Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A HRM Hiatus

I own TWO Polar FT4 heart rate monitors. I bought my first one back in 2013, when I first started on my weight loss journey (again). I didn't love it. I didn't even wear it all that much. It took until July of 2014 before I even talked about it on my blog. When I started Zumba last year ... I started wearing it for that hour, and comparing the stats to those my Fitbit estimated (Zumba Stats). I did get a little addicted to the data, and to the motivation during the workout. I'd glance at the watch and check my heart rate, and if it wasn't high enough, I'd try to push myself a little harder.

But ... even though the Polar FT4 has really good reviews, it seems like after about 6 months of daily use, it just doesn't work as well. I'll admit, I'm not that good about washing the strap (it's recommended to rinse it after every use). I know at some point the battery would need to be replaced. I just ended up buying a new one. I'd started with the gray watch, then decided I wanted the pink after all. Sometimes when I'd work out twice in a day, I wouldn't want to put the soggy strap back on and ... a small part of me wondered if perhaps my original Polar was a bit wonky. So many people would say their HRM was giving them nice big numbers for a calorie burn. Mine wasn't. It's so hard for me to get my heart rate up. Maybe I'm super fit? Maybe I'm just a workout wimp? Anyway, I secretly hoped that with a new Polar FT4 I'd magically get better numbers. Yea ... that didn't happen. Pretty much the same.

My pretty pink Polar worked well for ... about six months. Then I started getting wonky readings. It wouldn't pick up a heart rate. It would, then it would drop to zero. It would seem to get stuck on a high or low number and not change. Grrrrrr.  Same as before. I ordered some new batteries and tried installing them in the old one (which had died completely) and got it up and running. Sort of. Still some struggles.

I wore my gray watch portion to Zumba last Friday. Later, when I was back home and went to record my stats from class ... I couldn't find it. Monday, I was feeling sick, and didn't go to Zumba. Yesterday, I went, but still feeling sick, I didn't think I could endure the tightness of the chest strap (I was having enough trouble breathing as it was!).  Anyway ... as I head out to Zumba today. I COULD strap on the pink Polar ... but you know what? I think I'm going to take a short HRM Hiatus. 

As motivating as the monitor can be ... if it isn't working right, it can be SO distracting. As I'm dancing along in class, I look and see it reflecting a big fact ZERO and what do I do? I STOP. I adjust the chest strap. I pause it and restart. I press it the transmitter more firmly into my chest. Then I give up and go back to dancing, but feel discouraged because I know it's not recording correct information.

Today ... I'm just going to dance.

Now, I'm not cRaZY ... I'll still wear my Fitbit of course! Linking up with Workout Wednesday ... wish me luck, I'm still feeling under the weather. I actually felt pretty good during Zumba yesterday and was glad I had gone. I actually really didn't have a choice,  as I had committed to helping out with the class. The instructor had gone on vacation to Mexico and asked me and another gal to take over the class and lead the songs. The other gal didn't show ... it was all me! My first (and last? A Zumba Instructor?) time leading a Zumba class (I actually don't know/didn't have the music for that many songs, so we had to repeat a couple to hit the hour).


  1. You need to be a FitBit affiliate or a Zumba instructor. I'm old fashioned, I use my fingers for a pulse rate. However, I can see how these mointors can be a great thing especially for people who hate to workout. #wowlinkup

  2. Sometimes they can be wonky and I have actually started straying from the chest strap to find something more reliable. Polar FT4 is my favorite but I have been "cheating" and test driving some others like the MIO Fuse and Adidas miCoach Fit Smart. LOL.

  3. I just got a polar running watch that can also be used with a heart rate monitor and I love it so far. #wowlinkup


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