Heart Rate Monitors
Fear: (noun) a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., or a motivating factor that forces this blogger to run faster and lift heavy objects. Second definition powered me through Brooklyn Bridge Bootcamp class last week. Not only is it the hardest class in the history of classes, but my session's instructor, Roy, kind of looks like Billy Bob Thornton, and when Billy Bob tells you to squat, you squat dammit! Billy Bob and I had a special bond, and I'm not talking about the fact that I saw him have sex with Halle Berry that one time — dude had a direct line to my heart rate.
Let me clarify: Roy and I were both wearing heart rate monitors, and Roy's watch was super perceptive and totally picked up my heart rate. It's a whole new form of eavesdropping.More...
Attention quant jocks: Deep in the Nike+ support forums last week, a Nike operative named "Clover" broke big news (big, at least for Nike+ loyalists): A Nike+ compatible heart rate monitor will hit the market on June 1st. Not clear yet how much the device will cost, or why it's taken so long to get to market, or even what it'll look like; but it is clear that this puts the Nike-Apple alliance into even more direct competition with multi-function sports watch makers like Garmin and Polar. It also means that we all have yet another option to consider in the ever expanding universe of digital-gadgets-that-track-us. Heart rate monitor junkies, please send your thoughts.... [Via Apple Insider via MacRumors via Gizmodo!]
The New York Times is out with a review of heart rate monitors. The highlights:
- Polar FT60 is "efficient and easy to use."
- Mio Stride Petite makes you press buttons mid-workout, which the tester found annoying.
- Timex Ironman Road Trainer is "a little too complicated."
- Garmin FR60 is "a little uncomfortable to wear."
- Suunto T3C Black Arrow isn't "as intuitive as other monitors."
All good to know. But much more intriguing — the photo (above) which ran with the article. Jumping rope on a Bosu Ball? Prediction: One minute after this trend hits, it recedes, leaving millions of broken ankles in its wake.
It's the holidays. How about giving that special out-of-shape someone an oversized glossy plastic transmitter to hang around their gorgeous neck, which will send all of their movements to a coach pacing furiously back and forth in a bunker somewhere in the Netherlands. For just $99, the Philips DirectLife activity monitor could make this Lives of Others dream come true.
Doh! Sarcasm aside, it's gift buying time, and you might actually consider snapping up one of these crazy activity trackers, and/or a state-of-the-art heart rate monitor gizmo watch. Why? Well, they're not crazy expensive, and they might actually be the future. This is your chance to be an early adopter, to nurture your latent techno-fetishism, and to impress your family with the novel, cool item during the gift opening proceedings.More...
Gina Kolata, New York Times fitness writer, has stumbled onto a strange phenomenon: Her heart beats faster in the evening, given the same apparent exertion, than it does in the morning. Why, she wondered, staring at her heart rate monitor? The question led her on a fact finding mission among exercise physiologists and "chronobiologists," i.e. those who study the human body clock. Love that.
And here's the counterintuitive upshot: First, your body is most "biologically efficient" in the evening. "Most components (strength, power, speed) of athletic performance are worst in the early hours of the morning," one doc told Kolata. Basically, your body is warmed up later in the day. So, you would think that your heart would beat faster in the morning when you're less "efficient," and slower during evening exercise. Apparently, not the case. The heart seems to beat faster, even though the exercise is easier on the body. Why?More...
- Uses GPS to track distance and pace on your rides, runs, and swims.
- So, truly, for real, no kidding: Waterproof.
- On board heart rate monitor and altimeter track calories burned, heart rate, and elevation.
- Vibrating alerts let you know when your speed or heart rate speeds up or drops, or when you've clocked certain distances.
- All vital data fully-uploadable, or downloadable, and web enabled. Of course.
This all sounds quite complicated, but apparently it's a breeze to use. We love all that awesome functionality, but we have another, girlier reason for digging this gadget. It looks hot!More...
If you're not into gadgets, read this cute, ReadyMade-style post. If EKG machines turn you on, however, then let's talk about the new GoWear Fit "body monitor" from a company called BodyMedia. The inspiration behind this product is that you might want to keep tabs on your body not just when working out, but also "while shopping, playing with the kids, doing household chores, and sitting at the movies." In other words, says the web site: "When you’re wearing it, you’re measuring your life!" Cut to dimly lit Upper West Side bedroom.
Elliott: "Honey, we just burned 743 calories!"
Ruth: "I have a headache."
For years, the biggest selling point of Mio fitness watches has been their ability to calculate your heart rate without the use of a chest strap. Apparently, that’s no longer enough. The company’s newest offering, the Mio Stride, wants to know what you ate for lunch, and with whom you slept last night.More...