Some Life Fitness treadmills have metal hand sensors on the handrails to monitor your heart rate. But others use wireless technology that read your pulse from a chest strap you wear during the workout. Not just any chest strap will do, so select one that's compatible with your Life Fitness treadmill.
Life Fitness treadmills use a digital heart rate monitoring system. The company calls the program "Lifepulse." The digital signal processing system is compatible with Polar heart rate monitor chest straps. The technicians at Life Fitness recommend the Polar T31 chest strap. These chest straps have electrodes that press against your skin to track your heart rate. This information is then relayed to the treadmill computer so you can instantly track your workout intensity.
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You need to wear the Polar chest strap correctly for accurate monitoring. The two electrodes need to be moistened before they contact your skin. The easiest way to do this is to lick your fingers and then swipe your fingers over the electrodes. Position the strap on your skin and under the chest muscles, but as close to them as possible. Tighten the strap until it fits snug against your chest, but not so tight that it restricts your breathing.
Once you attach the Polar monitor, the Life Fitness treadmill does the thinking for you. Select a pre-set program within your training heart rate zone. The heart rate zones vary depending on your workout goals. For example, a fat-burning zone is between 65 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. If your goal is to improve your anaerobic endurance, you'll exercise closer to your maximum heart rate. After you choose your program, the treadmill automatically adjusts the speed and incline to keep you within your target heart rate range.
In The Zone
The Life Fitness treadmill has a safety feature when you select the heart-rate training program. If you do not wear a Polar chest strap, the maximum speed of your workout is restricted to 4.5 miles per hour. When the computer can track your heart rate and tell the treadmill to adjust the speed and incline, the program has a maximum speed of 12 mph.