I have not worked out without my heart rate monitor once since I purchased it almost two years ago and I don’t plan to. I use it during cardio, reading my heart rate on the display on the treadmill or when I’m running our dog to make sure that I am keeping my heart rate in the right zone. I also use it when I am lifting to be sure that I am keeping my heart rate up and not resting too long in between sets, and also so that I am aware which exercises are good both aerobic and strength exercises. I often turn my timer off and put it on calories burned and decide that I’m not leaving until I’ve reached x amount of calories burned.
My heart rate monitor is listed here to the left. I purchased the Polar F6 Women’s Heart Rate Monitor Watch in Pink Coral because it was on sale. A good one will run around $100 but you can pay more and get even better. The most important thing is that you get one that is CODED so that it blocks other heart rate monitors around you. Renee was telling me about the guy running next to her on his treadmill who kept slowing down and couldn’t figure out why his heart rate was still 175!!! It was because his treadmill was reading Renee’s watch! So, yes, you can see your heartrate right on the screen of your treadmill but it will really mess things up if you don’t have a coded watch, so look for that.
Renee talked me into getting a watch…I got one just like hers I think…when she came to visit me. We always work out together when we visit each other…if only we lived near each other. I could work out with her every day and I’d be in the best shape ever if I had her as my lifting partner! She is a freakin’ tough chick! As we were working out, she kept telling me how many calories we were burning and I was sold. I haven’ t worked out a day since then without my Polar and that was almost two years ago.
Your heart rate monitor should work with a strap around where your bra line is and then the watch. Mine is basic but I only need the time, how long I’ve been working out, my heart rate and how many calories I’ve burned. There are others on the market that have easier stop watches that work for Crossfit-ers. Others are compatible with your computer and you can download your workouts and analyze them. If you are a biker, there are great options out there for you as well that will be on the high end of the range around $300+ but well worth it if you use it every day.