Chris Armstrong|

Jan 13 '14. 9:40 am|

 

If you are serious about training, you already have a heart rate montior. Even if you aren't training for some event, chances are that you have at least heard about a heart rate monitor.

They can be a great help making sure that you are getting the best out of your workout, so my opinion is that everyone should have one and use it on a regular basis.

 

Traditionally you had a device, like a watch that linked up with a chest strap that read your heart beats and displayed / tracked it on the watch for you. Not a bad system, but i found that chest straps can be uncomfortable at times and I can't imagine that it would be comfortable for women.

 

Years ago for medical use, someone had developed a heart rate machine that just clamped onto your finger and was able to check your rate quickly and effortlessly. That technology is called: photoplesmographic, which means optical sensing.

 

Why i'm I explaining this? Well Mio, a company from Vancouver has gone and taken optical sensing out of the doctors realm and brought it to your wrist via their watch called Alpha. Apparently this wasn't any small feat, as it took an accelerometer & noise filtration software to clean up the data so that the information that was coming out was accurate enough to use without worry.

       
         
 

Mio Alpha back.

 
 

This USB chargeable watch is very straightforward to use. You put it on your wrist, above the wrist bone and turn it on. Once activated It will sense the blood flow in your skin and convert that into your heart rate which is displayed on the large easy to read screen.

 

The Alpha is also equipped with Bluetooth, so that it can transmitt the data across to many different types of enabled devices, like a smart phone etc. Got a Strava pro account? Boom your data will drop right in without any trouble.

 

The optical sensor is on the underside of the watch and it is completely unobtrusive and unnoticeable while wearing it. The rubber strap has plenty of adjustment for different wrist sizes, although I had to run mine at the second from the end position, so try it on if you have larger arms before you take it home. I did have my wife and some other slight sized women try it for size and it seems to work well for them as well. The actual fit was a little weird on my arm, I never really lost the feeling of it being on my arm, it was always present and never faded into the background for me. Not to say that isn't a bad thing, but sometimes it is nice if you forget that it is there. Originally the first time I tried it, i had a hard time getting a reading. I'm not sure why, and I couldn't replicate it again so let's pretend that it didn't happen and move right along.

 

 

 

Opinion:
This is the hands down, easiest monitor that i have used, strap it to your wrist and turn it on. Done.

 

Website:
http://www.mioglobal.com/Shop/MIO-Alpha/Product.aspx?ProductID=1&DeptID=1

 

Price:
$199