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Important reason to use a Polar heart rate monitor

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

If you have arrhythmias like I do, and wear a Polar heart rate monitor partly because of them, you need to read this article from the Associated Press by Maria Cheng.

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Cardiac problems like an abnormal
heartbeat are exacerbated by rigorous exercise in a way that can be
fatal in athletes, and regular testing for the problem could save
lives, doctors at a heart conference said Sunday.

Italy is the only country that mandates heart screening of all
its professional athletes, Dr. Domenico Corrado of the University
of Padua said at the European Society for Cardiology meeting in
Vienna.

Since 1981, Italian authorities have run heart checks on all
competing athletes. The incidence of sudden, fatal heart attacks
has dropped from four cases per 100,000 to 0.4 cases per 100,000.

Without testing, athletes genetically predisposed to having an
irregular heartbeat might not be aware of their condition until
it’s too late, doctors said. Adrenaline produced during exercise
may overstimulate the heart, causing it to essentially
short-circuit.

“Sport acts as a trigger,” Corrado said in research presented
at the meeting.

Corrado said he had no ties to companies involved in screening
athletes. The research was funded by the Italian government.

Last week, Antonio Puerta became the latest high-profile soccer
player to die while competing.

After the 22-year-old Sevilla midfielder lost consciousness and
fell, doctors treated him on the field and he walked off, but then
had a heart attack in the locker room and another in the emergency
room of a Seville hospital.

He died three days later.

A day after Puerta’s death, former Zambia striker Chaswe Nsofwa
died minutes after collapsing on the field during a training
session with Israeli club Hapoel Beersheba. The 27-year-old Nsofwa
was given electric shocks and an external pacemaker but could not
be revived by paramedics.

On Aug. 24, 16-year-old Anton Reid of English League One team
Walsall died after collapsing on the field.

Because they have been exercising vigorously, many athletes who
collapse during competition do not have enough oxygen in their
bodies to allow the heart to start pumping again, even if a
defibrillator is used to try to restart their heart.

FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, deemed the risk of
irregular heartbeats to be so great that before last year’s World
Cup in Berlin, its medical committee demanded that all players
undergo heart scans. Following the recent deaths, FIFA said it was
considering expanding health checks.

“Athletes may have a silent but important heart disease that’s
not … manifest,” said Dr. Douglas Zipes, a cardiologist at
Indiana University School of Medicine. Though little data exist,
Zipes said that a genetic disorder may cause some athletes’ hearts
to get abnormally big when they train.

Corrado estimated that the cost of Italy’s heart screening
program is about $82 per athlete. Other countries are not convinced
that screening is worth the cost, given how few athletes are at
risk. Concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of the
scan, which relies largely on echocardiograms, a test that shows if
the heart is pumping normally.

“As a screening test, it’s very imperfect,” said Dr. Gordon
Tomaselli, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University and
spokesman for the American Heart Association. “It can pick up many
of the things that cause sudden death, but not all of them.”

Doctors said that more awareness about the potential dangers is
key to preventing future deaths, though not all athletes with
suspicious tests will collapse on the field.

“Coaches should pay more attention to their players’
symptoms,” Zipes said. “If an athlete is complaining about chest
pains or shortness of breath, those are warning signs that should
not be ignored.”

Associated Press sports writer Chris Lehourites in London
contributed to this report.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

Got motivation?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

Dean Karnazes says, “Comfort, convenience and quick gratification - the Big Three of the middle-class American lifestyle - are not making us happy and we should seek out more suffering. “Dostoyevsky had it right: ‘Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness,’ ” Is that a little extreme or is that observation right on the money? We are for the most part quite comfortable, everything is pretty convenient and we are always looking for quick gratification. Is that why we are the fattest country in the world and now rank 41st in longevity - our life spans having shortened considerably in the last 20 years.

Is that motivation to exercise and eat right? I don’t know. Does it take looking in the mirror every day or a nagging spouse or your doctor’s warnings to get you motivated? I don’t know. I don’t need motivation. I am motivated and always have been. As a runner for 40 years, I am still motivated to run fast times and long distances and I get plenty of positive feedback from my Polar heart rate monitor every time that I work out.

Polar makes getting motivation from positive feedback as simple as putting a Polar FS1 on your wrist and going out the door for your daily walk. In no time, you will determine whether you are walking in an effective heart rate training zone to make your walks worthwhile and in a matter of just a few weeks, you will see that your heart rate is lower on your walk showing you that your heart muscle is getting stronger.

Will losing weight motivate you to keep exercising? Weight loss isn’t rocket science and doesn’t require fad diets or pills. Weight loss is math - if you burn 3,500 calories more a week, eat 3,500 calories less a week or burn more calories and eat less calories in any combination that totals 3,500 calories, you will lose 1 pound. Make it 7,000 calories and you will lose 2 pounds. Put a Polar F4 or Polar F6 or any model of Polar heart rate monitor on your wrist that has the Polar OwnCal feature and you will know your calories burned in every activity that you do. Seeing your calories burned and losing weight would be motivating, wouldn’t it?

If you are satisfied with less than optimal health, poor quality of life and the prospect of a shorter lifespan, then you don’t need motivation to exercise and eat right. Comfort, convenience and quick gratification are all that you need. But if you strive for change in your life and want positive reinforcement that what you are doing is working as motivation, then buy a Polar heart rate monitor. It will be the most cost effective investment that you have ever made to motivate and guide you to optimum fitness and health

Where’s Rich?

Monday, August 13th, 2007
Or more precisely, where has Rich been? With only 24 posts, it is a sad commentary on how life’s struggles can overshadow life’s passions. As a Polar heart rate monitor user for over 20 years, I probably love the product and know the product better than just about anyone. But supporting your family selling even the best product has its challenges in the troubling times that we face.

Where’s Rich? Well you will soon be able to track his runs and see how he uses his Polar heart rate monitor to maximize the effective and enjoyment of every workout that he does.

Stay tuned - there is much, much more to come…

Activity
Route: – 4 shady loops Elev. Avg: 5,600 feet
Location: Albuquerque Academy, NM Elev. Gain: 75 feet
Date: 08/13/07 Up/Downhill: [+0/-0]
Time: 04:45 PM Difficulty: 1.0
Performance
Distance: 5.00 miles
Time: 0:45:48
Speed: 6.5 mph
Pace: 9:09 /mi Heart Rate: 120 bpm (Avg)
Calories: 387 132 bpm (Peak)
Notes
The temperature at the start was 98 and 96 at the finish, so I chose a shady route. My average cadence was 84, my stride length was 3 feet 5 inches and my running index was 64
Map

 
Elevation (ft.)

 

More feedback on the discussion boards

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

From Runner’s World Discussions

I have the Polar S625X and I could not be more pleased with it. It is a heart monitor and distance tracker which uses a fot pod. All the specs and info can be found at Polar’s website. I trained for my first marathon using it and it helped me run at my recommended pace. I also used it during the marathon and it was a huge help. I highly recommend it if you are looking for both heart rate monitoring and distance tracking.

Another thing I like about the Polar over the Forerunner (which I also have) is that you can use it while you run on the treadmill. I like keeping a log of all my runs and the software that comes with the Polar is pretty good too. If you don’t really care about logging it with the software the RS200sd will do most of the things the S625X can do minus uploading to your computer. But from what I hear you can upload the data to the polar website. Hope this helps.

 

“Obsessed - A word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.”

Feedback on the discussion boards

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

From Runner’s World Discussions

There are two pages of discussion in this particular forum, most of it discussion about which HRM to get.

Here’s an interesting observation for those of you in the market for one that has upload capability: the software that comes with the HRM is not the same, actually not even close.

The software that comes with the Polar 625X is about a hundred times better than any other software that comes with the Garmin or Suunto HRM’s.

While many of you in the market may not be considering upload capability as an important feature, I’d like to respectfully suggest you consider this: training causes incremental improvements over time, so if you want to see in any meaningful way what your training is doing, graphs that show results in graphic form over weeks, months and even years is where it’s at.