I felt like Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk all day today. Why? Because I was wearing this new Omron HR-100C heart rate monitor that I ordered off Amazon. The monitor is basically two pieces– a band that wraps around your chest area and a watch that displays what your current heart rate is.
I’ve wanted to order one of these for over a year, just never got around to doing it. But I’ve recently grown tired of staring at the heart rate monitors that exist on treadmills and elliptical machines. I don’t know how they work, but they certainly don’t seem accurate. They always look like they’re giving me the same readout. So I splurged, spent the 32 bucks on the item, and waited for it to arrive.
It came in the mail today. I actually was pretty excited to try it out. I didn’t think I’d find it as amusing as I did. Basically, the strap that goes around your chest isn’t uncomfortable at all. When you think about it, you expect it to be annoying, wearing this clunky device under your shirt. But it’s hardly even noticeable.
Then you find yourself just looking at the watch all the time. I must have checked my heart rate every 30 seconds, just to see if it jumped at all. And it did! The way this thing keeps updating itself is crazy, because you can actually see how just walking up out of your chair makes your heart rate jump. Heading to the fridge for a snack? Well watch your heart rate increase as you walk. Watching something exciting on TV? The heart rate jumps. Lying down? Heart rate decreases.
One of the things I like about it is that you can enter a training zone into the devices memory. Basically, you’ve got your resting heart rate, your fat burn heart rate, your cardio heart rate, your intense training heart rate, and your maximum heart rate. They’re all based on the formula 220 minus your age, times 50%, 65%, 80%, 95%, 100%, for each training zone, respectively. You pick where you want to train, and set a low heart rate, and a high heart rate, and then set the watch to alarm you if you fall below your minimum heart rate, or exceed your maximum. I worked out with it tonight, I set mine between 65% and 80%. It worked real well. I actually ended up exceeding my maximum heart rate once or twice.
I think I’m going to wind up using the watch just for every day timekeeping. It’s got a stopwatch, but otherwise it’s pretty simple. I just haven’t had a watch in over ten years. I think I’m due for one. And hey, I may just find myself wearing the band around my chest just for the hell of it. Watching my heart rate is pretty fun so far.
Next up, a pedometer!