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Biometric Monitors buying guide

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Biometric Monitors Guide - An Introduction

Simply put, a biometric monitor measures biological data. Depending on its purpose, there are many different types available. You can monitor your heart rate while exercising, measure your steps with a Pedometer, or keep an eye on your blood pressure. A scale can measure both your weight and your body fat percentage. You can also monitor your cholesterol, blood sugar, or calories.

A biometric monitor can be a useful tool in your home for monitoring your health. If you have health concerns, they are a good way to learn whether your medications need to be adjusted, for example, rather than waiting until your next doctor’s appointment. They are also a useful tool for either a casual or serious athlete.

Biometric monitors were once used exclusively in hospitals or clinics, but they are now commonly available for home use. Depending on what you are trying to monitor, there are a number of different models and price ranges available. For example, athletes can choose a wristband, sports bra, or trainers with built-in monitors.

Whether you are buying a biometric monitor for health or fitness purposes, you want to buy the best model for your purposes. Price Inspector will help you sort through the different options with our buying guide. Once you’ve selected the perfect model for your needs, let us make sure you get the cheapest price. Our Inspectors compare prices to give you the confidence that you are getting the best prices in the UK.

Types of biometric monitors

  • A body fat calculator lets you measure and calculate your total body fat. They are useful if you are trying to gain or lose weight. They are commonly used by hospitals, fitness centres, or health clinics. A step-on calculator is used like your home weighing scale. It gives you a quick, accurate readout, and it may have built-in memory to store your personal information. A hand-held calculator is a small device that has internal programming to calculate your body fat.
  • A Cholesterol Monitor or Blood Glucose Meter will have a lancet to prick your finger and a test strip to absorb a drop of your blood. The device then gives you a readout on either your blood sugar or your cholesterol, depending on the type.
  • A Blood Pressure Monitor for home use has a cuff that automatically inflates and an LCD display screen for your blood pressure results.
  • A Heart Monitor can be used to make sure your heart rate isn’t too high or too low during exercise. They are also useful for providing longer-term readings for your physician if you have heart problems.
  • A pedometer measures the number of steps you take in a certain period. They are useful for tracking your exercise and activity goals. They are commonly worn on your waist or shoe, although a Pedometer Watch is also a popular option. You can also get a Pedometer Heart Monitor that tracks both your steps and your heart rate.
  • A Calorie Counter lets you measure how many calories you burn during exercise. They are a useful tool, but they are just a guideline. You can choose a handheld calculator or a Calorie Watch.

Popular Brands

  • Polar Heart monitors are available in different styles, usually strapped to either your wrist or upper arm. The Polar F4 Heart Monitor is designed for people who want basic heart monitoring functions that keep their training simple. It shows the calories burned and lets you know when your fitness improves based on your heart rate. The Polar CS200cad is for serious cyclists that want to improve their performance and training. It measures your heart rate and provides your current, maximum, and average cycling speeds. It sets your personal heart-rate targets for optimum training. You can also connect it to an online training log at the company’s web site.
  • Suunto makes a variety of watches for athletes, including the Suunto Core dive watches that measure your depth and ascent rate. Their fitness training watches give you a variety of data to help with your training, including calories burned, heart rate, and PC data tracking. Some models, such as the Suunto T3c and Suunto T6c, also track speed and distance. The T6c comes with a belt to help measure calories and heart rate more accurately.
  • The Oregon Scientific Pedometer is lightweight and affordable, with many functions. Even though it’s light, it’s durable and won’t slip off your waistband when exercising. It calculates and displays your distance walked, the number of steps, calories burned, and the time of day. Its back-lit illumination makes the screen easy to view.
  • The Reebok Fit Watch 10m10s strapless wrist models use finger touch technology rather than a chest strap to measure your heart rate. The 10s is designed specifically for women, while the 10m is designed for men. The monitor lets you programme your heart rate zone, and it has visual and audible alarms that let you know when you exceed the zone. It has a regular watch, stopwatch, and countdown timer.
  • Tanita Pedometers and Tanita Scales help you maintain your fitness goals. The Tanita Bc543 Family Health scale measures your body fat, muscle, and water. It has a calendar function to let your track your progress. The Tanita Ironman Scales, such as the Tanita Ironman Bc558 Total also monitors your balance between the left and right sides of your body, which is especially helpful if you are rehabilitating following an injury. It has both hand-grip and foot electrodes to give you a complete profile. Measurements include weight, body fat, body water, muscle mass, bone mass, and metabolic age.
  • The Yamax Cw 701 Digiwalker is a step counter that accurately tracks your steps whether you’re walking, jogging, or hiking. It monitors your activity time, distance, and calories. It has a seven-day memory function, helping you track your activity for the week. The protective cover keeps the pedometer from accidentally resetting, as well as keeping your information confidential.
  • The Omron M10IT blood pressure monitor is an upper-arm cuff designed to measure morning hypertension. It has a unique dual-sized cuff for comfort. You can also connect it to your computer to print out readings or send results to your doctor. The Omron M6 Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor has the largest display screen in the blood pressure monitor market, making it easy to read your results. It also tells you if body movement disrupts your measurements, letting you know you need to repeat the test. The Omron R7 is a wrist monitor that uses its positioning technology to ensure proper placement. It has an optional printer to let you track your readings, and you can also connect it to your computer.
  • The Sanitas Blood Pressure Monitor has automatic inflation and deflation, as well as a warning in case of heart rhythm disturbances. It displays date and time on the large, easily readable display, and it has large buttons for easy use. It indicates when the battery should be changed, and it has a case for storage and travel. You can store up to 60 readings in its memory.
  • The Braun Bp1650 is a wrist blood pressure monitor with a large, easily readable display. The cuff has personalised inflation for comfort, and the monitor has memory space for 20 readings.
  • Resperate is an electronic device that uses guided breathing to lower blood pressure without drugs. Simply put on the headphones and strap the monitor around your chest. The monitor analyses your breathing patterns to create a personalised melody that guides your breathing. Within minutes, the muscles that surround your blood vessels begin to relax, blood flows more freely, and blood pressure is lowered.
  • A popular York Heart Monitor is the P12, which gives you a watch, stopwatch, heart rate monitor, and calorie counter in one. It gives a high and low target zone with alarms, as well as memory recall for previous workouts. The monitor tracks the amount of time spent in your target zone.
  • The Sigma Pc11 Heart Monitor is compatible with the cardiovascular equipment found in fitness centres. It’s an easy, entry-level monitor that provides basic functions, including heart rate and calorie counter. The alarm notifies you if you’re above or below your ideal heart rate.

Tips to consider before buying Biometric Monitors

  • When choosing a body fat calculator, look for one that has digital technology. These are fast and easy to use. An analogue calculator is usually harder to use and more difficult to interpret.
  • For a cholesterol or blood sugar monitor, look for one that has a memory function to store your readings. There should also be a storage area for the test strips and lancet. If you must test frequently, such as for diabetic sugar levels, look for a model that requires smaller amounts of blood for testing. This will make your testing less painful. There are also models that let you obtain blood for body parts other than your fingers, which some people may find useful.
  • A blood pressure monitor should have a large display screen to make it easy to read. You will have more accurate results if the model includes an error indicator, which lets you know if the test was not completed properly. Make sure the cuff size fits you well. If it’s too tight or too loose, you’ll get inaccurate results.
  • If you want a pedometer, check whether it is designed for casual activity or a Running Pedometer. A runner will need a more durable meter than someone who just wants to measure daily steps. Runners will also want a model that is both comfortable and secure, rather than sliding around or bouncing uncomfortably.
  • A better calorie counter will let you enter your height, weight, and age to give you more accurate results.

Jargon Explained

It’s important to understand the terms associated with biometric monitors. If you don’t understand the terms, you run the risk of buying the wrong type or using it incorrectly.

SphygmomanometerA blood pressure meter. It has an inflatable cuff that restricts blood flow and a manometer to measure the blood pressure. It should measure the pressure when the cuff starts to inflate and at full pressure.
Manual versus automaticManual devices require you to enter the information, while automatic ones do the work for you. For example, a manual calorie counter will require that you enter the length of time you exercise and the activity, and it then tells you the calories burned. An automatic model will track this information for you. Decide which type you prefer, and also realise that an automatic model is usually more expensive.
Digital displayA digital display will give you faster, more easily readable results. 

Buying Guide to Biometric Monitors
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