Heart rate monitor

What is a heart rate monitor?

A heart rate monitor is a device necessary to know the heart rhythm rate precisely. They can be used both during sports and aerobic or high-intensity exercises. The following article outlines the tips for choosing the best instrument for measuring your pulse. Is a heart rate monitor with a band or a watch better?

The most accurate method of measuring your pulse during training is to use a heart rate monitorThe ideal when exercising is to work in the aerobic zone (70-80% of the FMC). The anaerobic site (80-90% of the FMC) is used in advanced athletes to develop the respiratory system. The red zone (90-95% of the FMC) is permissible only for short periods. If this area is extended, it compromises the health of the heart.

For an average person, maximum heart rate (MHR) is calculated by subtracting age (in years) from 220. For example, in a 25-year-old man, his MFC is 195 beats per minute (220 – 25 = 195). This number represents the maximum safe value for the cardiovascular system; the other figures are calculated with this base as a reference (1).

Heart rate monitors with band vs. watch vs. finger

Two types of heart rate monitors are currently offered in the sports market. Heart rate monitors with a band or belt work with sensors on the chest or the finger. And watch heart rate monitors, which use the pulse of the wrist.

Heart Rate Monitor – The Most Accurate Instrument for Measuring Your Pulse

The heart rate monitor with strap and chest sensors is the most effective and accurate device for determining today’s pulse. Band pulse instruments provide values ​​similar to a medical device for measuring heart rate. (5) This device features uses electrodes as technology. The same principle is used in muscle electrostimulation (EMS) or electro fitness.

The band heart rate monitor determines the number of beats based on the signal from the electrodes. They are then sent to a receiver (it can be in the form of a clock) or directly appear on display.

Most band heart rate monitors are designed to be used during cardiovascular training. Some band pulse instruments are waterproof, ideal for swimming and athletes with intense sweating.

The heart rate monitors with a band work percentage at the maximum heart rate and not at the reserve. (4) The intensity variable is only dependent on age. Due to this fact, band heart rate monitors can be programmed for sports beginners and elite athletes. They are helpful both for a young athlete and for a person to get in shape at 40 years of age.

Heart rate monitor – Smartwatch

Within the category, I rate monitor watches come to all devices wrist: smartwatches ( smartwatches ) and cell extensions, and bracelets fitness.

Despite the diversity of watch heart rate monitors on the market, most cannot accurately measure heart rate. (5) Some manufacturers claim that their watches can accurately measure the pulse. However, these claims have been refuted for the most economical models by the scientific community. (5) (6)

A good quality watch heart rate monitor provides a value relatively close to the actual heart rate. However, in all cases, the accuracy is lower than in the band one. When it comes to energy expenditure (calories), the margin of error is even more significant. Therefore, it is not recommended to use a watch heart rate monitor to count calories. (6)

Fingertip heart rate monitor – A medical instrument

Fingertip heart rate monitors are a cheap type of pulse measuring instrument. They were initially designed to offer an alternative for people with heart problems to determine their heart rate without going to a medical center.

A fingertip heart rate monitor is based on an infrared sensor as a technology, where then the heart rate value can be viewed on an LCD. The advantage over other instruments to measure the pulse is that they are inexpensive, take up practically no space, and have high accuracy. (7) The main disadvantage of a fingertip heart rate monitor is that they are not designed to be used for sporting purposes.

Heart rate monitor functions

Band and watch heart rate monitors can have different functions. For example, the stopwatch, clock, and alarm function can even be used as reminders or calendars. Complex models can measure the average pulse and compare it to other weekdays. As well as setting workouts based on the number of calories burned (3).

Some pulse measurement instruments include a GPS receiver that allows you to define the distance traveled. They can even build nice graphics. Although they may seem redundant or unnecessary for some, these functions are a way to motivate themselves to achieve more excellent sports performance.


  • A heart rate monitor is a device or instrument that allows you to measure the frequency accurately.
  • The most common heart rate monitors on the market are: the band, watch and finger heart rate monitor.
  • The best instrument to measure your pulse when exercising is the band heart rate monitor. Its accuracy is similar to that of a device to measure the pulse for medical purposes.
  • Cheap wrist heart rate monitors are not the best option for measuring heart rate.
  • The fingertip heart rate monitor is the best option for those with heart problems. They were created as an alternative to control the heart rate without going to a medical center.

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