How to Wear a Heart Rate Monitor

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Heart rate monitors are helpful for both athletes and the exerciser looking to improve fitness. Keeping the heart rate at an appropriate training zone is the key to tracking and improving fitness level, and a heart rate monitor allows you to do this. Most models are simple and consist of a chest strap and watch that are easy to put on during your workouts.

Things You'll Need

  • Chest strap component Damp cloth Wristwatch component
  • Determine the front of the chest strap, usually a hard plastic, versus the back of the strap, usually made of an elastic material.

  • Slightly dampen the sensors on the back of the front of the chest strap by wiping it with a damp cloth. This will allow a stronger connection for the heart rate reading.

  • Remove your shirt and align the front and middle of the chest strap directly in the middle of your chest just under the breast plate.

  • Ensure that the hard plastic portion of the plate is resting directly against the skin.

  • Wrap the back of the strap, or the elastic portion, around your back and secure it on the other side or wherever the clasp or buckle may reside. It should be like wearing a belt around your lower chest.

  • Secure the strap and adjust it so that it fits snugly against the body and will stay in place during your exercise movement. Move around and jump up and down to ensure it doesn't shift.

  • Bring the wristwatch portion of the monitor in range with the front of the chest strap and allow it to register the heartbeat and set any other controls according to the instructions of your specific model.

  • Place the watch on either wrist so that it is in a comfortable position for you. Begin your workout and track your heart rate.

Tips & Warnings

  • Men can wear the monitor directly on the body. Women can choose to do this or they can also invest in a sports bra that provides a slot for the chest strap or has heart rate monitor sensors built into it.
  • Do your research and decide what you need before investing in a monitor. Types available range from basic models that tell you little more than simply heart rate to those that allow you set ranges and calculate calories and distance. The more advanced the model, the more expensive the price.

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  • Photo Credit Lori Rice
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