It seems the western way of exercise is to go hard all the time, “no pain no gain” and things of that nature. Problem is, when people go hard all the time they overtrain, get injured and often get sidetracked from their goals. I have been guilty of this on many occasions. Being a personal trainer, I have put myself through a lot of crazy workout programs, tried fad diets to see what clients are experiencing out there and pushed my body (and mind) to the limits. Time and time again, pushing too hard has gotten me nowhere. The Lifetrak Zoom HRV monitor helped me break that cycle.
What is HRV?
I learned about HRV (Hear Rate Variability) a few years ago and started implementing it in my health regiment. It has been an eye-opener in a lot of regards. It has shown me that I was recovered and ready for activity when I thought I was not and, more importantly, let me know when my body was not recovered and when I should dial back.
No one wants to be derailed from their training or path, but overtraining is something that can be avoided. The Zoom is a great tool for that. I have used HRV programs before, but they rely on a heart rate monitor, which is often a chest strap, which often loses contact with the host device and is a pain in the rear to use. Up until now, that is all I had to work with. Then the Zoom comes along and solves this problem (as well as several others) with its simple to use device.
Small but Powerful
The Zoom is a small module, much like a watch, that you can place in the provided watch band, or put on an arm band or pedometer style holder. I opted for the arm band as I already have a watch that I rely on for backcountry activities. I used the LifeTrak Zoom for kettlebell training, splitboarding, meditation, and recovery. HRV is a great tool to assess how your body is actually doing, how ready it is for activity, and how recovered it is.
The Zoom syncs to its app (Apple and Android) and tracks several variables. HRV, heart rate, steps, calories burned, distance traveled, sleep and blue light. Some of those categories are common with other fitness devices, but the blue light and HRV are not. As a fitness professional, being able to track HRV and blue light exposure is pretty awesome.
The Zoom does a good job of tracking activity too. You can track your workout, calories burned, heart rate, distance traveled and steps. These are pretty standard for fitness tracking devices, but it is very nice that they are included. The Zoom makes a very useful tool for tracking health and is easy to use. One thing I learned is that you can only be synced up to one device at a time. Pretty typical, but it something that the user will need to know. You can have the app downloaded on several devices and have the all sync up, you will just need to log out of the previous device and log into the current device. Simple to do.
Blue light has been getting a lot of attention lately. Many feel that too much blue light (more specifically, HEV blue light) has negative effects on a person. Exposure to much of it can cause anxiety, depression, macular degeneration, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, headaches, eye strain and negatively disrupted circadian rhythm. Sounds horrible right? We are not here to diagnose or offer medical advice. You do need some blue light for passive mood and natural sleeping cycles. Look into it and make your own opinion on whether or not it is a big deal. We do think that tracking how much blue light you receive is a valuable tool.
All in all, the LifeTrak Zoom offers a lot for the price. Even if you don’t want to use the blue light tracking, sleep tracking, or HRV functions – it still makes a great heart rate monitor or pedometer. MSRP $139, but grab it from Amazon on sale with Prime shipping.