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I purchased the Casio Phys CHR-100-4 Heart Rate Monitor around three months ago as part of my new weight loss drive. I'd often heard it said that lots of walking was the key to weight loss, but apparently there really is more to it than that!
The "fat burning zone" science tells us is the zone within your heart rate range where your body burns most fat. This is said to be between fifty and sixty percent of your hearts maximum beats per minute rate. What this watch and monitor does is ensures you exercise within this range, for maximum fat burning results. Exercising over sixty percent of the hearts maximum is good for you too, but this will make you fitter, not necessarily thinner, which was my goal.
For those seeking to work out the optimum range for them, the Casio comes with a handy chart to help. It is a calculation based on age and a few other variables. You then program this data into the wristwatch, and hey presto, no more wasted miles walking.
It sounds very complicated, but in reality the instructions help a lot and make finding the range and programming the watch a doddle. My optimum fat burning range is within 120 to 140 beats per minute.
The system is in two parts, both requiring a small watch battery (which is yet to need replacing.) The monitor is strapped around the chest next to the heart. It isn't uncomfortable to wear and is easily adjustable for various sizes. I'm glad to say I've been able to reduce the size of mine a few times now! It is discreet and is worn under clothing so no one knows it is there.
The wristwatch is like any other, and does all the usual wristwatch things, like tell the time, and had an inbuilt alarm. There's a whole list of other features, none of which anyone will ever use. Who needs to know the time in Beijing for example?
So, what actually happens when you have it programmed? The strap reads your heart rate as you walk. If you go too slow, it beeps, if you walk to fast, it beeps, letting you adjust your speed accordingly and remain in the fat burning zone. Its great knowing my exercise time isn't being wasted, and every minute is spent burning fat.
I noted two interesting things using this heart rate monitor. I actually have to walk fairly slowly to stay within the "zone." Ladies, all this power walking may not be as effective as you think. Secondly, it is amazing the effect even a small hill has on your heart rate. I really have to doddle up hills, and of course walk a little harder going down the other side!
For those embarking on a weight loss program, I strongly urge you to shell out the £80 for this device, and do a little reading on the "fat burning zone". There may be cheaper alternatives, and with everything I could have spent hundreds, but this Casio now goes for a walk with me every night, and given that I have lost some weight, quite possibly represents the best value for money I have ever spent.