Looking for the best fitness tracker with heart rate monitor?
- 1 Looking for the best fitness tracker with heart rate monitor?
- 1.1 Why to monitor heart rate?
- 1.2 How to calculate your maximum heart rate
- 1.3 Target heart rate calculation
- 1.4 Target heart rate formula
- 1.5 The best fitness trackers with a heart rate monitor (2017)
I might be able to help you out. Before I start reviewing all fitness trackers with heart rate monitor lets first understand why it is important to track our heart rate especially when we are looking to stay active or lose body fat quickly.
Why to monitor heart rate?
When we engage our body in intense physical activities like running, swimming, walking, climbing stairs, exercising etc. our heart rate pumps at a higher rate than normal.
If you are looking to burn calories or fat, the best way to do that is by increasing at your heart rate to 50 – 70% of your maximum heart rate. Many fitness trainers know this and encourage their clients to do HIIT (High intensity interval trainings).
The key here is to accelerate your heart rate over a short duration (usually 60-120 seconds) so that your heart rate pumps at a faster rate than normal resulting in burning calories.
The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise to foster good health. Increasing your activity level increases the amount of calories you burn a day, which helps you burn the fat around your belly.
How to calculate your maximum heart rate
According to Centers for Disease control and Prevention a person’s target heart rate should be 50 to 70% of his or her maximum heart rate. The Formula for maximum heart rate is very easy – You just have to subtract your age from 220 to know your maximum heart rate.
For example, for a 35-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 – 35 years = 185 beats per minute
Target heart rate calculation
The Target heart rate is usually 50 – 70% of a person’s maximum heart rate to achieve a moderate level physical activity. Anything over 70% of your maximum heart rate is considered to be high intensity physical activity.
Target heart rate formula
Using the above calculation a 35-year-old person needs to hit a target heart rate between 92.5 and 129.50 to achieve a moderate intensity during any physical activity be it Running, Swimming, Cycling etc.
- 50% level: 185 x 0.50 = 92.5 bpm, and
- 70% level: 185 x 0.70 = 129.5 bpm
Now that we know what’s your target heart rate zone lets watch a short video to understand how Fitness trackers monitor your heart rate – How fitness Trackers monitor heart rate
Getting a fitness tracker with heart rate monitor is very important for people who are looking for Accurate data in order to achieve the fitness goals. Not all fitness bands can track your heart rate accurately therefore it is important to understand which is the best fitness tracker with heart rate monitor.
If you are searching on websites like Amazon you will find many fitness trackers with a heart rate monitor that claim to be accurate however there are very few which give you accurate data.
The best fitness trackers with a heart rate monitor (2017)
1. Polar Loop (Recommended with Polar Chest Strap)
Polar Loop is an activity band that really makes you move. It tracks your every step, jump, run or swim and even your sleep. This video will get you started with your Polar Loop activity band by showing you the Polar Loop’s different functions and how to use them.
The Polar Loop can be synced with Polar’s H7 heart rate monitor to track your daily workout activity whether its running, swimming, cycling etc.. The H7 monitor sends the heart rate info directly with your Polar Loop and gives you data in your Polar Flow app in your smartphone. Its a great device to track your heart rate activity especially for people who are looking to burn that extra fat and calories in your body.
- Accurately tracks the heart rate, calories burned, sleep patterns
- Solid SiliconStrap
- 2 Year Warranty from Polar
- Polar Flow app continually being improved
- Battery lasts only 3-4 days
- Requires purchase of a separate chest strap to deliver accurate results
- No 3rd party app integration (yet)
(Best Fitness Tracker for Runners)
Garmin has always been known for its specialization in the GPS technology but most recently this 28 year old American multinational has entered wearable technology to compete with the likes of Fitbit and Apple.
The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ fitness band is an activity band with 24/7 optical Heart Rate monitoring. The above video reveals that the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ gives accurate heart beat when it is compared with an ECG.
- Doesn’t requires purchase of a separate heart rate monitor
- GPS feature tracks your running/cycling activity
- Accurately tracks the heart rate and step count.
- Ability to track each activity – Running, Swimming, Cycling etc.
- Can be integrated with 3rd party apps like MyfitnessPal
- Expensive than other Fitness Trackers
- HR sensor automatically turns off while swimming
- Can be integrated with 3rd party apps like MyfitnessPal
- Sleep tracker is not accurate
- Battery lasts unto a Week only (with GPS switched on, battery lasts only 8-10 hrs)
You will notice from the above video that the Vivosmart HR+ delivered accurate results in the above video when it was compared with an ECG.
The next best fitness band with a heart rate monitor is Fitbit Charge 2. This 10 year old American company offers hell a lot of fitness bands for its health conscious audience. Each Fitbit model has different features and is targeted to a specific customer segment – Runners, Swimmers, Cyclists etc.
Like any wrist-based HR monitor, the Charge 2 suffers big problems at high intensity where it succumbs to a fairly hefty lag time and motion noise. However, it’s still good enough for workouts in the gym and on the road if you’re not too worried about pinpoint accuracy.
On the plus side, the resting heart rate tracking is up there with the best, and if you’re put off by the technical graphs of its competitors, Fitbit’s app is one of the most accessible ways to track your workouts.
- GPS feature to see real time stats like pace and distance on your wrist
- Large OLED screen (visibility is quite good in bright sunlight)
- Record your activity in multi-sport modes – Running, Cycling, Swimming etc.
- Interchangeable bands
- Step trackers is not accurate (Sometimes counts steps while you are driving)
- Battery lasts only 5-6 days (with GPS off)
- Not Waterproof (only sweat and splash proof)
- Expensive than other fitness trackers in the market
- Battery indicator only shows in App when you Sync your band with Smart phone
Must Read: Best Fitness Trackers below INR 2000