist-worn heart rate monitors either monitor via wrist pulse or take your heart rate via a chest strap that transmits wirelessly to the watch unit. More expensive and elaborate models also offer training functions, including warm-up routines and target zones.

Cycling Heart Monitors

Heart rate monitors for cyclists operate basically in the same way as those for runners; that is, they are comprised of a chest strap and a wrist unit, or just a wrist unit. However, as these monitors are designed for cyclists, they offer a different variety of functions. Of course things like heart rate, time, and calories burned are still displayed, but a bicycle heart rate monitor may also include things like GPS and/or Google Map compatibility, an altimeter, and route tracking, as well as connecting to your bike to monitor speed and miles covered.

Article Written By Beau Prichard

Beau Prichard has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He specializes in fiction, travel and writing coaching. He has traveled in the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Prichard grew up in New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from George Fox University.

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