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Go Strapless With Your Heart Rate Monitor

There are pros and cons you must consider when purchasing a strapless heart rate monitor. As you know, "traditional" heart rate monitors use a chest strap to take real time heart rate readings and transmit them to a watch or other recording/display device.

Strapless heart rate monitors, on the other hand, are just what they say. They did not require the use of a chest strap to give you heart rate information. They use sensitive electrodes on the face of the watch upon which the user places his or her fingers to take a reading.

Wearing a chest strap can be somewhat cumbersome, uncomfortable, and can slip out of position, leaving you no longer get any heart rate readings. It is also usually necessary to voice of the electrodes with something like an electrode cream, water, or saliva. The main benefit of using a heart rate monitor with a chest strap is that the readings that you are getting are constant and immediate.

When using a strapless heart rate monitor, the user has to take action in order to get a reading. That means if the person is running, for example, they may need to slow down or stop to place their fingers on the electrode buttons. Doing that means they have already lost some of their maximum heart rate as the heart begins to recover from the effort.

Despite that, the benefits of a strapless heart rate monitor are many. You don't have the discomfort of wearing a strap (which are normally made of hard plastic), you don't have to continually moisten anything, it is easier to get started with your exercise.

You can also wear the unit just as a sports watch or irregular watch, with the added advantage that you can take your heart rate measurement at any time throughout the day. If you're sitting in a meeting, you can quietly monitor your heart rate to ensure you're not getting too stressed.

Our choice for the best strapless heart rate monitor is the Reebok Impulse. It's a reasonably priced unit packed with features. Those features include heart rate measurement, heart rate memory and recall, and lowest/highest heart rate readings. It also has sports watch functionality including chronograph, 42 lap memory, countdown timer, and a pacer mode. You can even use it as a normal watch because it includes time of day, a daily alarm, the dual time zone functions.

When making the decision of what type of heart rate monitor to purchase, consider how you will use it throughout the day. The benefit of a strapless heart rate monitor is that if you are already wearing a watch, no extra equipment is necessary to measure your heart rate. You will find yourself using it more often, because it is simpler and easier to use than a traditional heart rate monitor with chest strap.

By: Ira Mathews

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