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Suggestions For Buying a Heart Rate Monitor

Advice Wanted From the Community: Heart Rate Monitors

FitSugar reader ShelleyHFan needs advice picking out a new heart rate monitor. Can you suggest a good one?

Hi Everyone,

I am intent on starting a fitness routine and I want to get off on the right foot. I want to increase my energy level and get heart healthy. I was thinking of investing in a heart rate monitor because I want to begin with a walk program, and then a walk/run program. I think I should get a monitor that will help me with what my heart zones are and what range to stay in, etc.

I was wondering if anyone could recommend something fairly simple to use that will help me with my fitness goals. I think my budget allows for anything that is between $75 and $125, but I'm open to any suggestions regardless of price. Do you know of any new, top quality heart rate monitors, or any model that fits my goal?


I want to follow the many walk/run programs I've read about here on FitSugar (and elsewhere), and maybe participate in a half marathon one day (of course not to stress my heart, just strengthen it).

I love reading FitSugar, I always learn something new and how there are so many options to choose from and ways to get fit.

Thank you for all that you do, and the cool Fit groups!



If you have any fitness questions, post them in one of our many community groups like the RunningSugar community group, where the conversation is running 24/7.

Join The Conversation
Dingasaurus Dingasaurus 7 years
Polar comes with the strap. I use an FT-60, which is awesome, but really expensive. I was told the F6 is similar without the training software (it tells you how much time to work in each zone every week). Most of the people at the running store seem to like the F6. One girl observed that Polar is more accurate, but less user friendly than Timex. Good luck!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
So is there a strap included with the Polars, or is it extra?
elpinko elpinko 7 years
Polar F6 user here too! Getting a heart rate monitor is probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. It helps me track how many calories I have burnt really easily, shows weekly and daily workout totals and you can set it to beep at you when you're not in your target HR zone. Good luck in your new workout plan!
redgoblin redgoblin 7 years
Yep...I agree with the people above, get a Polar. I have been running for 11 years, and it seems to work the best for the price. Search the internet for "Cheap polar heart rate monitors" to get the best deal. Good luck on your walk to run program. I used such a program when I first starting running 11 years ago...and it works! Great for keeping you injury free while getting you in shape at the same time.
SFCA SFCA 7 years
I was looking for something that tracked my calories burned as well as super affordable. I found the Reebok Precision Trainer XT heart rate monitor on Woot for $20 and $5 shipping. It's been over a year and it's really been fantastic.
HelloKittyMini HelloKittyMini 7 years
It is outside your price range but I have a Garmin 405cx. I think the 405 is a bit cheaper, and frankly in retrospect I probably should have gotten that one. It has a heart monitor, and does not need a foot pod to calculate running distance. It determines your heart rate (good) and calories burned using a formula derived from your HR, and speed. It can also be used while biking. I've really enjoyed having it. Ultimately I decided on a model that does not use a foot pod because I wasn't sure I would ever successfully get it working, GPS is easier. Good luck finding the right product for you!
lighthouselady lighthouselady 7 years
I also have the polar F6. I like it, but there are a couple of drawbacks: 1. to maintain water resistance and warranty, it has to be sent back to the company to have the batteries changed. 2. It's next to impossible to sync with the computer. (I haven't successfully accomplished this yet).
Becky-Jennings Becky-Jennings 7 years
Hi Shelley, My name is Becky Tinney and I'm a personal trainer in LA. I think it's a wonderful idea to get a heart rate monitor to really push yourself and know exactly where you are at each workout. My favorite brand is Polar and I use the Polar F6 with the chest strap (I believe it was included and not extra). It will tell you when you're in your ideal range and keep a log of each workout for you. You can set goals to stay within 60-80% of your max heart rate or 75-90% of your max heart rate. This HR monitor will tell you how long you stayed within that range and give you automatic notifications as you're working out when you've reached or exceeded this range. I purchased mine on I love it! It's really comfortable and I've had a lot of great success with it! Wishing you the best in your journey! Becky Certified Personal Trainer and Creator of The Balance Method™
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