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Finger Heart Rate Monitor
A finger heart rate monitor (also called finger wrap heart rate monitor) can provide continuous heart rate monitoring without the use of chest straps. This is quite unusual because most strapless heart rate monitors cannot give you real-time on-the-spot heart rate monitoring. In those other monitors you have to stop your exercise, put your fingers on the wrist watch for a few seconds, take the readings and then restart your exercise. It is quite cumbersome really.
However, a finger HRM does not require you to do that. It monitors your pulses at the tip of your finger continuously. You can keep the benefits of a chest strap heart rate monitor (i.e. continuous monitoring) without the use of a chest strap. Interference from outside sources is also no longer an issue. The downside is that it is probably not as accurate as the chest strap ones which uses electrocardiogram to measure heart rates. As in everything in life, there is a trade off.
There are very few of these types of HRM around and it is certainly not a common sight.
Important Note: The finger HRMs below are obsolete. Please take a look at ePulse2, a new strapless heart rate monitor that simply wraps around your forearm and provides continuous heart rate monitoring.
Mark of Fitness MF-180 (OBSOLETE) offers continuous heart rate monitoring without the use of a chest strap, a heart rate training zone with alerts and a calorie counter. Furthermore it has a stop watch and can record up to 8 laps. Interesting it can also record your recovery heart rate which is a measure of how fit you are.
PowerGlove (OBSOLETE) also provides strapless continuous heart rate monitoring. It can suggest a heart rate training zone for you but there is no out-of-zone alerts. It is also equipped with a calorie counter. One plus is that it is rechargeable with the supplied charger.
Of the two, Mark of Fitness MF-180 have our vote as the better buy. The MF-180 has a higher quality feel to it and unlike the PowerGlove, it does not look like an experimental construction straight out of a lab. On Amazon, the users give the MF-180 much better reviews compared to the PowerGlove HRM.
Note 1: There is also a product known as Beurer PM100 by a German company. It is very similar to the MF-180 with exactly the same specs. In fact it looks like it is the same monitor with a different branding and using different fabric for the glove. The Beurer PM100 is not generally available in the US though, but if you have been looking for it, then simply check out the MF-180.
Note 2: The Carepeutic KH249 is a finger ring heart rate monitor that incorporates a pedometer. However it requires that you press a button to view your heart rate, instead of having your heart rate shown constantly on its LCD display.
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