Meet my two new “smart” exercise coaches…the Polar bluetooth heart rate sensor,
and the free Polar beat app.
Together, this technology works as a part of the Polar Smart Coaching experience. The Polar experience is like having a coach, offering data based guidance on heart rate, activity, training programs, tests and feedback. Hello intelligent training! Please don’t think I am peddling Polar products, it’s just that I am so impressed with how fitness technology is evolving. When it works – simply, seamlessly and all together – I feel like I’m living in the future and I want to share the good stuff.
In any type of exercise, heart rate intensity is important. But, finding the simplest and most efficient way to measure heart rate has always been the challenge…perceived exertion, take my pulse every 5 minutes, wear a strap and a watch or other bluetooth device? Too many decisions and too much tech gear to manage…until now.
I have rediscovered the latest evolution of one of my favorite motivational tools, and it is the bomb! Combined with the free Polar Beat app and my iPhone 6, the bluetooth heart rate sensor sends a real-time heart rate measurement directly to my iphone and I like this. I carry my phone with me always – for safety, the camera, for the GPS, (I have been known to get lost – yes, in my own neighborhood). I also like to use other training apps for real-time information.
Training with a polar heart rate monitor has been a staple (in and out) of my life for the past 20 years. Fumbling with the watch, learning the buttons and screens, losing information, scrolling through the data with cold or sweaty fingers, had me occasionally cursing, in bouts of frustration. I never gave up. I’ve been been a fan and persevered through a lot of versions, I have to say I think they got it right with this one.
The simplicity of use is what has me so over the moon. In seconds, I downloaded the app, followed the on-screen directions to input some data, and I was out the door. Without hesitation, I pressed the big red start button and I began getting information… in “a heart beat!” (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Yes, there it was, my heart – blinking in real time, in the walking box.
My main goal is to make sure I am training my heart at the proper intensity, as efficiently as possible. During the workout, along with heart rate, there is a real time bar graph matching heart rate intensity with my exertion level. This is awesome! I can get an immediate picture of where my heart’s intensity level is throughout my workout. I love that I can eyeball the zone I’m in and make adjustments on the graph, by speeding up or slowing down.
The bar graph measures intensity using this scale…
If my goal is 30 minutes of moderate intensity, I want the most amount of workout minutes in the green zone. At the workout’s end, the Polar beat app has a simple and easy to understand summary. There is also an analysis of all the data, giving an informative glimpse into the workout.The graphics require very little mental effort to understand, in other words…I didn’t need to put on my exercise physiology hat to make sense of it all.
Here is an example of the ongoing weekly summary screen – my motivation is seeing what I’ve done.
For a $2.99 upgrade, I was able to get more detailed information on the type of calories burned (carbs for fitness or fats with endurance). This helps me with daily goal setting.
The Polar Beat app also includes short, informative links to youtube videos about exercise and heart rate, and information about other types of Polar sensors and equipment. What I like about this…I am able to “take what I need, and leave the rest.” Since, I already use the Nike+ app for speed and distance, I don’t feel the need to purchase the shoe sensor. Nike+ syncs with Apple’s health kit app, and according to Polar, its data will soon sync with Apple’s HealthKit App as well. I can’t wait.
I feel like I have a new toy, and it works -right out of the box, no assembly required!