Heart Rate Monitors and Swimming Make Strange Bedfellows

It seems like there has been a boom in new heart rate monitors lately. Almost every week I see an ad for the “latest and greatest” monitor, all with GPS, pedometer, and a Swiss Army knife (Okay maybe that’s taking it a little too far but you get my meaning).

swimmingHere’s the thing, I’m a swimmer. I get in the pool not just for exercise, but to find a little peace in my hectic life. I needed a tracker that I could wear in the pool that’s not bulky and that is accurate. I’ve had issues getting a heart rate monitor to be accurate on dry land, finding heart rate monitors for swimming seemed unlikely to say the least. But I’ve had some luck! I went through two different versions; one with a chest strap and one that I wore on my wrist.

I preferred the one without the chest strap because I couldn’t help but be a little preoccupied with the pressure on my chest while focusing on my breathing when I was wearing the strap. Breathing is kind of important in the pool! I didn’t like the strap option, even though it seemed pretty accurate. At least as accurate as monitors I’ve used at the gym that require a chest strap. The other option was a simple wear-on-the wrist design. It was lightweight and I didn’t feel like I was distracted by it at all. Accuracy seemed a bit over inflated but most likely not by much.

So, for all of my fellow swimmers, I think the chest strap heart rate monitors are great, just not for me. I think I will stick with the wrist watch style option and just make sure to account for the overage when I’m tallying up the calories burned at the end of the day.
Happy swimming!

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