I have always been a recreational runner, throughout high school, college and into adulthood, and so when I became pregnant, I was interested in continuing some form of cardiovascular exercise, even if it wasn’t my every other day 3-mile run. Since this was my first pregnancy, I was cautious about doing everything right, and worried about overextending myself on workouts.I talked to my doctor about what was acceptable exertion for me, but when the opportunity to use the Polar RS300X heart rate monitor came up, I was extremely interested. It seemed like a great extra safeguard to have on hand while I exercised.
With the tagline “Helps you train at the right intensity with personal sport zones,” I was sold on the RS300X from the get-go. In addition to telling me how many calories I had burned and how far I had gone, it also tracks my heart rate based on a programmed workout with a target that you preset.
The RS300X requires a good bit of info be input before using it the first time, to make sure it is accurately reflecting your personal stats. After selecting your language (English, German, Spanish or French!), you select the date, units of measurement (metric or imperial), your weight, height, date of birth and sex to help determine your maximum heart rate and your calories burned. I actually took the monitor to a prenatal appointment and went through these steps with my OB so that Icould make sure I had approval and could adjust the monitor for what was appropriate for my fitness level and stage of pregnancy. Once Ihad the doc’s go ahead, Ibegan using the monitor on my daily runs (and later, walks).
To use the monitor, you put on the transmitter strap just below your breast line, (getting the electrodes on the strap moist before putting them on) and adjust it to fit snugly. Then you snap the transmitter onto the middle part of the strap with the Polar logo upright. Then you’re ready to go. You push start on the wrist unit and it starts recording your training session. While you’re running or walking, the display will show you how long you’ve been exercising and what your heart rate is, making it a handy reference for staying in your acceptable range. (Afterwards it will calculate things like your average heart rate and maximum heart rate during your workout.)
One thing worth noting is that you can change the display information on the wrist unit without touching any buttons during your workout. All that’s required is for you to bring your wrist close to the transmitter on your chest, and it will switch the information being displayed (though this can also happen accidentally, which can be frustrating at times). The monitor also comes with a foot pod you attach to your shoe that, after calibrating to your stride, will calculate your distance.However, Ifound this part bulky and did not use it after the first couple of sessions.
All in all, this is a great piece of gear to have during (and after!)pregnancy. I felt so much more confident that I was exercising safely for myself and for my baby, and was able to report much more accurately to my doctor the extent to which I was exercising as well (the monitor keeps a log for you—storing 16 of your latest training sessions and also totaling up your weekly workout info).I plan to use this monitor postbaby, and with subsequent pregnancies as well.
To buy: polar.fi for stores