What’s the best Women’s Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) on the market?
This is a question I’ve been asked a lot and Polar was always my recommendation in the past. The fit was comfortable, sizing good, functionality was just what you needed, accuracy was there and different sporting models offered you relevant data features. For these reasons Polar established themselves as the pulse in the beating world of the heart rate monitor.
Seems in these 2 years since running the Gym at Stevenson College Edinburgh the market has seen an explosion of new products and devices. Now there are not only “wrist computers” but also plug-ins, apps, dongles, bells and whistles. Technology really is moving so quickly these days which is great but you could spend days reading up on this stuff and still be baffled as to which is the best HRM for you! So if you’re thinking of investing in your health & fitness let me help you, I’ve spent some hours recently researching which is the soundest investment for us ladies and here’s what I’ve come up with…
- Time of day like a regular watch.
- STAR Training Programme – Guides you without being too strict for day-to-day plans. Follow the weekly intensity and time targets and your fitness improvement is guaranteed. This intelligent programme even adapts to your training habits, giving you new targets and guidance.
- POLAR Fitness TestTM with OwnIndex® – Measures your fitness level in five minutes. The result, Polar OwnIndex, predicts your maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max).
- POLAR OwnZone® – Individual determination of your optimal target heart rate limits based on your daily condition.
- Training Zones – The three training zones will help you to train on the right intensity (light, moderate and hard).
- POLAR OwnCal® – Shows calories burnt during and after the training session. See also the estimated amount of fat (%) burnt as an energy source.
- POLAR OwnCode® – Prevents cross-talk from other heart rate monitors.
- Wireless ECG accurate heart rate (% / beats per minute).
- Average and maximum heart rate of total exercise.
- Zone Lock – Lock a training zone to train on a specific intensity.
- Memory features – daily, weekly and total summaries.
- User changeable battery.
- Includes Polar WearLink+ 31 Coded Transmitter with user changeable battery and elastic chest strap.
The FT60 Female is great for all activities and particularly group fitness classes such as aerobics and dance based classes. It gives you the basic data easily and the more complex usage is there if you want it. It doesn’t seem to be rocket science which is great for when you don’t have hours to familiarise yourself with something because you also want to socialise in class and then cook a good complex carb meal when you get home again. Having a chest strap, if fitted correctly, will provide a more accurate reading and the female FT60 is shaped well for comfort. It’s magenta (triple point score in my book) Opting for the inclusion of “Flowlink” (£30) enables you to upload your training data to Polar’s Personal Training website where you can chart your progress in a variety of ways and compete with others to reach your personal fitness goals fastest, giving you added motivation and AIWAAAA!!! Here’s a generic sample page from the Polar personal training site, different models chart different data.
Don’t get me wrong, the Polar FT60 Female is not a newly launched product, in fact it’s been around for about 4+ years, this means if you buy a new one now it’s had it’s tweaks in design and add-ons are already built-in. It’s a well worn path, in that, any issues you have will likely be “known issues” and the resolution will be easier to find. You just got to be prepared for it to be superseded at some point …but even then there are now hundreds of apps available which successfully bridge the evolving tech gap meaning you can continue to use this HRM watch and chest strap adding in any new technology which becomes available in, say, 2018 in the form of a plug-in-dongle-app-turbocharged-thingwy as I’m sure they’ll be calling them by then.
Yeah, ok, so it’s £140
You’ve only got one life.
My Polar FT60 will be arriving soon and you’ll see me sporting it in BellyJam!