Matt and I have recently become a little bit more serious with our workouts and our nutrition. Our big move and endless summer activities really threw us for a loop, so we’ve been working hard to get back on track. A couple of weeks ago, Matt decided to purchase a Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Sensor to track his workouts more accurately. It was really neat to see the numbers when he was finished with his workout, and the jealousy quickly kicked in for me. A few weeks later, we purchased my band, and I am extremely happy with it so far. Its Bluetooth capabilities allow you to pair it with an app on your iPhone, rather than wearing a watch. This is big for me because I hate wearing things on my wrist and I could never find a watch that was small enough for me. I’m going to talk about the Heart Rate Sensor and the DigiFit app to help make your decision a little bit easier!
We purchased the Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Sensor on Amazon (Amazon Prime is where it’s at). Matt wears the Medium/XXLarge and I have the XS/Small. It comes in blue, black and pink, however, the only band available in XS/Small when I purchased was black. The XS/Small fits me well, and I typically wear an x-small or small in shirts. The Medium/XXLarge fit Matt well at the beginning (he wears mostly large shirts, some medium), but lately he has noticed it slipping down a lot and needing to be tightened. It seems as though it is stretching out a bit.
Here are some of the features of the sensor as stated by Amazon:
- Provides live, accurate heart rate to compatible mobile training apps
- Compatible with the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch (5th generation), iPad (3rd and 4th generation), iPad Mini, and iPod Nano (7th generation)
- Replaceable battery
- Compatible with other devices using Android 4.3 or later
When we first started using the sensor, we tried out a couple of different iPhone apps to see which ones we liked best. We eventually settled on DigiFit because it is easy to use and has all of the features we need. It also looks pretty- which is definitely more important to me than it is the hubby. The app is free to download but it has a few in-app purchases that might benefit you. We had to pay $2.99 to get sensor support so we could link it with our heart rate monitor. You can also purchase fitness routines and fitness assessments.
Some of the free features and benefits of the DigiFit app:
- Pace and distance for runners
- Speed and distance for bikers
- Real-time maps
- Time elapsed
- Mile-by-mile or customizable splits
- Customizable voice feedback
- In-workout camera
- Full access to iPod playlists
- Online access to maps and data
- Easy upload/sharing with Facebook, Twitter, FitBit, Lose It, etc.
DigiFit tracks your current, max, and average heart rate throughout the workout. You can play with the settings and ask it to alert you when you hit certain heart rate zones, or you can silence those features. We prefer to keep it silent, but those alerts can be really useful for pregnant women who need to make sure their heart rate doesn’t go too high. When I was pregnant with my son, I remember being extremely nervous about working out because everything I had read had said to keep your heart rate below 160 BPM. This would have been a great thing to have so I could have worked out without worrying.
After you end a workout, DigiFit summarizes the information for you and charts your heart rate history into a nice graph. This makes it super easy to see how hard you worked and what zones you were in for the majority of the time. I like that I can look back in the summary to see all of my previous workouts, and even see how many total calories I’ve burned in the last month.
One feature I wish Digifit had is the ability to name your workouts. You can go to the very last page on the sliding screen and enter notes for the workout, but that is also the only way you will ever see them. It would be nice to be able to give each workout a name (i.e. Total Body Cardio Fix or PiYo Buns) so I could look back in my history and easily pick out certain workouts.
Overall, these two items work really well together. Being able to track calories burned is essential when you are trying to lose weight and tone your body. It allows me to adjust my food intake accurately and it also makes me work a little bit harder. If I know I have hit a certain calorie level with a workout in the past, the competitor in me always wants to match it or beat that number the second time around. If you have any questions about either, leave them in the comments section and I will do my best to get you an answer!