Archive for March, 2008

The Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

I’ve recently enrolled in the exercise program at a nearby clinic and our exercise theraphist recommended that I get a heart rate monitor. He said from his experience that Polar as among the best brand out there. Apparently sensors from the other brands are not as sensitive and most users of other brands have to sometimes press on the wristwatch to get a pulse reading.

After my typical online research I even found one hilarious looking “thingamajig” from Garmin that has a large screen and a GPS.

I checked our rewards store at the bank and luckily, found what looks like a Polar F6 (perhaps an older version from the look of the faceplate) but since I can get it for free and since this would be my first ever fitness related gadget purchase anyway, what the heck. After 2 weeks of waiting it finally arrived yesterday.

The 112 reviews at Amazon averaging 4.5 stars is right on the money. The watch is very easy to setup and within 15 minutes including reading the manual it’s all ready to go.

We went out for a walk today after having our weekend breakfast and I went for 2 rounds around the park (about the size of an olympic oval). Total time from front of our house and back was just 51 minutes but was happy to know I just burned a total of 500 calories. Average heart rate was 130bpm maxing out at 142bpm. Within that 51 minutes, 44 minutes were spent inside the “target zone”.

Verdict? To anyone who has spent some time at one point or another on a treadmill, stationary bike or at the apartment gym, I would highly recommend getting a heart rate monitor. This particular model tells you to kick it up a notch if you’re below target and beeps to slow you down a little when you have exceeded your target range. The best part is getting a better idea of how much “return on investment” you get (i.e. calories burned) with time spent exercising. I think that in itself is a pretty good motivator to stay into the healthy habit of being physically active.