A fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor is one of the most important gadgets you can add to your workout routine. This will help analyze some crucial aspects of your heart rate which eventually will tell about how effective your workout was. Which is the best tracker and how do you about selecting when buying? Read on to find out.
A few years ago, when you needed to check your heart rate monitor when out biking or jogging, you had to place your hand on a chest strap that was not only bulky, but also highly annoying. However, the situation is no longer the same. Advancements in the technology have led to the introduction of optical heart rate systems, which are more than capable of measuring your heart rate while still strapped to your wrist.
It is a system that functions by measuring the total amount of blood that is pulsing in your veins. It then uses this number to come up with a figure depicting the rate your heart is using to pump the blood.
For athletes and training fanatics, the good news is that many fitness trackers are today integrating this technology into their devices. By doing so, it means that a trainer no longer has to strap on unnecessary accessories when going out for a jog or morning run.
Even though all companies use different branding techniques, you will find that the technology being employed in these systems is very much the same. All a user now has to do when choosing a device is to consider the additional factors being offered by the device.
Best Trackers with Heart Monitoring
Athletes and training enthusiast understand that information is power whenever a person is working out. When you know how long you have worked out, the length of time that you were asleep, or the total amount of time that you were running, you get to know where you need to make improvements, and the routines that you need to include in your workout.
The following are the best fitness tracker brands that come with heart rate monitors.
1. Fitbit Alta HR
This is a tracker that has been designed to look more like a piece of jewelry than your everyday fitness tracker.
- Comes in six different colors
- You can buy some of its extra accessories separately
- Solid battery life
- Stylish and elegant
- It comes with smartphone notifications making it possible for you to keep track of your calls and messages
- Ability to set mini-goals
- It comes with great battery life. The battery can last for up to seven days on a single charge
- It can track your activities automatically
- Able to track your sleep patterns, e.g., REM, deep, and light
- Enables you to set personal goals. A reminder is available to remind you to stop slacking off so that you can achieve the personal goals you have set for yourself.
- Equipped with a heart rate monitor
- It is not waterproof
2. Garmin Forerunner 645 Music
Ideal for people who are more interested in running than in any other sports activities. It is light, stylish, and very comfortable on the wrist.
- Helps you keep daily tabs on your fitness and overall health
- Comes with a stylish design
- Only weighs 42 grams
- Comfortable to wear all day-long
- GPS tracking
- Optical in-built heart rate monitor
- GPS tracking to help you know the total distance covered, including the number of paces made, your speed, and cadence.
- Up to minute feedback on your performance
- Readouts to help you monitor the progress you are making
- Able to track the calories burned, number of stairs climbed, and your average daily activity levels.
- It can inform you of your fitness age
- Lags when tracking your sleep patterns
3. Jabra Elite Sport
Many manufacturers today aim to produce gadgets that can be worn on the wrists. But this is not the case with all, as can be seen with this fitness tracker. These inbuilt earphones will not only monitor your heart rate, but they will also inform you of everything that occurs when you start or stop running.
- Can pair well with iOS or android platforms
- GPS for real time tracking
- Audio feedback to communicate your progress
- Provides audio cues on your distance, pulse, and speed
- Comfortable ear buds to help you concentrate on your training
- Its app comes with training plans for each kind of sport
- Its heart rate monitor is very accurate
- Can be used by both iPhone and Android users
- Real-time coaching
- Accurate heart rate
- Unable to track your general day-to-day activities
4. Apple Watch
It is a watch which comes with one of the trackers out there. You can check your heart rate at using the Heart Rate watch app. The watch has flashing green LEDs on the back which feature light-sensitive photodiodes, which detect the amount of blood flowing through your wrist.
This is the exact info that Apple Watch uses to calculate the number of beats per minute, which is your heart rate.
For improved accuracy, the watch requires a good, snug fit. It measures continuously, but you can always check it manually by opening the Heart Rate app. You’ll be able to view resting, walking, breathing, workout, and recovery heart rates.
5. Withings Steel HR Sport
This a fitness tracker as well as a smartwatch that focuses more on style.
The Withings Steel HR Sport tracks steps, sleep, and 24/7 heart rate monitoring. The Steel Sport HR also come with a VO2 score, which is how efficiently you’re using your oxygen consumption. Additionally,
- It also tracks swimming activity, and it uses GPS as long as your phone is nearby.
- Sleep tracking, so you can see how you do with deep, light, and REM sleep.
The Steel HR Sport boasts incredible battery life, lasting 25 days on a single full charge.
- Wahoo TICKR X
- Fitbit Versa
- Polar H7 & H10
- Fitbit Charge 3
- Garmin Vivosmart4
- Garmin Vivomove HR
- Garmin Vivosport
Why is a heart rate monitor Important?
These days, you cannot go for more than a few steps without coming into contact with a person wearing a fitness trainer. If you look at big names such as Garmin and Fitbit, you will realize that these manufacturers are releasing new wearable devices every few months. All these wearables come with fascinating suites, which means that users have a broad range of devices to pick from.
But the question many people are asking is, why are fitness trackers fitted with heart rate monitors that important?
What many in this group may not comprehend is the fact that a heart rate plays a very important role when working out. Therefore, if you will be working out regularly, it will be best for you to get a wearable device that has a heart rate monitor. Below are reasons you should consider getting such a device.
One of the main reasons why you need to note, record, and monitor your heart rate during a workout session is to determine whether you are making any progress.
By monitoring your heart rate levels, you stand a better chance of achieving the fitness goals that you set out in the beginning. For instance, if you note that your heart rate when exercising remains at the same level as when you are resting, this can only mean one thing—you are not pushing yourself. You can, therefore, use this information to make adjustments to workout regimen. The adjustments will help you achieve the results you desire.
How do you know whether the fitness routines you have included in your workout program are good for you? Simple, by keeping track of your heart rate. When starting your workout, the heart rate will record a spike, and will start beating at between sixty and one hundred beats a minute.
When resting, the rate will be much slower, and will normally be at forty beats per minute. If you exceed these parameters, it means that you are surpassing the safety boundaries of your workout regimen. And if this happens, you ought to know that it is time for you to start slowing down, and if possible take a much-needed break.
If you find that your heart rate has become abnormal, consider talking to a specialist doctor. The heart rate monitor will help you take note of any heart problems that you may have before they become too much, or get out of hand.
- Cardiovascular output
This is normally a result brought about by 2 factors: your stroke volume and heart rate. The latter refers to the total number of times that your heart is beating for each minute that passes. On the other hand, the stroke volume can be described as the amount of blood that is being pumped out of your ventricles within that same minute.
The stroke volume needs to be checked when you are working out. And by monitoring the heart rate, you also get to improve your chances of being successful, while ensuring that you do not push yourself beyond the recommended safety limits.
From the above information, you should have noted that a good workout session ought to strike a balance between the type of exercise, frequency, duration, and intensity. Monitoring your heart rate acts as a good indicator of how your body is adapting to the effort being applied in the work out.
Additionally, heart rate monitoring is often seen as an essential component when dealing with training and fitness assessment programs. It is vital that the intensity of the exercises you are conducting be based on your fitness goals and current fitness levels.
How to choose the best Activity tracker with heart rate monitor
When you look at today’s technologies, you will realize that there are not many wearables that provide users with many varied options, as is the case with the activity trackers.
Not only is it becoming harder to choose between the various brands available in the market, but the number of additional, smart features being incorporated with each new release continue to be dizzying.
The following are Factors to consider when choosing trackers with heart rate monitor:
Traditional trackers have been designed to fit around your wrist. But as a consumer, you have other options to choose from, e.g., dongles that you can clip on your clothes. In addition to enabling you choose where to wear them, you also get to enjoy a myriad of accessories with the wearables.
In the past few years, consumers only had the option of choosing color bands and whether they wanted a screen with their wearable. But this is no longer the case. Today, there are analogue watches that are coming packed with extra accessories such as the much acclaimed heart rate monitor.
- Understanding the technology behind the heart rate monitor
Heart rate tracking has become commonplace for people who choose to wear wrist bands. The bands are able to provide wearers with accurate information pertaining to the number of calories that they get to burn each day. But one thing to note is that different devices do their tracking differently.
For instance, there are those that will track your heart rate around the clock regardless of whether you are awake or asleep. Such devices will take notes to indicate any charges that may have occurred during the time you were awake, and when you fell asleep.
- To go waterproof or not
Today, there are trackers that you can take into the pool with you without having to worry whether they will get damaged or not. Depending on the model you choose, you will note that there are those that are able to track your sessions in the pool in terms of the number of laps you have made, while others will record the total duration you were swimming, and the number of calories that you have managed to burn.
- To choose a device with a screen or one without a screen?
Consumers have the option of choosing a band that comes with an inbuilt LED display screen, or to constantly keep checking their phones to determine the progress they have made.
Many fitness trackers come equipped with an LED display screen, which is vital for those that are taking part in guided workouts. They get to receive important notifications without ever having to leave whatever they are doing. You should, however, note that choosing a device with a display screen will normally add to its price tag. So carefully consider whether you really need a screen or can do without one.
For you to interpret the data from the fitness tracker, you will need to have access to its mobile app. Now this app is an essential part of your consideration as it lets you challenge friends, interpret and analyze data, and also get to set goals for yourself.
Therefore, the first thing you need to consider is whether the chosen tracker does in fact work with the kind of phone that you own. Confirm whether it supports iOS and android. Most do, but depending on your version, the support may no longer be available.
- Battery life and how the battery is charged
You need to consider the total amount of time that you will get to use the band before it requires a recharge. Having to charge a band after every few days can prove annoying, and time consuming. It also means that there are days when you will not be able to track your progress as you have to leave it at home to charge when going out for your workout.
Today’s bands can be categorized into two groups: those using a cell union battery that can last for up to six months, and those must be charged after every five days via a USB cable.