Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Why I love my Heart Rate Monitor

Polar FT4

My Polar has arrived!! Woohoo! *crazy happy dance*

My previous one ticked it's last tock quite a few months ago and I haven't been able to replace it since. I'd had it since 2006 (imagine that!) so I was long overdue an upgrade but I was still sad to see it go. It was one of those old skool ones that could only eat better changed by an authorised dealer. Needless to say, there are none in Kenya (that I know of) so my body pump instructor took it to her 'guy' at Diamond Plaza and the eejits broke the screen!

So I've been exercising blind since there. If you think that's a tad dramatic try owning one for a long time then forgetting it at home. Seriously. You feel naked. 

I always encourage my clients, family, friends, strangers in the street, basically  everybody! to get one. They are a great motivator. They can tell you anything from calories burned exercising, to how long you were exercising in your fat burning zone, to your heart rate during exercise. They can track your mileage while running, swimming and cycling (depending on the model) as well as keep training logs. You can even log into an online community for challenges and support. 

Sadly, they are hard to come by in Kenya. I actually don't know anywhere they are sold and I am considering bring some in myself. They are also quite pricey. I got myself a very basic model that just measures Heart Rate and Calories and it was £70 (Kshs 9,760/-). And that was really a bottom of the range one. The more functions it has, the more you pay. Different brands are also priced differently with Garmin being on the upper end in terms of price. The good news is that lots of watch manufacturers are now cashing in on the market so we should expect to see more and more affordable HRMs available in the future. 

If you don't have one, get one!


  1. I was thinking about getting one but I thought it was a matter of simply walking into Nairobi Sports House and grabbing it :(
    Oh well, I do hope you'll bring some in soon.

    On that note, which brand/model would you recommend to track heart rate, calories and mileage? I need AAAALL the motivation and tracking I can get ;)

    1. I Know! :(

      I may bring them in on a pre-order basis. there are quite a wide range that offer Heart Rate and Calories. When you add mileage, then the price goes up considerably. If you need mileage then i think Garmin are pretty good. They're not cheap though, and frankly i think if you dont run, cycle or swim consistently, theyre not really worth it. I've always used Polar so it is hard for me to rate the other brands, and there are quite a few, but i believe Nike and Timex also do some notable ones.

  2. Does this one come with a chest band. I have a polar which i wear as my regular watch but because the chest band thingy kept falling off my mid riff mid exercise i have been exercising blind too. I am now thinking of getting another one but would prefer one without the chest thingy. any recommendations?