I’ll be honest I’m a tech junkie and when tech meets fitness, count me in. I will admit that I do draw the line at MP3 players and running. The one exception I have to running with music is on a treadmill. Since I’m still being honest I’d rather stick a spoon in my eye than run in place for an hour but if I have music it’s somewhat tolerable. Back in 2006 I started running with a GPS watch from Garmin called the Forerunner 205. I was stoked I could downloaded my runs to my computer and plot without entering any data manually. After my heart attack and when I started running again I invested in a Garmin Forerunner 305 which included a heart monitor strap. I now never workout without it. Anyone who was active before their heart attack and plan to start exercising again should invest in one of these devices. There are many on the market and I plan to do a future post reviewing the options now available.
There are people who dismiss HRM’s as uncomfortable because of the chest strap. I personally find hospital beds and rides in ambulances more uncomfortable. Designs have progressed where HRM straps are light-weight and hardly noticeable along with the devices you wear on your wrists. Gone also are the days of wearing a brick strapped to your wrist, most HRM are only little thicker than a standard running wristwatch.
A personal real world example if there are still any doubters. Just the other day I was mounting my bike for my commute to work when I looked down and noticed my resting heart rate was 85-90bpm. Because I’m always “plugged in” when I ride I know my normal resting HR is 46-50bpm. Sure enough my heart had started into atrial fibrillation. If I didn’t have my HRM I could have easily rode off putting myself at serious risk, not to mention the delay getting to my medication to convert my heart back to sinus rhythm.