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Heart Rate Watch With Alarm?


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I have a heart rate monitor, just one of those that you put on your finger. However, I'm thinking that it would be a good idea to get a heart rate watch so that I can just glance at it at any time, and know what my heart is doing. I don't always feel the palpitations, so don't always know I'm in trouble until I've fainted, so I'm wondering if one with an alarm would be a good idea. I know very little about the watches though, so is this something that an alarm could be used for? I've been having a look on Amazon, and the ones with alarms seem to be just general sports watches. Has anyone on here got a heart rate watch, and if so are there any that you recommend that aren't too pricey please? Thanks.

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I have a Garmin, yes the alarm would beep at you if your pulse went above or below whatever limit you set. I wouldn't recommend the exact model I have (Forerunner), though - one it is fairly expensive, two is it's really large to wear all the time. I've had the Timex and Polar HRM's before and they were more compact.

If your heartrate goes up before you pass out and you'd have a good warning system, it sounds like a very wise idea.

The nice thing about the Garmin is being able to download data to a computer. That's a feature you might consider, if you want to be able to chart what your heart is doing. I have used the Forerunner for home TTT and it's very useful to see exactly what happens. I am guessing other brands offer that feature, and maybe it's not as pricey as it used to be, as my watch is several years old now.

- Michelle

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I have the

Timex Personal Trainer Heart Rate Monitor Watch - Gray T5K541 T5K541F5

It works fine for my purposes. It was 50 dollars I think and you have to wear the chest strap. I don't think it is designed to wear all the time but I wear mine all day most days. You can set it to alarm when your heart rate is too high. The strap barely fits me, it is as tight as it can go because they only have one size. I weigh 115 lbs. If that gives you an idea of how it would fit. The strap broke once but I was able to sew it back together with no problem. The actual watch part is a little bulky but it was the smallest I could find in my price range.

I have found that the more extra settings and things like that the watch has the bigger the watch face. The timex tells your current heart rate and then to see the max and average heart rate you have to exit the heart monitor part in order to view it. Also, you can't look at the time unless you are not using the heart rate monitor settings. Which is a little anoying to me.

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Guest Alex

I have a sportline - the $ 49.00 one or one that is quite like it

http://www.sportline.com/products/heart-rate-monitors.html

Works like a charm - huge display numbers, can't miss them, plus you can set an alarm to go off for HR that is higher than a certain limit.

It comes with an adjustable chest strap and one of the best things is that you have easy access to the strap battery. (I had a more expensive Polar monitor before that I ended up tossing :( because the strap broke when I tried changing the battery)

The watch itself is not exactly a fashion statement, but I still wear it 24/7 and I just don't care what others think.

Best,

Alex

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Thanks everyone, I shall look into all of those. I was hoping for one without a chest strap, as I would imagine it would be uncomfortable to wear all the time? I'm very allergic to nickel so will have to ensure that whichever one I end up with, doesn't have nickel in it. I've not worn an ordinary watch for this reason for years, but am hoping to get around it somehow as I really think a HR watch could be helpful.

If the chest strap didn't fit you, Iamcertain, then I wont even attempt it, as I'm much bigger than you :lol:

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The chest straps I have seen are all plastic so no issue for allergies, and I think IAmCertain is saying that the strap was too big... I am much bigger than that, too, and mine fits me and my husband who is around 195#. :)

I am also allergic to nickel, and none of the watch backs have cause me trouble, either - Timex, Garmin, or Polar. All of them that I have had were stainless steel.

As Alex said, some of the straps have an easy slot that you can unscrew to change the battery in the strap. I would look for one that is easy to swap batteries, esp. if you plan to use it all the time. Some of the Timex watches are a pain to change the battery in, FWIW (just changed the battery in my Iron Man watch and it was a hassle and now the 'beep' doesn't work on it).

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Guest Alex

A tip for those with allergies: if the back of the watch, or whatever part of the watch comes in contact with the skin contains nickel (or whatever metal you may be allergic to) consider covering it with a layer or 2 of clear nail polish. You have to re-apply it every now and then but it's a cheap fix.

Also, the chest straps are usually too large - never too small - I had to cut mine so it can fit me. The straps are usually a combo of plastic and elastic (woohooo, I rhyme) so you can actually wear them with as little discomfort as possible.

I'm not sure a HR without a chest strap works the same as one with a chest strap. Those without a strap require you keep a finger on the metallic part of the watch and you need to have the watch on your wrist in order to get a pulse reading. The ones with a strap pick up the signal straight from the heart and send it to the monitor continuously. You don't even have to wear the watch on your wrist actually - it can be in your purse/pocket...you get the point as long as it's within the transmission range of the strap (which is a couple of meters wide).

Alex

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Thanks Alex and Michelle. That changes my mind, so I will look for one with a chest strap. It sounds like they work much better. I've had problems with watches with stainless steel backs before, but it sounds like I can either fix that or wear it elsewhere if I have the chest strap. Perfect :) I've just reread Iamcertain's post,..doh! :) Thanks for the correction. I don't think I will have a problem with it being too big ;)

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Like Alex, I still use the sportsline watch with chest strap model. I am on my second one. They last a couple of years then the battery goes. There is setting for high and low alarm. Those parameters can be changed from the factory setting. Also, they have a 1-800 for assistance if have problems trying to get it set up.

The sportsline model has always correlated perfectly when I take my BP with automated machine. In fact, my last stress test I kept it on. I was on the treadmill all wired up with ECG leads and my watch HR was maybe off by 1-2bpm with the stress test ECG machine. Accuracy is important.

There are those times for whatever reason I just cannot get it to give me a reading. For example, I will be sitting in the car and it will shoot up to 210bpm. You can always recheck with putting your index finger over the top and thumb on the bottom of the watch to get a HR.

My model is water resistant, not water proof. I try to do water exercises and have to take my watch off. I ruin my watch last time. I would like to know what my HR is doing when exercising in the water but I am not going to pay high dollar for a water proof watch. Overall, the sportsline model works for me.

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I have both an Omron (~$30) and a Polar FT4 (~$80). They both have chest straps.

The Omron worked fine. It was accurate and generally was right on with the HR monitor at the hospital when I was getting my IV saline infusions. For me the drawbacks were that the watch strap was too big (I have tiny wrists) so it kept catching on everything. Also I tend to react to just about everything on my skin so even tho it was plastic I was getting a rash under the chest strap so could only wear it one day and then had to leave it off for 2.

I got the Polar FT4 with the cloth strap which I still react to a little bit but not as much so I can still wear it all the time. It also allows me to swim in it. The watch strap is about the same size but the material is more supple so it molds around my wrist better.

I had the same issue with the Omron shooting up to really high HRs in the car. I was told it was because it was picking up interference from the car electronics. So far I haven't had that happen with the Polar.

AmberK- you might check with your doctor though to see if you got a HR change before you passed out on your TTT. You may not have enough of a warning from the HR for it to be much help since it's ultimately the BP that usually causes people to faint. Also, if you carry the watch in a purse etc, you really may not have enough time for you to hear the alarm, become aware of what it is, respond to it etc before you go down. Just a thought.

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Could anyone give me their opinion on this one please? I think it ticks all the boxes, but as I've never had one before, I don't want to get it only to then find out it's missing something vital. Thank you. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sigma-Heart-Rate-Monitor-Berry/dp/B002Y0B2AQ/ref=sr_1_26?s=sports&ie=UTF8&qid=1370557908&sr=1-26&keywords=heart+rate+watch

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I use a polar FT2 - i have tried other but always come back to this.

I wear it everyday and the battery only lasts for 6months. I dont change the battery as i use it to swim and that can break the seal.

Alkso dont forget to use a lubricant with it - like KY. I used to get alot of false readings until i did this.

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Thanks for your reply Emma :) I faffed about for ages and eventually ordered the Timex T5G971. From this thread, it does look like there's quite a range of decent ones to choose from. Thanks for the tip about the lubricant too.

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  • 2 months later...

Well, I used the watch for a couple of months, and then suddenly I was getting major dips in my heart rate as well as spikes. I felt ok at the time, but as sometimes it just kept dropping, I did the opposite of what the hospital told me to do when I have the high spikes. Then a couple of minutes later I felt much worse, but the heart rate went back to normal. It was pretty scary and very confusing, until I realised that the watch is faulty! No wonder I was feeling so much worse after forcing myself to be more upright!

So, I've decided to invest in a more expensive one. My parents are kindly helping me out, and so long as it's a more reliable one, we're not as concerned with the cost now as we were before, as it was just wasted money with that one. If anyone has any more suggestions for heart rate watches, I would really welcome any input. I'm checking out the other ones suggested in this thread again. Basically, I don't need a calorie counter or anything like that, just a heart rate monitor that constantly reads my heart rate and will sound an alarm if it goes above a level that I input.

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I have been using Polar FT4 for 6 months now. Just changed battery for the first time recently. I use it on average 6-8 hours a day. You have an option to set your hr zone and have an alarm sound on or off. Even if it's off you can still check your max. and min. heart rates for the time you were using it. I don't pass out so I turn the sound off usually. It has a chest strap, which is not the most comfortable thing, especially that you have to wet the part where transmitter is before putting it on.

I have done some research before buying this hr monitor and found out that those with chest straps are the most accurate. The readings match my finger hr/o2 monitor.

Overall I like it. It is more convenient on outings than my finger hr monitor.

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I don't have a watch yet, but for those of you looking for a cheap HR monitor, there is a free iphone app that uses the camera flash on your phone to read your HR. I have been using it for 2 years and it is accurate. You put your finger over the flash and it takes about 30 seconds to read your HR. You can check it out here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/instant-heart-rate-heart-rate/id409625068?mt=8.

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In my opinion, Polar is the only way to go. You cant beat the accuracy and quality. I have been using heart rate monitors for over ten years, owned many different brands, and many Polar monitors. Most running stores or bike shops will have Polar monitors. If you get one with a strap, a cloth soft strap is the way to go. The soft straps are mostly fabric and are way more comfortable. If you own a smartphone, Polar also makes a bluetooth strap that links to your phone (no need for the watch).

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I'm not trying to hijack the thread, but I didn't want to start a new one either as I have the same question (well almost).

I may be looking for a new HR watch and I definitely want one with a chest strap. I had a Polar before but I found the battery changing process for the strap to be challenging. Do the newer Polar watches come with an easy to remove/exchange battery feature for the strap?

Thanks,

Alex

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Thanks everyone. It does sound like Polar is the way to go then. I had previously ruled those out because of how many of them are focused around running. I manage very little exercise, so this is mainly for just learning about what my body is doing and to give me some warnings. Ultimately though, I would like to start some regular floor exercising, and an HR watch could be invaluable to me with that. I think it was all the mention of laps, etc that was making me think perhaps Polar wasn't the one for me, but it certainly sounds worth a revisit to consider those. Thanks for all your input.

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  • 1 month later...

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