Health Advocate Blog

Track your heart rate anytime, anywhere with the Instant Heart Rate app

Did you know that you can use your phone to track your pulse?With the Instant Heart Rate app, you can get an accurate reading of your heart rate at any time of day, whether it is just after a nap or after a vigorous workout.

Why is it important to measure my heart rate?

Your heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times that your heart beats in one minute. Your heart rate at rest can provide helpful insight about your general health and fitness level. Generally, a lower resting heart rate corresponds with a higher fitness level. According to the Mayo Clinic, normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute. Athletes and people on certain medications may have a lower resting heart rate. Consult your doctor if your resting heart rate is consistently higher or lower than the normal ranges — especially if you have other signs or symptoms, such as fainting, dizziness, or shortness of breath. You can also monitor your heart rate during or after workout sessions to see if you need to adjust the intensity of your workouts. To learn more about how heart rate can be measured during your workouts, visit the American Heart Association website.

How it works:

Instant Heart Rate is free to download for iOS and Android. The process is quick and easy. The camera lens on your phone detects the slight color changes in your finger as the capillaries collapse and contract with each heartbeat. To get a reading of your heart rate, you simply launch the app and then place your finger on the camera lens of your phone. The application will start tracking your pulse and will show your pulse in a moving line graph. After about ten seconds, your heart rate will appear on your screen. Once the application is finished collecting data, you can tag your heart rate result under a specific category such as resting, tired, exercising, just woke up, or before bed. The free version of the app will store the five most recent entries. The Pro version (which costs $1.99) provides unlimited storage of your heart rate data, plus graphs and trends. It also includes access to map that shows real-time heart rates for other users around the world. Please note that the tracker is designed for recreational and fitness use only.

Pros: You can measure your heart rate instantly. Users have tested the accuracy with a stethoscope and were pleased with the results.

Cons: This app doesn’t work as well with phones that do not have a flash. For example, on iPhone 3GS and iPod touch, the app needs to be used in good lighting.

Overall consensus: The Instant Heart Rate app provides a simple, low-cost way to keep a close eye on your heart rate on a daily basis. It’s fast and accurate, too!

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for assistance with finding the right wellness resources for you!