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by Karl Connor Fitness Articles

fitness & training articles



Using a Heart Rate Monitor for Swimming
Can you use a Heart Rate Monitor in the pool? This is the an article about using a Polar heart rate monitor as a fitness tool in aquatic exercise classes and personal training. it is true to say that for swimming generally heart rate monitors can be a bit hit and miss due to the fact that they use radio signals to send the heart rate data from the chest transmitter to the wrist unit / watch. However for water aerobics or similar they work very well and for personal trainers wanting to measure heart rate before during and after sessions in the pool again they work really well as both the transmitters and wrist units / watches are waterproof.

Jogging and jumping in the water, wearing webbed gloves, music pumping away, then the instructor calls, Time for a pulse count! Jogging stops. Gloves are peeled off. Wet hands slide over wet wrists and throats, seeking that elusive pulse. Eyes search the chart hanging on the wall for what their heart rate should be. When asked to call out their pulse, some people say a number from the chart. Others curiously report a heart rate that is the same beats per minute as the music thats playing!

And, during this short period of time, every participant’s heart rate dropped quickly, due to faster recovery in the water than on land. So, even an accurate manual pulse count is not a true measure of the intensity of the aerobic exercise.

There’s got to be a better way! Well, there is. Its called a heart rate monitor.

What’s a Heart Rate Monitor?

A heart rate monitor is a piece of equipment worn to measure their heart rate in beats per minute accurately and effortlessly. It has two parts: a thin strap worn around the chest at the level of the heart, and a receiver that is worn like (and looks like) a wristwatch. The electrodes in the chest strap measure your heart rate. Your heart rate displays on the wristwatch receiver. With just a glance at your wrist, youll know your true heart rate instantly for workouts in the pool or on land!

How do you use it?

Look at the inside of the chest strap, and find the electrodes. They are two grooved areas in the molded plastic. Wet them with tap water, and put on the chest strap, adjusting the length of the strap for a snug, yet comfortable fit at heart level.

Then, hold the wristwatch-receiver against the chest strap, right next to your heart. Within a minute, you’ll see a heart flashing on the face of the watch. That is your heart beating! Next, the beats per minute will display. You are ready for your workout!

Can you use it in the pool?

Absolutely! Virtually all heart rate monitors on the market are waterproof. Women wear the chest strap under their swimsuit. Men simply wear it around their chest. It’s great for use in class, and it’s also a great tool for personal trainers who need to know the heart rate response of their clients. Where can I get one?

Well from Fitsense Sports of course. Click here to see our full range of heart rate monitors from Polar, Garmin, Timex, Cardiosport and Oregon Scientific or call us on 0151 324 2201.

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