Heart Rate Monitor

by Viliam Kanis

What is the wireless heart rate monitor? A wireless heart rate monitor comes with a chest strap that is worn around the body in the chest area, close to the heart. This chest strap transmits the signal to the main unit that monitors the heart rate. If you use heart rate watch then the watch represents the main unit and communicates with the chest strap via wireless connection.

What is a strapless heart monitor? Unlike standard wireless heart rate monitor, a strapless heart rate monitor does not come with a chest strap. Instead it has an area on the main unit that measures the heart rate. If youre using strapless heart rate watch then the watch represents the main unit. You simply place two fingers over the measuring area of the watch and after approximately 5 seconds you receive your heart rate reading.

Is a strapless heart rate watch better than the heart rate watch with the chest strap? As soon as you use quality, branded product, there is no actual difference in the accuracy of measurement, no matter if the heart rate is measured with strapless or banded heart monitor watch. The strapless heart monitor watches are more comfortable as you wear no strap.

How to measure the heart rate? Measuring your heart rate will be more accurate if done daily, at the same time during a day and in resting position, after not doing anything for at least 10 minutes (even standing up from the chair is considered an activity and increases the heart rate). Measurement should be done using a quality heart rate monitor that was tested for accuracy by manufacturer. It is advised to record the measurements so that you and your physician see the development.

What is a pulse monitor? Is it the same as heart rate monitor? No they are not the same. While heart rate monitor functions the same way as your physicians ECG (ElectroCardioGram) monitoring the electrical impulses of your heart . On the other hand a pulse monitor detects blood flow in extremities. Pulse monitor is unable to detect beats that do not produce enough blood or other abnormalities and therefor is less accurate and should not be used for medical purposes.

Is heart rate monitor mandatory for exercise? No i tis not, but it is advisable. Training at your own convenient pace usually is not the most effective. To maximize the benefits of exercise you need to stay within your target heart rate range as long as possible. The target heart rate range of a semitrained individual is 60% – 80% of his/her maximum heart rate. For beginners or people in cardiac rehabilitation an optimum target heart rate is 50-60%.

What is a pulse oximeter? Does it measure the heart rate? Pulse oximeters are medical equipment using noninvasive methods to monitor individual’s oxygen saturation levels. People who never used a pulse oximeter sometimes assume that there is some needle hidden in it that punctures skin and oximeter then analyzes the blood drops but that is not true. Pulse oximeters use light wavelengths to measure oxyhemoglobin saturation, delivery of oxygen to the cells but not the actual amount of oxygen. Individual normal range for the pulse oximeter display should be defined by your physician but usually is over 95% . Factors like anemia, low blood pressure, blood ph, Pco2 or body temperature can affect pulse oximeter reads. And, yes, pulse oximeter also measure the heart rate.

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