How do I Choose the Best Heart Rate Monitor for Training?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
You can also find wearable heart rate monitors or watches that include monitoring support.
You can also find wearable heart rate monitors or watches that include monitoring support.

A heart rate monitor for training can help a wide variety of athletes learn more about their bodies and therefore help athletes customize training programs to the individual's needs. Choosing the best heart rate monitor for training will start with researching several models and analyzing their features, construction, and reputation. Be sure to take your budget into consideration as well, as some heart rate monitors are more expensive than others. If you will be using your heart rate monitor for training in a pool or other body of water, be sure to choose a waterproof unit that will stand up to the rigors of regular underwater use.

Long-distance runners pay attention to their heart rate while they exercise.
Long-distance runners pay attention to their heart rate while they exercise.

The heart rate strap that wraps around the chest just below the sternum is an important part of a heart rate monitor for training, and you should ensure that this strap is both adjustable and durable. The elastic strap that holds the plastic sensor in place is likely to wear out after time, so you should check with the manufacturer to ensure replacement parts are available. The chest unit should be adjustable enough that you can tighten it up around your chest or loosen it should you gain weight or muscle mass. This unit should also be waterproof, as sweat can otherwise work into the battery compartment, potentially leading to damage.

The receiver unit is very often a wristwatch that displays all the information the heart rate monitor for training picks up during physical activity. Make sure this unit is durable, waterproof, and comfortable. The display should feature large numbers and letters for easy visibility during physical activity, and the menus should be easy to scroll through; the buttons used to scroll through each menu should be large enough to press easily while running, walking, biking, or swimming, but small enough to be unobtrusive.

If you are a cyclist, you will want to consider a heart rate monitor for training that features a handlebar mount. This allows you to take the heart rate monitor off your wrist and put it on the handlebar of the bike, thereby allowing for more wrist movement and comfort. Putting the monitor on the handlebar will also allow you to read the display without having to take your hand off the handlebar, which can be a potential safety hazard.

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    • You can also find wearable heart rate monitors or watches that include monitoring support.
      You can also find wearable heart rate monitors or watches that include monitoring support.
    • Long-distance runners pay attention to their heart rate while they exercise.
      Long-distance runners pay attention to their heart rate while they exercise.