It’s time you know. I love my Polar FT4 . I wear it EVERY TIME I work out.

The Polar FT4 is a heart rate monitor for fitness (including swimming although I’ve never tried). It tracks and records your heart rate for the duration of a workout and calculates burned calories. You’re looking at 2 components — a watch (displays your heart rate, time, calories, target heart rate) and a heart rate monitor strap that goes around your chest. It is comfortable and easy. It only didn’t work 2 times: 1) when I was mowing the lawn but the constant bending and pushing caused the chest strap to slip out of place; and 2) during a Shred It! class because I was sweating as all get-out and doing a billion jumping jacks.

Calorie Burn from 1hr of "Cardio Chaos" and a bit of run/walk warm-up. Boom.
Calorie Burn from 1hr of “Cardio Chaos” and a bit of run/walk warm-up. Boom.

You’re wondering why. The biggest draw for me is that, at my most diligent, I track my calories on MyFitnessPal and when I work out, I get to eat more. Simple math. Expend energy –> get to consume more energy. Yum. And, for a girl who loves to eat, this is necessary. I. Do. Not. Diet. Also, for fitness purposes, it is helpful to gauge your heart rate elevation depending on your training ex: HIIT (high intensity interval training) vs. LISS (low intensity steady state cardio).

Shop around. Polar FT4 sells it for the cheapest right now but if you buy it from the Polar website, there are more color options. Pink was my only choice when I got it. I’m not a “pink person” but c’est la vie.

It keeps me honest and accountable. Before I wore the Polar FT4, I was deluding myself into thinking that walking to the park and back pushing a double stroller was more of a calorie burner than it is. Wrong. If you’re not sweating profusely for a solid block of time, you’re probably not burning a lot of calories. Of course, any exercise is better than none. Hands down. But I was mis-calcuating my calories. Now I know when I’m getting the most bang for my fitness buck.

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Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.



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