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Strapless Heart Rate Monitor Watch
Want to find out more about strapless heart rate monitors? Here we give you a quick review of what a strapless heart rate monitor is and what it is (and is not) good for. We will also suggest a few models worth considering, based on our research.
A strapless heart rate monitor watch, as its name implies, does not come with a chest strap. For some people this is a great feature as you do not have to put up with the potential discomfort of wearing a chest strap (though once you get used to wearing it, it stops being particularly noticeable). Still, if you need to monitor your heart rate throughout the day, then wearing a chest strap all day isn't something that everyone looks forward to.
A typical strapless heart rate monitor has sensors on the face of the wrist watch. When you want to measure your heart rate, simply put two of your fingers on the sensors. After a few seconds, your heart rate appears on the display. This means two things: first, you can't measure heart rate continuously and second, you can't use it in high intensity exercises such as running (when stopping to measure your heart rate for a few seconds is impossible). Note that sweaty conditions can also adversely affect the HR measurements in many strapless heart rate monitors, as has been reported by users across many models.
A strapless heart rate monitor is great if your main exercise methods are walking or light exercises with breaks. If, however, you train mainly by running or doing intense exercises (resulting in sweaty conditions), then it is probably better to get a wireless heart rate monitor with chest strap instead. So do bear these points in mind.
There is an interesting product called ePulse2 (by Impulse Sports) that can measure heart rate continuously and yet does not require a chest strap. The ePulse2 is worn on the forearm and you do not need to put your fingers on a sensor to measure heart rate. It is one of the most promising products available at the moment. For more information see below.
Mio and Sportline are the two brands known for their extensive lineup of strapless heart rate monitors. They have many models of different specifications and features.
Finally there are some HRMs that can be used both with and without chest strap! These heart rate monitors have sensors on the wrist watch so you can use them without chest strap. However, should you decide to monitor your heart rate continuously, these monitors can work with a chest strap. The Sportline Duo series of monitors and Mio Energy Pro are examples of such dual use monitors. In particular take a look at the Sportline Duo 1025.
So let us take a look at some of the better strapless heart rate monitors. Note that there are no "perfect" strapless heart rate monitors around at the moment.
Some Strapless Heart Rate Monitors To Consider
ePulse2 is a strapless armband HRM. The unusual thing about it is that it is able to provide continuous heart rate monitoring. Furthermore it allows you to set up a heart rate zone either manually or automatically. It has a stop watch and can store split times. It also comes with a calorie counter and has a calorie countdown feature. This HRM is great for someone who does not want to wear a chest strap and yet still requires continuous heart rate monitoring. The ePulse2, being on a second generation product, has improved on the original ePulse in a number of ways. There is a promotion at the moment where ePulse2 is sold at a big discount.
Sportline Duo 1025 is a heart rate monitor that can be used with or without a chest strap. When used without a chest belt, a single touch with one finger on the stainless-steel case will measure your heart rate within few seconds. When used with a chest belt, it offers continuous heart rate monitoring. So you get to have the best of both worlds. Featurewise the Sportline Duo 1025 has a heart rate training zone, a countdown timer, a calorie counter and a 100 lap counter. After training it lets you review training data like max/average heart rates, calorie burnt, times in target zone etc. Finally it has memory for 7 workouts. Most users are really pleased with this HRM, as can be seen in these user reviews.
Mio Motiva Petite is a smaller version of Mio Motiva and has a much more stylish exterior. To measure the heart rate, you need to put two fingers on the sensors on the wrist watch. The process takes a few seconds. It calculates calories burnt during exercise and has multiple countdown timers. It also has some additional calorie management tools. Finally it is able to make heart rate recovery measurement. This is a test to help you determine your physical fitness. Usually the fitter one is, the faster the heart rate recovers after exercise.
Mio Motion is a strapless heart rate monitor that uses Smart Touch technology to provide heart rate measurement. Smart Touch technology means using one finger (instead of two) to measure heart rate. It has a calorie counter and a countdown timer. Interestingly it incorporates also a pedometer for measuring steps and distance. Note that the pedometer is only suitable for walking and not for running. There is also a larger version of this HRM called the Mio Motion + .
The Mio Classic Select measures heart rate on demand when you put two fingers on the sensors on the wrist watch. It retains the original look and feel of Mio heart rate monitors which is why it is named "Classic". It has a calorie counter and a stop watch with lap/split time functionality. It also has some additional calorie management tools. It is currently one of the lowest-priced ECG accurate strapless HRMs.
The Mio Breeze Petite again gives you a heart rate reading on demand when you put two fingers on the sensors. In addition it has a countdown timer and a stop watch. That is it. It is one of the simplest monitors around. It has no calorie counting or management features. The Mio Breeze Petite is a smaller version of Mio Breeze and has a more elegant look and design. Since it also does basic time and date keeping, it can be worn as an ordinary daily watch if desired.
Note that there is another type of strapless heart rate monitors called finger heart rate monitors. You wear a glove-like device with the pulse sensor wrapped round your finger to provide continuous heart rate monitoring. The two manufacturers that make this kind of HRMs are PowerGlove and Mark of Fitness. Most monitors of this type are no longer being produced.
Not sure which heart rate monitor is right for you? Take a look at the Which Heart Rate Monitor page.
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