Should you buy a heart rate monitor for the wrist or the chest?

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Should you buy a heart rate monitor for the wrist or the chest?

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.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.