Exercise heart rate monitors are used by many people who use them to check their heart rate as they exercise. Fitness heart rate monitors are small electronic devices that give a numerical read out of the heart rate. As you exercise you can try to achieve a target heart rate so that you can ensure that the workout session is effective. Basic heart monitors are used for this purpose, the medical profession will use more sophisticated ones which in order to monitor various heart problems.

Nowadays heart monitors are readily available and are made for the specific needs of an individual. They might be intended specifically for weight loss or for the use of athletes when training. Some are designed to be worn like a wrist watch or or they can be an integral part of exercise machines such as treadmills or exercise bikes. Fairly basic fitness heart rate monitors that are straightforward to use, with a timer and large, easy to read displays can be found from around $30. Check the ease of changing the battery. Some monitors do not allow you to do it yourself. Some of the simple heart rate monitors can also display information about your maximum, minimum and average heart rate throughout your workout.

Some of the more expensive monitors have a range of functions which may include workout intensity, monitoring how many calories you have burned and and time spent in the heart rate zone. A number can include weekly summaries of your workouts. These kinds of monitors are approximately $90.

The very best models are heart rate monitors such as the Polar FT60 and the Garmin Forerunner Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor which have USB connectivity for transferring data to the computer. You can also add a Garmin foot pod to the Garmin Forerunner Sports Watch to to make a heart rate monitor and pedometer and track speed, distance, and burned calories. You can set the Polar FT60 to include weekly targets and track your progress. ideal for serious athletes these sophisticated, multi-feature heart monitors are superb but expensive at around $200.

Heart rates can be monitored in two different ways, using a chest strap or a fingertip pulse detector. Chest strap monitors usually give more accurate readings provided you make sure that the strap is fitted properly and it doesn't come loose. This type of monitor works similarly to an ECG machine and the data is transmitted to a device, which is usually worn as a wrist watch. Alternatively some monitors provide an audio message via a set of earphones.

To make sure your workout is effective you must find your target heart rate. You can find this from a heart rate calculator. Once you've found your heart rate zone you can use your heart rate monitor to to keep within the zone while you workout. It is important to keep in the zone to prevent injury from working too hard or getting no benefit because you didn't work hard enough. An exercise heart rate monitor is a useful means of ensuring you get most benefit from your exercising.