Dear Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor Watch, Where have you been all my life? Love, ProteinBarGirl
Yes, I've managed to get this far in my weight loss effort without a heart rate monitor. I can be amazingly cheap about somethings and dropping $100 on a monitor just seemed like a lot. Did I really need a fancy watch to tell me how hard I was working or measure how many calories I was burning? Yeah, treadmills and the elliptical machines overestimate your calorie burn, but those monitors are close enough? Right?
Earlier this week I finally relented and purchased the PolarF6 for $84 on Amazon.com. The monitor consists of two main elements -- a pink watch and a coded transmitter attached to an elastic strap that you wrap around your chest. It took me about five minutes to set up the monitor. Basically, you plug in your details, hit OK, and start exercising. And voilà! You've got your heart rate and the amount of calories burned. And of course the harder you're working the more calories you're burning. You can select a light, moderate, or hard heart rate level and the watch will beep if you go beyond that threshold -- a sign to dial it back.
Now for the part that has been vexing me for awhile. How many calories am I actually burning? For the most part I've been off on several of my calorie calculations and some not by that much. For example take the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I figured I burned between 250 to 300 calories for the level one 20 minute workout. That 20 minutes really kicks my ass. According to the monitor I burned just under 200 calories. Hmmm...off by as much as a 100 calories. Yet, during the 50 minutes of the Jillian Michaels Banish Fat Boost Metabolism I burned 526 calories --- slightly above the 500 I estimated I was burning. What about the machines? After 10 minutes on the treadmill, 10 minutes on the bike, and 10 minutes on the elliptical I burned about 315 calories not the 350 I had previously believed.
To Keep or Not to Keep: Do these differences in my calorie calculations justify a heart monitor? Not sure. But I do know that working out these last three days with it has made a huge mental difference. I find myself pushing harder just to make sure I hit my heart rate and calorie goals. Working out will never be the same. Keep!