Polar Heart Rate Monitor, Gadgets for fitness – Part 3

My other essential gadget of the moment is my Polar F11 Heart Rate Monitor. I decided to splash out on one of these as it works out much cheaper than a personal trainer (£140 a month is a bit beyond my budget, although I suppose giving up food to pay for it would help with the weight loss!). I’ve mostly been using the cross trainer at the gym but decided to start using the jogging machine to raise the stakes a bit and get ready for maybe running outside. Unfortunately the hand held heart rate monitors they have on the machines at the gym never work that well and I’d found myself getting a bit worried about how fast my heart was seeming to beat.

Searching the web and reading up on the monitors on the Polar site I also came across their personal training site which gives you a range of programmes to follow (it’s free and you don’t have to have a Polar monitor to use it) and then allows you to automatically upload your heart data (if you have an infra red link) or manually type it in (if you’re a cheap-skate like me).

The other bonus is that you can put the same fitness programme on the watch as you have on the site and this then makes you work out in the designated heart rate zones by bleeping at you when your heart rate goes too high or too low. This has been quite handy as it’s stopped me getting over enthusiastic and over doing it too soon.

What I have found since using it and following their, “improve my fitness” programme is that I was working out too hard. I now do a range of exercise sessions at different heart rate levels so apparently I’m now burning fat and exercising my heart on different occasions without over straining myself.

This has also meant that I’ve been able to run on the jogging machine for longer as I haven’t been running too fast and tiring myself out before I’ve got into it. So much so that I managed to run 5km on Friday night and Saturday night without feeling the need to give up due to impending heart failure!

As it also shows you the calories you’ve burnt and the percentage of fat it’s been quite interesting to see how much I burn on other activities:

Snowboarding – 1185 calories and 40% fat in 2 hours 16 mins
Sleeping – 108 calories and 60% fat in 1 hour
Shopping – 536 calories and 60% fat in 2.5 hours

So it seems that sleeping and shopping can now be counted as fat burning work outs and snowboarding for a few hours can most definitely by rewarded with a Krispy Kreme!

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One Comment

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