Like many other people at this time of year, I am working on improving my health and fitness. I’m taking part in a program called the Take Down Challenge through my local gym. The challenge works on getting you both eating right and exercising and I’ve been taking part in lots of classes. To really get the most benefit from the exercise it is recommended that you monitor your heart rate so that you can stay “in the zone”. Now I’ve never liked the idea of wearing a chest strap heart rate monitor and stopping regularly to take my pulse manually isn’t really practical, so this is where the Mio Link comes in.
Mio Global is a company that specializes in wrist worn Heart Rate Monitors. All of their Heart Rate Monitors use an electro-optical cell which senses the volume of blood under the skin. The device then uses algorithms to calculate the heart’s true rhythm even during high intensity workouts.
The Mio Link has a soft flexible strap is is worn similarly to a watch but a little higher on the arm (at least 1 inch above the wrist). The strap has a buckle similar to a traditional watch strap buckle but with 2 prongs instead of one, and the strap has many, many rows of holes close together, which allows you to easily customize the fit. You need to wear it snuggly on the arm, and I found about 1″ above the wrist was the sweet spot for me- it was comfortable there and didn’t slip down when I exercised (which it did if I wore it further up.)
The Mio Link uses a series of color coded lights to let you know what “zone” you are in. To customize your zones you download the free Mio Go app and fill in your profile details- including height, weight, gender and date of birth. The app can automatically calculate your Maximum Heart Rate based on your profile, or you can enter it manually and you can also adjust the limits of your zones manually as well.
To start heart rate monitoring you press and hold the button on top of the Link until the blue LED lights up, it will blink rapidly whilst finding your heart rate then settle into a steady slow blinking with a color that reflects your current heart rate. You can press the button again to see the light in between blinks.
I have been using the Mio Link during my workouts for the last couple of weeks and have found it a really useful addition to my workout. I can easily see what “zone” I am in and it helps me to see what types of exercise work best for my current workout goals- whether that be fat-burning or improved cardio-vascular fitness. It also lets me see when I need to back off and let my body rest a little if I am overdoing the intensity of my workout.
You can choose to have the Link use 1 or 5 zones. For 1 zone you set your target zone and colored lights show if you are in, above or below that zone. The 5 zones set up automatically are:
REST Under 50% of Maximum Heart Rate (Cyan)
ZONE 1: Very Light: 50% – 60% of your maximum heart rate ( Blue.) Optimal for maintaining a healthy heart and recovering after a difficult workout.
ZONE 2: Light 60% – 70% of your maximum heart rate (Green.) This the known as the “fat-burning zone” as it enhances endurance and the efficiency with which you use fat and carbohydrates as fuel, and is the best zone to train in to lose weight.
ZONE 3: Moderate 70% – 80% of your maximum heart rate (Yellow.) Zone 3 training helps to delay fatigue caused by lactic acid and helps to improve aerobic fitness.
ZONE 4: Hard 80% – 90% of your maximum heart rate (Magenta.) High-intensity workouts improve maximum performance capacity but should be done in short bouts
ZONE 5: Maximum 90% – 100% of your maximum heart rate (Red.) Not recommended for inexperienced athletes, and should only be done for short periods of time.
The Link also integrates with many GPS Watches, Bike Computers and popular fitness apps such as Map My Run.
There are times, such as when jogging or power walking, when I want to see my exact heart rate, to see what effects slight increases or decreases of speed cause. For these times I use the Mio Go app, once the Mio Link and your iPhone are connected via Bluetooth you can watch your heart rate in real time in the iPhone app, it is color-coded too to make it easy to know what zone you are in as well as your current rate.
I found with daily workouts (and just monitoring during workouts), that the battery in my Link lasts about a week between charges which is quite reasonable. It has a rechargeable battery, one word of warning though – it does use a special charger not a standard mini-USB, so make sure you keep it in a safe place as if you lose it your Link will not be chargeable.
Overall, I found the Mio Link very easy to use, it is lightweight, easy to adjust and comfortable. It is a really useful addition to my workout routine, the one thing I really wish it had though is a memory function so you can go back and look at workout data afterwards to see overall trends. However, Mio does have a range of other monitors available some of which do have this functionality.
Mio Link is available in 3 Colors, from the Mio Global website, RRP $99
by Mio Global
The Mio GO app is designed for the Mio LINK, VELO, FUSE, and ALPHA 2 heart rate wristbands. Monitor your heart rate with performance accuracy—no chest strap required!
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).