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How Polar Heart Rate Monitor Watches can Aid your Fitness Regime

Updated on November 17, 2013

Buy a Polar F6 heart rate monitor at Amazon

What are Polar Heart Rate Monitor Watches?

Personal fitness is best achieved when aids such as Polar heart rate monitor watches are used in conjunction with exercise regimes.

It is so important to keep a close eye on what your heart is doing while you exercise, to reach your full potential and derive the greatest personal benefit from your exercise routine.

I choose to write about the Polar heart rate monitor because it has gained a really good reputation in the sporting world, and the importance of using a heart rate monitor with guaranteed accuracy cannot be stressed enough.

Polar heart rate monitor watches are the industry leader and you will want to buy a name you can trust.

When you undertake exercise of any sort, your heart beats faster and your lungs work harder to maintain a good level of oxygen flow round your body. The oxygen you have gets used up faster by the muscles and your internal organs, and has to be replaced.

You will notice a by-product of exercising is an increased need to urinate. This is perfectly normal and is a direct result of your metabolismhaving been sped up.

The Polar F6 monitor watches shown here are by far the most popular of the Polar heart rate monitor watches.

Exercise and Heart Rate

Exercising does not have be vigorous and exhausting. Any activity that makes your heart beat faster will speed up your metabolism, allowing you to eat more at mealtimes, or to lose weight if you eat the same or less at mealtimes.

Without having to check your brachial pulse every five minutes, how do we know that the exercise we have taken, even if that exercise is only walking to the shops instead of taking the car, has actually made our hearts beat faster?

In actual fact we don't know unless we use an external aid such as the Polar heart rate monitor.

Polar Heart Rate Monitor

Polar Heart Rate Watch photo courtesy of Amazon
Polar Heart Rate Watch photo courtesy of Amazon

Let the Polar Heart Rate Monitor Tell You Your Limits

It is vitally important for you to know your limits, as it is possible to push your body too hard and not only suffer crippling muscle-ache for days afterwards, but to suffer from exhaustion and be unable to carry out simple everyday tasks after exercising.

A simple formula tells you your limits.

You take the base of 226 for women, or 220 for men.

Subtract your age from this number, and the result is the maximum safe heart beats per minute for you. For simplicity here I call this your personal number.

Aim on gentle and warm-up exercise for your pulse rate to not go about 60% of your personal number.

On more activity but not full-out activity, you do want want your pulse to rise above 75% of your personal number.

Finally when you a maxed out, whether that is running at full speed or whatever sport or fitness activity you are undertaking, do not allow your heart rate to go above 85% of your personal number.

Don't play the guessing game where you heart is involved. Get a Polar heart rate monitor so that you know that your exercise regime is not putting undue strain on your body, and especially on your heart.

Polar Heart Rate Monitor Watch at Amazon

Controlling Your Heart Rate

Wear your polar heart rate monitor, and If your heart is beating too fast, according to the above formula, slow your activity down. Your heart rate should drop after a minute or two. If it doesn't, go and rest for a bit, until it is almost back to normal. It should not go right back to your pre-activity level for at least a day - that is one of the advantages of exercising. Even after it is over, your metabolism stays higher than normal for the rest of that day.

You will have to make more adjustments to your exercise program at the start of the regime, and as you get fitter you will be able to see that your heart rate does not go as high as it did at first, and that you can exercise for longer without pushing your heart to its limits.


Similarly, if you are elderly, disabled or otherwise incapacitated in any way, you can learn to get the most out of that most gentle of exercise, walking.

Walking at a sedate pace may be enjoyable, but does not in general do much to help your heart or overall fitness level. With a Polar heart rate watch you can walk a bit more briskly and know exactly at what pace you need to walk to speed your heart up a little.

That faster pulse rate will speed up your metabolism and help you get the most out of this gentle exercise. Try walking instead of driving the kids to school every day and see the difference on your bathroom scales after a very short time, especially if combined with a weight reduction diet.

Polar Heart Rate Monitor Watch for Women

Womens Polar Heart Rate Monitor Watch

A woman will want a Polar heart rate monitor watch for women which are smaller than mens or unisex watches and come in a variety of colors and styles. Lightweight and practical, they can even tell the time!

However, you get what you pay for, and the more expensive the watch, the more innovative designs are incorporated.

All have the basic heart beat counter, but some also include a calorie counter, are waterproof for water sports people, can be connected to a computer to download info for later analysis and have various buttons to record your heart rate over a whole exercise period for future comparison purposes.

I find the most useful feature is the Polar heart rate monitor that incorporates audio as well as visual warnings to tell you when you are outwith the desired percentages of your personal number.

Womens Polar FT40 heart rate monitor watch (green)

This attractively-colored Polar heart rate monitor watch incorporates a feature whereby you put in your personal number and it automatically calculates your percentage rate at any given time, and issues audio as well as visual warnings when your rate goes too high or too low.
Includes EnergyPointer and ZonePointer modes, as well as a calorie counter.
Is waterproof.

Mens or Unisex Polar Heart Rate Watch

The most important part of a heart rate monitor watch is a good fit. Loose-fitting straps are worse than useless and they will not be able to pick up your heart beat through your skin.

There are wide variety of different Polar heart beat monitor watches available and once again, you get what you pay for.

While all have ECG precision accuracy, they come with a wide variety of added extras and it is up to you, the user, to pick one that you think incorporates all the most useful features for you. Everybody's needs are different, so study well the extras and features included in each watch, and decide on one that has features you will use. If your watch includes GPS tracking and you know you are going to work out in a gym where GPS tracking is completely unnecessary, don't buy that watch!

Similarly, if you are going to work out in a gym, look for a watch that has a signal blocker to prevent interference from other peoples' monitors while in the gym.

Polar FS1 heart rate monitor watch

Basic watch with large numbers on screen for easy viewing, one function button for ease of use, incorporates an alarm with audio/visual signals where your heart rate goes outwith your recommended percentage and is waterproof.


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    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      LOL, I should get one for the lump that's always lying on my couch watching TV when he's not out at the pub!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      My favorite heart fitness tool - tells me allot about my fitness and the fitness of my heart. I own two and still rely upon the health clubs monitors on the work stations.

      Makes a great gift for a loved one along with encouraging words and actions of exercise.

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      So you want to buy a heart rate monitor watch then??? lol Thanks for visiting :)

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      I just cannot understand how excellent free advice is comming out of your site, Izzy! Every time I pass by to read one of your hubs, you are gettign better and better. Very impressive. :-)