Best answer: The most accurate heart rate monitors are the ones you place on your chest with straps. Despite this, those on your wrist are much more convenient and a suitable choice for most people.

What makes them better?

Heart rate monitors on the chest feature a wireless sensor that detects your beating heart electronically. Because they are worn closer to the heart and less prone to sliding around during routines, they offer more accurate readings. By contrast, wrist-based monitors contain optical sensors that measure your beats either from the watchband or case back. A study conducted by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) has determined that chest-based monitors are more accurate than those on the wrist.

What heart rate monitors do

Having a successful workout isn't just about the amount of time you spend getting your body into shape — the intensity of the workout is also important. By using a heart rate monitor and compatible software, you can better pace yourself and speed up or slow down for optimal results.

Regardless of the type of heart rate monitor you select, each provides one key feature that's essential to successful workouts: the ability to track target zones. When achieved, these aerobic zones, which vary by age group, provide different results such as weight loss, cardiovascular health, and enhanced lung capacity.

Who should use one?

Heart rate monitors can benefit anyone who wants to improve their health. However, there are ideally suited for walkers, joggers, runners, cyclists and triathletes. Those seeking weight loss or who are rehabilitating from an injury should also consider getting a monitor.

Our pick

Wahoo Fitness Tickr X Heart Rate Monitor

Well received and feature-packed

The Wahoo heart rate monitor includes a personalized heart rating training system that you can track your smartphone. Better still, it contains built-in memory, so you can perform your routine without any additional gadgets.

Worthy alternative

Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor

GoPro compatible

If you're a GoPro Hero 5 user, you can use the H10 Polar heart rate sensor and overlay your heart rate data onto the recorded video.

For your wrist

Apple Watch Series 4

Most accurate wrist solution

The same ACC survey showed the Apple Watch was the most accurate heart rate monitor for the wrist. The Apple Series 4 is available in various colors and styles.

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