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Heart Rate Monitor - how does it work

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Hi Guys,

I have a heart rate monitor and my question is when you measure your heart rate how do you convert it to calories burned? Or is that not possilbe? I am going to be doing boot camp today and I wanted to know how much calories I'm burning but not sure how to go about it. The instruction manual doesn't help but how to use it. LOL..

Thanks in advance Raquel

Replies

  • arnolda4
    arnolda4 Posts: 14
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    In my experience with heart rate monitors, they simply measure your heart rate and tell you the "zone" you want to be in. There is a weight loss zone, which is kind of low, and a cardiovascular zone which is higher. I think the number inbetween them is around 130, so below that you are burning fat, above you are working cardio. That is about as much as I know.

    If anyone knows more please feel free to correct me.
  • robin52077
    robin52077 Posts: 4,383 Member
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    The good ones tell you straight out how many calories burned. You don't need to do any math or anything. Mine does a summary once you push stop after your workout. It tells Time, Time In Zone (which is the one that counts), average HR, Max HR, and calories burned. And it saves all that info for future review until you reset it.
  • raqattack8
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    cool thanks for the message... I'm not sure if I'm does all the working out for me, I'll have to have a better look at the manual.
    Thanks again guys for your feedback
    xo
  • dzdame
    dzdame Posts: 89
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    I am looking to purchase a heart rate monitor and definitely want one that tells me how many calories I have burned! I also need something that is very user friendly and comfortable to wear for all kinds of workouts. I would love to hear any recommendations!
  • firegirlred
    firegirlred Posts: 674 Member
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    Bump for posting later
  • Jax67
    Jax67 Posts: 323 Member
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    I am looking to purchase a heart rate monitor and definitely want one that tells me how many calories I have burned! I also need something that is very user friendly and comfortable to wear for all kinds of workouts. I would love to hear any recommendations!

    I have a Polar F6 and it is great, it tells you how many calories you are burning whilst you are exercising - i love that and work harder to try and hit a specific number :happy:
  • firegirlred
    firegirlred Posts: 674 Member
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    Okay-some basic biology here. Your body's cells exchange oxygen and fuel for carbon dioxide and waste. Your heart rate is a product of the energy needed to drive blood around your body to facilitate that exchange. The amount of energy required for the exchange does not change, only the rate at which that exchange occurs does. So your heart rate is a very specific measure of how hard your body is working.

    With a few other factors like gender, age, weight, resting heart rate and VO2 max, a heart rate monitor has equations to figure out just how much energy it requires to raise your heart rate, and translates that into an understandable number which we call calories.

    If you want a heart rate monitor that is highly accurate, buy a high end monitor with a good reputation. Spend the money on yourself because your efforts to lose weight and get fit are worth it. Purchase one with a chest strap that measure the electricity in your heart, rather than one that measures the pressure wave at your wrist (a movement reproducible event that is subject to inaccuracy).

    Some useful information is here...
    http://www.bio.miami.edu/~cmallery/113/vo2max.htm
  • T_R_A_V
    T_R_A_V Posts: 1,629 Member
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    My HRM calculates calories burned for you from your inputs entered during setup
  • ammingjay
    ammingjay Posts: 45 Member
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    I have a Polar FT40 which I love! It does all the break downs mentioned earlier (time in each zone, calories, max and average HR) it also has a test to estimate your VO2 max. If you are really spiffy (or a nerd like me and like data) you can get a device which connects the HRM to your computer to download it all into a website. The website will keep the data as long as you want it to, while the watch keeps it for 30 workouts. It has a chest strap for monitoring. Many machines at health clubs are compatible with it so you don't have to hold the grips on the treadmill.

    It's really easy to use. My mom and I both have it and like how it helps with workouts etc.
  • dzdame
    dzdame Posts: 89
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    Thanks for all your responses! It is more complicated than I realized! I am wondering about the comfort of the chest strap, as I do a lot of kickboxing and circuit training with weights and boot camp type of workouts. Will they stay and place and how comfortable are they? I imagine that if they are constricting or constantly moving during my workouts, that I will not want to wear it...
  • becky23
    becky23 Posts: 60
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    I think they all tell you how many cals burned. Mine doesn't tell me until after my workout is finished. I had a hard time finding it, but i did. What kind do you have?
  • raqattack8
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    I think they all tell you how many cals burned. Mine doesn't tell me until after my workout is finished. I had a hard time finding it, but i did. What kind do you have?

    I think mine is a polar a pretty good brand as my partner got it as a gift for me. :)
  • raqattack8
    Options
    Okay-some basic biology here. Your body's cells exchange oxygen and fuel for carbon dioxide and waste. Your heart rate is a product of the energy needed to drive blood around your body to facilitate that exchange. The amount of energy required for the exchange does not change, only the rate at which that exchange occurs does. So your heart rate is a very specific measure of how hard your body is working.

    With a few other factors like gender, age, weight, resting heart rate and VO2 max, a heart rate monitor has equations to figure out just how much energy it requires to raise your heart rate, and translates that into an understandable number which we call calories.

    If you want a heart rate monitor that is highly accurate, buy a high end monitor with a good reputation. Spend the money on yourself because your efforts to lose weight and get fit are worth it. Purchase one with a chest strap that measure the electricity in your heart, rather than one that measures the pressure wave at your wrist (a movement reproducible event that is subject to inaccuracy).

    Some useful information is here...
    http://www.bio.miami.edu/~cmallery/113/vo2max.htm

    Thanks for all the information this helps, and yeah mine has a chest strap. :)
  • raqattack8
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    Hi thanks for your post, i'll have a look at your blog tonight when I have more time and I might go home and check out my manual a bit better too :)
  • nali_12
    nali_12 Posts: 172 Member
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    Thanks for all your responses! It is more complicated than I realized! I am wondering about the comfort of the chest strap, as I do a lot of kickboxing and circuit training with weights and boot camp type of workouts. Will they stay and place and how comfortable are they? I imagine that if they are constricting or constantly moving during my workouts, that I will not want to wear it...

    I have a suunto t3c (the c stands for coded so you don't get interference from anything, i had one before that was not coded and it would not work when i was working out with my husband who was wearing a coded one. this can also be a problem if you workout at a gym where others may be wearing them). The suunto is pretty easy to use if you just skim thru the maual and program it for your weight, age etc! I wear the chest strap and honestly I don't even really notice it. I wear it during p90x, skiing, hot yoga, running, yard work....a variety of workouts and it never bothers me. It's addicting to see how many calories you can burn during various activities! well worth the money! good luck.
  • becky23
    becky23 Posts: 60
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    this should help you, this is how i found the calories burned.

    http://clubtechnology.polarusa.com/LTF/flash/RS300X/Data/Data-Exerciselog.html
  • firegirlred
    firegirlred Posts: 674 Member
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    I ran a marathon with that chest strap. I had to put bandaids over two areas (ON THE STRAP) in order to keep from getting raw spots after about 10-15 miles. But when you're moving those distances, everything chafes. I don't notice mine anymore for the shorter distances or for anything that doesn't involve running.