I am a data junkie! I want to know the stats, trends, and frequencies of everything I am doing – including my fitness routines! I decided to invest in a heart rate monitor after learning how inaccurate my calories “burned” really was on exercise equipment. polar_ft40_2 Prior to purchasing a Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), I had an iPod Nano and iPhone with the Nike+ app installed. In general, I really enjoyed using the app for my runs and half-marathon training. I was able to sync my runs online and see a chart of how my runs were progressing. The technology remains exceptional in my book. However it lacked one major feature – a heart rate monitor.

Why does it matter?
For folks who are trying to lose weight regardless of the amount, the rule of thumb is that you would need to have a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose 1 lb. of body fat. It’s a lot trickier than it seems. Depending on your body type, age, and gender, you will need to adjust your weight loss methods to meet your goals. The watch will offer some insight to how many calories you burn during a particular workout. We naturally burn and metabolize calories throughout the day so it goes beyond your workout session! polar_ft40 Why I chose to buy a HRM?
I really debated my choice for several months before hitting the “Add to Cart” button. My other choice was a Garmin GPS watch with a HRM because I used to run 3-4 times a week outdoors. However, the watch was outside of my post-grad budget. It’s nice to have but my iPhone can do the GPS part. I sacrifice the fancy gadget and went with the bare essential Polar HRM that I can use for different workouts beyond running.

The neat thing is that a lot of local gyms have equipment that uses Polar synchronization. Just hop on a Polar integrated equipment and the display will link up with your watch! I have worn this watch out during my runs and even at my half-marathon in January. I burned about 1920 calories in 3 hours (warm-up, half-marathon, and cool-down)! I enjoyed comparing effective calorie burning vs. fat burning exercises! I found out that yoga burns more fat than running despite the low “calories burned!”

Buy the watch if you:
a) Enjoy making personal challenges to meet your health/fitness goals
b) Plan to wear the watch when you exercise
c) Need motivation to get off the couch
d) Are a fellow fitness data junkie

Don’t buy this watch if you:
a) Are a minimalistic gym goer/athlete
b) Are forgetful when it comes to bringing gear to the gym (i.e. headphones and/or iPod)
c) Are not calories conscious