Polar FT4 Review – Perfect Get-Fit Helper

Different looks of the Polar FT4

Until recently, my exercises and brisk walk sessions were conducted based on guessing that the intensity is not too high nor too low. I had no idea whether it was within the right heart rate zone for maximum effectiveness and burning of fats. One day, I stumbled upon the Polar FT4 heart rate monitor watch in a shop selling various watches. It was a nifty little gadget that comes with a heart rate monitor token that is strapped around the body to measure heart rate accurately. This heart rate information is then transmitted to the watch, which then display the heart rate detected.

It worked very well for my purpose. Let’s take a look at what comes with the standard package. The package came in a simple black box with a picture of the watch on the outside:

The simple box with a photo of the watch color outside.

When you open up the box, you will see the watch inside, with a heart rate monitor token, and a elastic fabric strap for strapping across the body, just below the chest. The strap is adjustable, so it should fit most body unless you have a huge or a very petite frame. There are two “clips” holes at the strap, which perfectly clicks onto the token. The act of clicking on starts up the token and activates the heart rate measurement. Hence, when your exercises are over, it is best to remove the token from the strap to conserve battery life.

The package comes with the strap, the watch itself, and a polar heart rate monitor. It comes with a simple user manual to get you started too.

Setting up the watch is very simple. Just follow the instructions on the screen to start inputting your weight, height, age into the watch so that it can determine your optimal heart rate based on your personal data.

This is the regular watch mode when you have not started any training. In this mode, battery is conserved, since there is no communication with the heart rate monitor.
This is the mode when you pressed the right centre key once. The watch starts to query the heart rate monitor for the heart rate. The number “00” is the area showing the actual heart rate (I have not attached the monitor yet). Under normal use, it would display e.g. 120
During exercise (which I will reuse the graphics instead of actual watch), the heart rate will be displayed on the watch. When in zone, it will indicate “in zone”, the heart icon will display on a slider bar, which end of the exercise zone you are in. Too low? Run faster. Too high? Slow down a little.
After the exercise, you can find out what was the average and maximum heart rate during the entire period of training. By the way, you can also pause your training and then continue again.
Also, you can view the exercise duration plus the calories burnt as a result of that exercise session.
It also also display for how long you have been in zone (i.e. optimal heart rate zone). Normally, an in-zone duration of  at least 30 minutes is recommended.
Finally, by pressing the up and down button at the same time, you will be able to go into the “Data” menu and recall the date/time/routine, and recall the above information as and when you like it. In this way, you can compare between your previous routines easily.

Ok, this is a quick review of the Polar FT4 watch. Personally, I find the information provided by the watch is very useful for me, as it would allows me to determine whether I am exercising in the most optimal way without under-driving or over-driving myself. As the wisdom goes – “do all things in moderation”. I guess it also applies to exercise and fitness routines, especially when you are starting to learn how to keep fit.

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