Polar has been leading the way in technological innovations and heart rate monitors since 1977. They attribute it to a combination of expertise in sports, physiology and electronics, along with an understanding of customer needs. Polar controls its own operations and pays attention to the environmental aspects and impacts of its products throughout the product life cycle (development, manufacturing, delivery and customer service). Products include basic heart rate,timing, cycling, fitness improvement, cross training, and guidance.
I tested out the FT40, which features Polar’s Clear Training Guidance, for active exercisers who want clear guidance and to monitor their fitness level. No GPS, no foot pod, just the watch and a heart rate strap, very simple. Right out of the box, set-up was simple, with the watch guiding me through some inputs to set the watch to my personal attributes. Features include the EnergyPointer (whether you are improving fitness or fat burning), displays calories burned. The Polar “World’s Easiest Fitness Test” measures your aerobic fitness at rest and tells you your progress as you repeat it at intervals of your choosing.
It was a bit strange to use a watch that lacked GPS, as I love to track distance, pace, and view the resulting maps, but the multiple uses of this heart rate monitor quickly became apparent. One of the first fitness activities I tried was to climb the stairs at work, 33 flights! Had anybody been able to see me, it probably looked pretty comical as I struggled into the heart rate strap in a bathroom cubicle, especially after wetting it in the sink. The strap is something that I’m not wholly comfortable with, even after repeated wearing, though that will probably change with time. I put the monitor through its paces for running,really interesting to wear it along with my GPS watch and not know which wrist I wanted to look at. Finally, wearing it at CrossFit — so great to have technology that assigns data to my pain level. 🙂
I wore this inside and outside, with consistent communication between watch and heart rate monitor. Even a run in 13 degree weather was no problem for the FT40. The watch strap design allows for the watch to be cinched tight, with no worries that it will come undone during a workout. That’s peace of mind when you are in the middle of a killer WOD!
Oddly enough, Polar does not include a way to download data to your computer. Using the optional FlowLink does allow that, however.
If you’re a diehard GPS fan, this watch might not be the right one for you. But if you cross train, and who doesn’t these days, you can’t go wrong with this watch and heart rate monitor. Simple and easy to use out of the box, unobtrusive enough to wear as a daily timepiece, Polar makes it fun to track your fitness activities.
More information can be found on the Polar USA website, by liking on Facebook, following on Twitter, and subscribing to their YouTube channel.
(Disclaimer: I was sent this item for free to review on my blog, courtesy of Polar USA, via FitFluential. I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)
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