First, I thought this is a simple question. But actually, to use a heart rate monitor effectively you should have some basic knowledge about heart rate monitor types. Otherwise, you may just be throwing your money down the drain, right?  There are several kinds of heart rate monitors on the market but basically they two basic versions; a chest strap heart rate monitor and wristwatch heart rate monitor. With each type, the instructions are different. Wondering which kind of heart rate monitor is most suitable for you? It depends on what you want to use a heart rate monitor for.
How to use a heart rate monitor

How to use a heart rate monitor for measuring resting heart rate

If you just want to measure your heart rate occasionally, then you can buy a touch-type heart rate monitor. Used with a smartphone or a wristwatch, you can easily know the status of your heart rate. Some popular devices of this type are the Samsung Galaxy S7 or Mi band.

To use heart rate monitor on these devices, you just need to place your fingertip on the smartphone sensor or wear the wristwatch snuggly on your wrist. Check out my previous post to know more how to use heart rate monitor Galaxy S7

How to use a heart rate monitor for workouts

It’s proved that if you work out in a targeted heart rate zone for over 2 months, you can improve the performance of your heart, and ultimately improve your overall fitness health. In a previous post Heart rate monitor Reviews, I collected some scientific evidence that you might want to know.

Don’t forget to choose a continuous reading heart rate monitor which allows you to read your heart rate continuously via a smartphone or a wristwatch during your workouts.  These devices will let you know if you have achieved the targeted heart rate zone and may alert when you exceed your maximum heart rate zone.

The video below gives you an example of how to use a heart rate monitor for a work out. These guys are using Garmin premium chest strap.

If you use a chest strap heart rate monitor, basically you will wear a strap under your chest and read the data through a connected smartphone or on a wristwatch-receiver. Most chest strap heart rate monitors are compatible with smartphones and some chest strap providers offer you a bundle that includes a wristwatch-receiver. A minor inconvenience in using the chest strap is that you need to wet it with water or soft gel each time you want to use it. However, correctly placed, a chest strap is regarded to be more accurate than the wrist-based heart rate monitor.
how to use a wristwatch heart rate monitor
A wristwatch is much more convenient and comfortable to use. Just wear it like a watch and it will measure not only your heart rate, but will also track steps, distance and monitor your sleep, etc… This type of heart rate monitor has become increasingly popular over the 2-3 years.  A wristwatch is a better match for more people, such as those new to heart rate monitor use, but for the serious athlete who is concerned about high accuracy to improve overall fitness and achieve their personal goals, a chest strap is still the best way to go.