An overview of treadmill heart rate monitors

treadmill runnerThe new craze surrounding the use of heart rate monitors will leave you believing that they are new devices in town but in real sense, heart rate monitors have been used for more than 30 years now.

Its main function is to give you an accurate pulse rating when exercising, which in turn will indicate the percentage of your maximum heart rate target that you have achieved so far.

Which heart rate monitor is the best?

heart rate monitorAs a professional who has worked with treadmills and spent a considerable length of time at the gym, I can confirm that the type of heart rate monitor you use will determine the accuracy of readings. There are two general categories of heart rate monitors: one with metal sensors on the handles and another popularly known as the telementary strap.

The heart rate monitor with metal sensors on the handle is the most prevalent. To obtain the heart rate reading using this type of a monitor, you will be required to steadily grip the area around the sensors as you exercise. However, this is most recommended when moving at lower speeds on the treadmill. When jogging and running at high speeds, it may result in an inaccurate reading and even increase your risk of being injured.

The telementary strap on the other hand, works by transmitting a signal from a strap which is often placed around the chest. The treadmill then reads the signal and displays the heart rate reading. Irrespective of the fact that this monitor provides a more accurate reading, it is somehow restrictive or rather uncomfortable when working out.

How accurate is a heart rate monitor?

heart rate efficiencyThe heart rate monitors work by picking a signal from the palms and finger tips before the reading is displayed on the screen. However, there are factors which affect the accuracy of these devices. The most obvious factor here is your movement and pace on the treadmill. Walking at a steady and smooth speed will give the most accurate reading because of minimal shaking.

If you hold the hand sensors when running or jogging, the treadmill will obviously shake, triggering the kind of interference which translates to imprecise heart rate readings. In case of the chest strap, vigorous arm movements and running can as well interfere with the accuracy of the monitor. These factors taken into consideration, however, you will be treated to the most accurate reading.

What value does it add to your workout?

Proform 505 CST TreadmillUsing a heart rate monitor improves your cardio workouts than simply relying on what you feel. When used well, a heart rate monitor is similar to a coach directing you in every workout. This is because it enables you to train at the right intensities.

Whenever there is need to work a bit harder, the heart rate monitor will nudge you up to the most appropriate intensity and slow you down when you need to go easy. This way, you will achieve your fitness goals without straining or taking too long.

Final words

treadmill runnerWhat type of heart rate monitor do you have? This is the most prevalent question in most locker rooms today. If you have not seen them in magazines, perhaps your partner training just got one.

With these trends, it is obvious that the heart rate monitor is not a fad. There is a scientific basis for training with these devices, so be sure to get a treadmill with a novel heart rate monitor.

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Misi Rock

Running instructor and executive reviewer at Treadmill reviewed
I'm Misi Rock and I work as a treadmill coach. I run my own business and I have a healthy lifestyle. As a fitness instructor I gained a lot of insight into what works best for a particular body type. I blog about my findings and share my reviews of treadmills and gym equipment.

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