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Heart Rate Monitors - Need Help!


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Hello everyone, I've been reading the forum for a while now but this is my first post. I want to get a heart rate monitor to wear everyday instead of a watch so that I might get a little bit of a warning sometimes before I get really sick. I've been reading reviews of different brands and models in an attempt to decide which one to buy, but it's frustrating reading reviews about using them for marathon training when I'm going to be using it for standing. :) It seems that the more I find out the more confused I get. I know that I want one that will alert me when my pulse goes above or below my own 'normal' range, and it would be nice if it recorded and transfered info to the computer but it doesn't have to. I thought I wanted a Polar but then I found out that you can't change the batteries yourself, and I've read reviews that said Polar had horrible customer service and it took them over a month to change the battery and return it. Paying $12 and not having it for a month every time the battery dies wouldn't be acceptable, especially if the battery only lasts a couple months. Pretty much every other brand seems to have questionable accuracy and/or reliability though. I'm also concerned about the comfort of the chest strap since I'll be wearing it pretty much all the time, not just for work outs. If anyone has experience with specific HRMs and can give me any suggestions it would be beyond appreciated. I think having one could be really helpful, but actually buying one is getting way too overwhelming!

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This may not be what you're looking for, but I use a sports watch that has the ability to check my heart rate. It doesn't record my heart rate or connect to the computer; it is pretty much what you're talking about athletes use, but it's relatively inexpensive (around $30 at Wal-Mart), accurate, easy to use and not as ugly as some of the others. It's made by Sportline and the version made for women (mine) is grey/lavendar.

Good luck.

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I use a petite Mio brand ecg accurate watch. It works quickly and doesn't really look different than a typical workout watch.

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I just did a price check on google and the newer model can be found for about 89$, under the name MioWave

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I for one would recommend a Sportline watch...like someone else in here mentioned. It does not require a chest strap and you can use it using only a single finger. I shelled out nearly $100 for their top of the line watch, but I'm sure their lower models will work just fine. The model I have stores hrs and has a built in pedometer that also tells you the speed you walk (although the accuracy of the speed is very questionable), but it will tell you how far you walk and it helps me when I walk outside or when I can't use my treadmill. A benefit of the expensive model also is that if you hold down the hr button, it will continue to monitor your hr, as opposed to just showing your hr at a given moment. I don't believe it is as continuous as having a strap (and you have to keep the button held), but at least you can see how your hr changes when you are sitting to when you stand up, etc. I compared accuracy to the monitors at the hospital and it was within 2 bpm. I have the Solo 960, but keep in mind that particular watch is the size of a man's watch (I think it needs to be larger do to the pedometer/accelerometer features). Website is www.sportline.com. They also have a fancy water bottle that keeps track of your hydration, but don't know about those.

Hope this helps.

James

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We had a thread like this before...and after I read many recommendations for MIO, I ordered one online. However, when it arrived, I was really disappointed. It was totally broken or something. I know I should have returned it and gotten my mula back, but I was just too lazy bc it was from overseas and the shipping would have cost as much as the watch. But anywho.

I have a Reebok heart rate sports watch. It gives all kinds of funky readings though. When it's tachy, it gives just basically any wierd reading. When it's normal, it gives an accurate reading. Like it gives me readings like 195, then when I take my pulse manually (counting for 15 seconds, then x 4), I get like 120 at most. So I think probably the old fashioned manual technique is the most reliable. I still wear the Reebok for the sake of the seconds hand though.

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the Mio doesn't require a chest strap either--mine works perfectly--and has for the past 4 years. I just press one button and my HR reads out within about 3 seconds, or less.

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We had a thread like this before...and after I read many recommendations for MIO, I ordered one online. However, when it arrived, I was really disappointed. It was totally broken or something. I know I should have returned it and gotten my mula back, but I was just too lazy bc it was from overseas and the shipping would have cost as much as the watch. But anywho.

I have a Reebok heart rate sports watch. It gives all kinds of funky readings though. When it's tachy, it gives just basically any wierd reading. When it's normal, it gives an accurate reading. Like it gives me readings like 195, then when I take my pulse manually (counting for 15 seconds, then x 4), I get like 120 at most. So I think probably the old fashioned manual technique is the most reliable. I still wear the Reebok for the sake of the seconds hand though.

That's why I like the continuous reading on my strapless watch in cases like that. I can literally watch my heart rate go from 75bpm sitting, up to 140 standing, and then back down after a sit. It's not true real time but it gives a more accurate indication in cases of sporadic heart rate. And it flashes a little heart icon with the beat of your heart so you know it's accurately reading.

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Guest tearose

I could not live safely without my little Polar!!!

I am one of the "older POTS peeps" and have had two monitors for over five years! I have one on all the time except for sleep and shower. I have never had a problem with the battery replacement but I went ahead and bought a second to have to rotate and let one "air out". I sent my strap back and they swiftly sent a new strap and elastic back!!! It was no big deal but I do think if I didn't have the back up one it would have been harder on me.

I recently bought my third because the face of the wristwatch is now more streamlined and stylish. I have only good things to say about the product and how it has helped me to live within reasonable limits.

I have set my low for 35 and my high for 140. It gives me a constant read out and it also has a watch so I can use it as my watch too. I just draw the wristwatch up to my transmitter strap at my sternum and it will switch between one and the other. It alarms me so I know when to sit at the highs and it "wakes" me up when it is going into alarm at a low. I have never used it with my computer, I could but I have enough trouble using my email and learning new things it rough to do.

It did take a little getting use to the strap at first, I had to use less water to moisten the two sensors and I was fine. Now as I dress, I just place it right under my undergarment and don't think about it anymore.

I just can't say enough about how key this is in my treatment and management!

best regards,

tearose

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Thank you everyone! I'm very impressed and grateful for how quickly I got responses. I'll definitely be taking a look at the ones y'all mentioned.

A quick question for tearose: how often do you have to replace the battery on your polar? The website says 1-2 years but I know it would be shorter with me wearing it all the time.

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Guest tearose

With my usual daily usage, one battery went out at about 18 months and one closer two the two year mark.

It was not hard to do the mail processing and customer service was able to tell me by phone the repair status when I called to follow up.

tearose

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Hi,

I have 2 polar HR monitors and a watch-only sort. I don't find that the watch-only one is very helpful as you only get a read-out when you press the button and my problem is that I am not aware of my tachycardia and I need a monitor that will warn me of high tachys.

My 2 polars are from different ends of the price spectrum and have very different chest straps. One is an absolute basic model (FS1) bought at the supermarket and has a solid chest piece with an elastic strap. It is easy to use but after a couple of hours I find it gets uncomfortable especially if worn under an under-wire bra! The more expensive version (M1) has a "wear-link" strap which only has a small solid battery section at the front with the rest of the transmitter being fabric with woven electrode areas. This one is much more comfortable for extended wear periods. The battery of the wear-link strap can be changed by the user but the watch part still has to be sent away.

Flop

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Hi,

Welcome! I tried to do a search of the forum for past threads on this topic, but I couldn't seem to get it to work properly. I know it has been discussed a couple of times. Maybe it will work better later. Many prefer the polar or mio watches. I personally have tried both and really have yet to find anything that I like and they all hurt my wrist, which means I tend to not wear them. I will probably look into it again for myself down the road, but now it is to big of a nuisance. If I had to choose one myself I would probably choose the polar, mainly I guess I had a hard time getting a reading with a mio with my essential tremor. ;)

Hope my rambling helped! :)

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Like Tearose, I like my Polar watch.

My battery ran down after 2 years, I shopped around and finally took it to Batteries Plus, for a small fee, maybe 12 dollars. They don't guarantee it's waterproof, but at that price, I am very happy with it. :)

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Ellen is quite right - you can get the polar watch battery changed at other places like a jewellery store but it won't be waterproof and it invalidates the warranty (I think), but if you need it back quickly you might take the risk.

Flop

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