Beat-Boxing Your Heart Beat

Heart rate monitor designed by Motorola

November 29, 2011 / Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

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(dailyRx News) Hoping to capitalize on the habit of many Americans -- listening to an mp3 player while exercising -- Motorola is offering something new. Recently unveiled devices let users track or even listen to their heart beat while they work out.

The MotoACTV, a small sweat proof wristwatch-style mp3 player, tracks running, walking or cycling time, distance, speed, calories burned and even heart rate in addition to traditional mp3 player capabilities. The $250 device is able to "learn" which songs motivate you, while storing information for analysis and goal setting.

"Try using a heart rate monitor while working out."

Clips also are available to attach the device to a bike, or sports armbands are available for those who prefer this style over a wrist attachment. But what if you don't want to just monitor your heart rate, but actually hear your heart beat as you work out? They will soon offer devices for that too.

Motorola is in the process of unveiling a set of wired headphones with a built in microphone for making phone calls. But in addition to hearing music, users can use the headphones to listen to their heart beat through an integrated heart rate monitor while working out. The device also will announce the wearers' heart rate when a button is touched.

Similar wireless headphones with HD-quality sound and a built-in ear sensor that allows users to listen to their heart beat also are in the works. The new offering may not be for everyone.

Jim Crowell, owner and head trainer of Integrated Fitness, said he prefers the idea of viewing a number that corresponds to the heart rate as opposed to listening to the heart beat.

"For me personally, I like to have my full attention on my workout," Crowell said. "Very rarely will I wear earphones because I feel as though I lose focus on what I'm doing. Many people like headphones and music but I don't love the idea of hearing my heart rate. I think that it would distract me from pushing myself during a workout.

If I want a snapshot of where my heart rate is either for safety or for enjoyment, I'd prefer to see a definitive number versus hearing a beat in my ear."