I've been focusing on ensuring I get enough moderate-intensity exercise each day, rather than just reaching a step count goal. A heart rate monitor is the best way to tell if you are in the moderate-intensity zone, but I don't like wearing the chest strap. Maybe I have weird ribs or something, but I have a tough time keeping them reading accurately. But I also hated using the pulse monitors that required you to touch sensors for several seconds to take a reading. I want something continuous and effortless.
So, I popped to buy the $199 Mio Alpha, one of the new breed of heart rate monitors. Worn on the wrist, it has optical sensors that read your heart rate through the skin of your wrist. No straps. No fuss. The bottom line is that it really works as advertised, but you get no bells or whistles beyond the heart rate reading and review of single exercise session. However, if you have a Bluetooth Smart phone or ANT+ device, you can transmit the data to apps and get a more detailed view of your heart rate throughout an exercise session, and save multiple workouts.
Review: Mio Alpha
Photo © Wendy Bumgardner 2013