I love my Polar watch and never do a workout without it! It is an ingenious combination of a digital watch and heart rate monitor that can be extremely useful for anyone on a mission to get fitter.
Fitness training involves aerobic exercise and its important to get the right amount of exercise, depending on your age and initial level of fitness. You want to stimulate heart and lungs, but you dont want to overdo it and put a strain on your heart that might be dangerous.
One of the most important things to know when you're trying to lose weight is your fat burning zone.
This usually is within a heart rate or pulse between 110 - 130, whereas it should be higher for cardio training. If you don't know your fat burning zone (and I didn't) you can do all kinds of fitness test with your new Polar watch and it will tell you exactly which heart rates are the best for you.
Don't be intimidated, by the sheer volume of things you can do with your watch, just follow the manual and try out everything.
Once you know your fat burning zone, you need to constantly monitor it during workout in order to stay inside the limits.
The Polar watch, will help you with this as well, as it comes as a range of different models, is small enough to wear on your wrist, giving you total freedom to get out and about, and exercise by running or cycling, whilst being able to keep within the correct range of heart rate.
All models come with a chest strap, but the newer models have a removable wear link sender. And this is what you want to buy, because it will save you lots of money.
Formerly whenever the battery was empty you had to go to a sports shop and have them send in the whole wear link and give you a new one. Off course, this had its price!
With the new removable wear link, you just buy a new battery in the supermarket, open the battery case and change it. Couldn't be easier (and cheaper).
And there's one added advantage: you can easily put the chest strap into the washing machine (after removing the wear link), and don't have to do any washing by hand anymore. What a relief!
Personally I started with the simple RS100 model in the past, and was always happy with it. The only thing that bugged me, was, that I didn't know the distances I had been running. Therefore I upgraded to the RS400 (picture at the top of this page) including the footpod.
Which by the way, was a great Christmas present and made me train a lot more than before. :-)
You have the choice of at least two colors, red and black. I chose black, because I have many pink and purple training clothes and I really hate if the watch doesn't fit in color to the rest of my outfit. A girl can be vain, right?!
Especially the possibility to hook it up to the internet and download a complete 3-months training program from the Polar Personal Trainer website makes it so much easier to train adequately and so much more difficult to miss a training, because it will show up as "missed" in your calender.
The Fitness range of heart rate monitors are designed for general gym workouts. Depending on the model, they can monitor your fitness levels, record your calorie burn, set training regimes and store the data onto your PC.
If you train just one or two times per week, the FT4 will be perfect for you.
Number freaks like me can use thehigh-end models for serious athletes like the RS400 or even the RS800, that is the king of all Polar watches. The whole RS-Series will give you a true understanding of the effort you put in, and has all the essential heart rate monitor features.
Above is a picture of the soft case that comes with every Polar heart rate monitor, where you can conveniently store the watch itself and all the accessories you may have.
Available as optional accessories to add later, the Polar G1 GPS Sensor and Polar S1 Footpod add speed and distance measurement capability for various outdoor sports, so you know it's worth all the effort. The G1 sensor uses GPS to work out the speed and distance in any outdoor sport, whereas the S1 footpod can only be used for jogging/running.
The S1 footpod attaches to your shoe laces and is able to accurately measure your speed and distance as you run. This S1 footpod is designed to be used where the G1 sensor cannot (indoors, wooded areas etc.) Otherwise, it is better to go for the RS300X G1 (G1 GPS Sensor included).
For cyclists there is a specific model available; the CS500 cad cycling computer, which is for determined cyclists looking to advance their own cycling effectiveness. The CS500 cad literally pre-determines day to day individual pulse related target zones.
The chest strap can be a bit of a pain to adjust correctly and I often have the problem, that it is either to tight and starts hurting after a while or too lose and it disadjusts when running.
Rescue to my problems came in form of the Polar Cardio Sports Bra! You can easily attache the wear link sender directly to the bra. No more fiddling around trying to position the chest strap correctly beneath your bra. Thanks Polar!