Having a Polar heart rate monitor completely changed the way I work out.
It changed my workout style and drive and everything about my fitness routine – even before I became an ambassador (maybe that’s why I am one!).
Polar sent me an FT7 heart rate monitor last year and I finally got around to reviewing it in October after using it for a couple months. By that time I had already fallen in love with using it for every workout. It had completely changed how I exercised.
Before using it I had no idea how hard I was working. I’ve never been great with PRE (perceived rate of exertion) scales. How hard did that feel? How tired am I? How hard am I working? These questions have never been easy to answer for me since I spent so long being completely disconnected from my body. It’s almost ridiculous to expect someone who binge ate her way to 250+ pounds to understand her body and how it’s working with exercise. So usually when I tried to gauge my exercise I used other methods like distance traveled or time.
I still use those methods but now I focus a lot more on my heart rate during exercise. I want to get my heart rate high enough that my body is working hard. I want to get to the zone where I will burn fat. I want to get to the zone where I will improve my heart. This is what I strive for now.
I know for a fact that before I used my heart rate monitor I wasn’t working hard enough. I know this because the first couple times I used it I did the same workout I had been doing at the same level and my heart rate wasn’t even close to my target heart rate zone. I was working out but I wasn’t doing enough or going hard enough! I hadn’t even realized that though I was exercising I was doing much less than I should because I was letting it be so easy. That first week of wearing a heart rate monitor to workout was eye-opening about my workouts and my need to push it up.
After that I started training for the triathlon. I spent a couple months using my heart rate monitor every day because it was very important to train within the right heart rate zones. I have no idea how I would have done in my triathlon if I didn’t have my FT7 for the training. It was my coach that was constantly with me telling me to go harder or even to take a tiny break when needed. And best of all it was with me during my triathlon too! It was there guiding me and reassuring me that I wasn’t dying – I was actually doing great!
Now I use my Polar FT7 to push myself to work out harder to improve.
When I became a Polar Ambassador I got a new FT7! How exciting, right? It was a huge surprise and reall thrilled me to get a new and updated heart rate monitor.
I’m definitely a heart rate monitor addict. I wear it for both cardio and weight training. It’s a more accurate way to calculate the calories burned during strength training than just guessing based on time. I also try to keep my heart rate above a certain level so in between sets of weights I sometimes end up doing small bits of cardio to achieve that. Wearing a heart rate monitor even changed the way I lift weights.
To say it changed everything about the way I workout is an understatement.
My Polar heart rate monitor made me more aware of my body and it made me push myself to go harder. Using a heart rate monitor is an awesome way to see how you are doing while exercising and to push yourself. I obviously use and recommend Polar products, especially the FT7, but you don’t have to have the same one. Any heart rate monitor will achieve similar results and if you aren’t currently using one you might want to try it.