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Watches with a heart rate monitor or sports watches have long ceased to be a tool only available to professional athletes. In fact, its use has become widely popular in recent years given the large number of advantages that it offers beyond the most obvious, measuring the heart rate.
At present, there are specific models designed to adapt to the different needs of different sports practices. In the same way, there are those that offer professional benefits and others aimed at amateur profiles. Depending on this, they offer greater or lesser precision and have more or less extra functions.
The most important
- Watches with a heart rate monitor let you know your heart rate. With this information you can plan and control your sports workouts much better. In this way, you can know if you have warmed up enough or if you have fully recovered after doing a speed series.
- There are two types of watches with a heart rate monitor: those with a band and those without it. The former are much more accurate, since they have an elastic band, which is placed on the chest, and incorporates a heart rate meter. The latter have the advantage of being much more comfortable, although they have lower levels of precision.
- It is essential that you take into account what is going to be the main sports practice for which you require the heart rate monitor. You don’t need the same gear for swimming as you do for cycling or running. Not surprisingly, there are specific models for each activity, which incorporate a series of extra functions such as measuring the distance traveled or the number of strokes performed.
Ranking: The best watches with a heart rate monitor on the market
Next, we present the classification that we have prepared with the five best heart rate watches currently available on the market. We have prepared it, trying to make it as varied as possible. In any case, all the products included are top brands and stand out for offering a great value for money.
Shopping guide: What you should know about watches with a heart rate monitor
If you are going to buy a watch with a heart rate monitor, it is essential that you take into account a number of important questions. Do not forget that there is a great variety of models. Some designed for a specific sports practice, others to make use of them in your daily life. For this reason, in this section we want to answer the most common questions from buyers.
What exactly are heart rate watches?
A watch with a heart rate monitor is a small wrist device that, in addition to the watch’s own functions, such as measuring the time or indicating the date, incorporates a heart rate monitor that allows you to measure the heart rate of the person who uses it. Today there is a wide variety of models with different designs and with different additional functions.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of watches with a heart rate monitor?
Watches with a heart rate monitor allow you to monitor your heart rate. This offers a number of important advantages when training in a wide variety of sports disciplines. In fact, the image of professional footballers, Olympic athletes, cyclists or swimmers with a chest strap to measure their heart rate is still common.
Watches with a heart rate monitor help you know when you have warmed up correctly. They also let you know when you have fully recovered from one speed set and are ready for the next. They also inform you of the calories you have burned and can detect heart problems. You have a summary of these and other advantages in the following list.
Advantages: They allow you to measure your heart rate and thus you can control a very important aspect of your health. In this way, they help detect possible heart problems. In addition, they are a fundamental tool for sports training. With them you can monitor your heart rate. This way you can know when you have fully recovered after a speed series.
They allow you to perform zone workouts, that is, in certain ranges of pulsations that favor certain metabolic adaptations. They also help you know when you have warmed up correctly. They are a perfect tool to determine the caloric load of a diet and are an ideal motivation for your workouts.
Disadvantages: Unfortunately, some models can be a bit uncomfortable when worn for long sports sessions.
Is it worth buying a watch with a heart rate monitor?
Given the many advantages they offer both for daily life and for sports, it is really worth it. It is true that your purchase implies a higher investment than that of purchasing a conventional watch. However, in return you can enjoy a number of interesting additional functions.
They are ideal for both professional athletes and amateurs. With them it is possible to get much more out of sports practice and they can even be of great help for caloric planning of the diet. And, as we have seen in the previous point, they hardly have any really relevant disadvantage.
Differences between band heart rate monitors and non-band heart rate watches?
Currently, two types of heart rate monitors can be distinguished, band heart rate monitors and non-strap heart rate watches. The former offer more precise measurements, while the latter are considerably more comfortable. It is important to keep in mind that the band is a fundamental element in the operation of the heart rate monitor.
The band is ergonomically designed and sits at the level of the heart. It is usually made up of an elastic band capable of adjusting to the different dimensions of each person’s torso. An interesting option is to have a watch with a heart rate monitor that has the possibility of linking with a band. Thus, you can enjoy the advantages of both systems.
|CookingDarbar.com||With band||No band|
|Precision||Allows for much more precise heart rate measurements.||The accuracy of the heart rate measurement is sacrificed for the sake of comfort.|
|Comfort||They don’t offer the comfort levels of non-band devices.Belts with ergonomic designs.||More comfortable, since its design is identical to that of a watch or an activity bracelet.|
|Applications||They are ideal for professional athletes and for water sports.||Daily activities, some have professional applications.|
When it comes time to buy a watch with a heart rate monitor, it is important that you take into account a series of criteria. To help you in the selection process, we have selected those that we consider most important. We hope that they serve as a guide in your purchase to adjust the value for money as much as possible.
- What are you going to use it for?
- Connectivity and compatibility
What are you going to use it for?
Undoubtedly, the use that you are going to make of the watch with a heart rate monitor is the first question you should ask yourself. In general, its main applications are within the sports field. However, each sport practice has certain specifications, so they will require a device with some functions or others.
In this way, for running you should have a watch that also allows you to measure the distance traveled. For swimming, you should have a submersible one that also detects the swimming style and the number of strokes. If cycling is your thing, you may be interested in a watch with a heart rate monitor that allows you to see the different parameters without having to take your eyes off the road.
The additional functions available to the watch are one of the key aspects when choosing one model or another. Many have calorie and step counters. There are also those that allow you to monitor your sleep. Most have GPS, a distance meter and a route planner.
As we have seen, the more specific ones also allow you to measure the number of strokes and the style, in the case of swimming. Or the distance traveled for both swimming and cycling or running continues. And some even allow you to receive notifications of messages and emails from your mobile phone.
The heart rate monitor watch screen is a key element in these devices. Through it, you will access the configuration options and you will read the measurements of the different parameters available, especially the value of the pulsations. It is interesting to take into account its size and the way the information is presented.
Some models offer you the possibility of downloading different profiles to customize the information displayed on the screen. Since these are devices that you will surely use in your sports practice, another aspect of the screen that you cannot ignore is its resistance to bumps and scratches. And much better if it is tactile.
Regarding the design of the watch, it is important that you take into account its comfort of use, not in vain will you use it in your sports practice. In that sense, it is interesting that it is light. In addition, it is important that it is made with quality materials and that it is resistant to shocks and possible falls. And, of course, if you want it to swim, make it submersible.
Connectivity and compatibility
To connect the watch with your smartphone or with your computer, you need the watch to have a Bluetooth and / or WiFi connection. On the other hand, you should know what information the watch can store and transfer. It is also important that you take into account what software and what operating systems it is compatible with.
The autonomy of the battery is one of the aspects of the watch with a heart rate monitor that you cannot ignore when purchasing one. Otherwise, you can get an unpleasant surprise and find a device whose battery drains very quickly, with the consequent frustration and discomfort that this entails.
In that sense, there are models that also integrate a battery saving mode to extend their autonomy. In the same way, it is also important that you take into account if it has a fast charging system. And don’t forget that battery life may vary depending on how you use the watch, since its energy consumption is higher during training.
Our advice is that you choose to purchase a model from one of the leading brands in the sector. In this way, you are guaranteed high quality standards and good customer service. The price may be slightly higher, but it pays off in the long run. Remember what they say, cheap is expensive.
Some of the most prestigious brands are: Garmin, Polar and TomTom. The latter offers very slim designs with large screens. Polar, for its part, stands out for offering some of the most advanced heart rate monitors on the market. Garmin offers rugged, accurate devices with very good finishes and impressive features.
Having real-time information on your heart rate offers you a lot of advantages when training a large number of sports disciplines. It lets you optimize warm-ups, rest intervals, and track your fitness more closely.
However, these are just a few of the many applications for today’s heart rate monitors. Not surprisingly, most incorporate a series of practical extra functions such as GPS, route planner, step counter, calorie counter and even the possibility of monitoring sleep cycles.
Finally, if you consider that this guide has been useful in your selection process, you can leave us a comment or share it through the different social networks.