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Gear Review: Polar FT60 With GPS


The folks over at Polar recently sent me a few heart rate monitors to test out. I liked the
FT40, but I think I am in love with the FT60 ($239 including chest sensor with changeable battery). Mine is a purple-pink color, reminiscent of raspberry sorbet, so even though it is large it is still somehow feminine and I wear a bunch, even when I am not at the gym. Points for being functional and stylish.

This heart rate monitor not only tracks your heart rate (either in percentage or beats per minute) and totals your calories burned, it keeps track of all your workouts. That's important because you can use the watch to set a fitness goal — lose weight, improve fitness, or maximize fitness. I chose the latter and my watch asks me to work out five hours and 35 minutes a week, and more weeks than not, I rise to the occasion. Yes — my heart rate monitor inspires me to work out.

There are a few more cool features, so read more.

Before you begin working with the FT60, the heart rate monitor gives you a fitness test that takes 5 minutes, and then tracks your progress as you take the test monthly. This HRM also has an EnergyPointer, which calculates the point where training turns from fat burning to fitness improvement, and in weekly summary you read on the watch, it tells you how well you have done in each target heart rate zone. Between the tracking and motivational elements, you do feel like you have a trainer on your wrist.

This watch is also compatible with the Polar G1 GPS ($140) unit. The GPS is a bit bulky and can chafe if you're not careful, but it is super cool to read your speed and distance on a heart rate monitor. This is a great feature for tempo runs and intervals. Plus you can run a new route each outing and know how far you have gone without having to map it on the computer. This is a great time saver.

This HRM also is also compatible with the Polar Flowlink ($55), which allows you to upload all your workout information and transfers data between the watch and PolarPersonalTrainer.com — a free site that allows you to track your workouts and progress, and gives you access to helpful training tips and tools. Unfortunately, this feature is not Mac compatible and being a Mac gal, I have yet to test it out.

Having used Polar heart rate monitors in the past, I feel they have definitely improved the user interface and the FT60 is easy to use. Shop for one here.

Check out the details and accessories by clicking on the photos below.

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