I recently purchased a Polar F11 fitness monitor and its totally changed my workouts! This wrist unit not only keeps track of my heart rate (which is an indication of how hard youre pushing yourself), it estimates the number of calories Ive burned during the session.
The best part is that I can upload all of that information to a website that keeps track of all of my workouts. Instantly, I can see how many times I worked out this week, how many calories I burned, the total amount of time I spent exercising, and a number of other things. How cool is that?
Not only that,
I can also schedule, or set goals, for future workouts. The website can even design an exercise program for me. All I have to do is tell it how many times I want to work out during a week and it does the rest. As you can see from the screenshots, the website displays the entire week with all of my workout sessions listed.
When I click on a specific workout, the site gives me a bar chart telling me my maximum heart rate, my average heart rate, and how much time I spent in each zone.
The neat part is that since Ive started using the Polar F11 and uploading my workout info, Ive literally been looking for chances to fill up my calendar with workouts. It really motivates you to workout so you can get something on the board.
As if that wasnt enough motivation, you can also participate in challenges. A challenge is a goal that someone sets, for example to see who can burn the greatest number of calories in a 2 month period, that several people can participate in. When you accept a challenge, your workout information is automatically included on the challenge site.
When you go to the challenge site, youll see a bar chart with all of the people that have accepted the challenge as well as their progress. It also tells you what your current standing in the group is. Theres no better motivation to get an extra workout in than a little competition.
The range of features on these types of fitness monitors is pretty extensive, as are the prices so do a little bit of research before you decide on one. Some, like the Polar F11, only measure heart rate. Others designed specifically for runners and/or cyclists contain a GPS device so you can measure exactly how far youve run or biked as well as the speed.
The more popular fitness monitors tend to be manufactured by:
- Polar Fitness a broad range of fitness monitors for running, cycling, and sports
- Nike makers of the Nike+ for the iPod as well as more traditional fitness monitors
- Garmin GPS enabled monitors for running and cycling
All three manufactures have a training website that allows you to upload and view your workout information. However, only certain models from each manufacturer have Internet uploading capability so make sure you check before you purchase.
So if youre the type of person that gets a real thrill from putting some numbers up on the big board, then using a system like this will probably work for you. As Ive already mentioned, its motivated me to go out and exercise because I didnt want there to be any days without some sort of activity in my online workout diary. Plus, I didnt want to start lagging behind on some of the challenges that Im part of.
When you know how many calories youve burned, it makes you want to go out and burn some more!
The Balanced Health Guy
Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach (NESTA)
Technorati Tags: fitness monitor, heart rate, balanced health, healthy, fitness, polar, nike, garmin, watch, bpm, sports, exercise
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