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Home > Polar > M61

Polar M61 Heart Rate Monitor

Polar M61 Heart Rate Monitor Polar M61 heart rate monitor is based on the Polar M32 with a number of additional features. It is designed for intermediate exercisers and introduced as a replacement/updated version of the earlier Polar M51/M52 heart rate monitors.

The main features of the Polar M61 heart rate monitor are:

  • Continuous heart rate monitoring
  • Polar Fitness Test: The end result is a number called OwnIndex which gives a measure of your aerobic fitness.
  • Manual setting of heart rate training zone (target zone)
  • OwnZone: Faster automatic determination of your target zone based on your weight, age, gender and a test of your fitness during warm up. You can choose one of 3 OwnZone levels: basic, low and high.
  • Audio alarm can be set to beep when you train outside of your target zone
  • You can set up 2 user profiles. One for yourself and one for a family member etc.
  • Change your heart rate limits while exercising
  • View real time data while exercising: Your current heart rate, time spent in target zone (so far) and calorie count
  • Progress bullets: One bullet per 10 minutes exercise in target zone
  • Stop watch to start and stop exercise session
  • File (data of last session) can be reviewed: Date, total exercise time, time spent in target zone, heart rate limits used for the session, average heart rate, calorie count and % of that due to fat burnt, cumulative total of calorie count and exercise time since last reset
  • Basic Time Keeping: Time, date and alarm
  • Backlight
  • Exercise Reminder: Text message appears 3 days after your last recorded exercise.
  • Polar WearLink coded transmitter: Belt made of fabric and hence very comfortable to wear. Coded transmission reduces crosstalk interference.
Polar M62 Heart Rate Monitor

Note: Features in bold are the ones that the Polar M61 has over and above those found in Polar M32. Features in italic are the ones that the Polar M61 has over and above those found in Polar M51.

Note: The Polar M62 (shown on the right here) is exactly the same as the Polar M61 heart rate monitor apart from having a different watch fascia/cover. It is not marketed in the United States, as far as I am aware.

The OwnZone determination of target heart rate training limits are useful in that it takes into account how fit you are just before you train. It then sets the heart rate limits appropriately. With the M61, you have more control over the zone limits via choosing the OwnZone level.

The OwnIndex, which you get after doing the Fitness Test, is a number comparable to VO2 max. Do it about once a month to chart the improvement in your fitness.

Now you can share your heart rate monitor with a member of your family without having to change your own personal settings (weight, age, gender etc) each time. Each user also gets to keep his/her training session data. So when you are not exercising, someone else can use it.

The new WearLink coded transmitter belt is much more comfortable to wear and a lot less prone to interference.


The Polar M61 is an intermediate heart rate monitor with additions over the M32. The main additions are the Fitness Test for monitoring long term fitness trend, the 2-user facility and more refined OwnZone determination. The Polar M61 heart rate monitor should be able meet the needs of many users training for fitness and weight management, particular for those who want to share their monitor with someone else. It has got generally great user reviews on Amazon.

Note: The M61 model has been superceded, though it may still be available in some internet shops. If you are looking to buy the M61, take a look at the current models Polar F6 and Polar F11.

Not sure which heart rate monitor is right for you? Take a look at the Which Heart Rate Monitor page.

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