Do you know what HRV is? I didn’t either, but if you are a serious athlete, or serious about keeping fit, or you train people in sports or fitness, you likely know that HRV is Heart Rate Variability. Simply put it is a measure of the variations in time between heart beats and can be used to optimize training and athletic performance.
And that’s where the LifeTrak Zoom HRV comes in – you may think of it as a fitness or activity tracker – they call it a “body computer” – but whatever you call it, the LifeTrak Zoom HRV is not for the casual user. You can wear it like a watch, but it does not have a smartwatch screen, just a series of small LED icons and lights (that will give you the time if you understand them) and one button.
The LifeTrak Zoom HRV module – a small pod that fits in a variety of bands – can monitor your heart rate, HRV, calories burned, steps, sleep, and even your exposure to light so you can get the “right” amount & type of light at the “right” time of day or night to keep your circadian rhythm – your internal clock – in tune for your best energy.
If this sounds complicated, it is. The LifeTrak Zoom HRV links to an app for Android or iOS and you have to enter in not only your vitals but your workout goals so the app can not only keep track for you but if you have the app paired with the Zoom while you work out, it can guide your performance. It tracks walking/running, cycling, swimming (it’s waterproof), and general exercise.
The pod has its own charger, to which it attaches magnetically, and doesn’t have to be removed from the wristband to charge, a charge which is said to last 5 days. You can also get bands to keep the pod on your upper arm or ankle if a wristband is inconvenient for certain activities.
The included quick start guide is some 20 panels, and you can – and probably need to – download the full 57-page instruction manual to get the best use of the device.
I had some difficulty even getting started with it because there is only that one button. After downloading the app, you need to pair the Zoom with your phone, and the instructions say to press the button “3x in a row (rapidly).” Well, I apparently was not “rapid” enough the first few times and it went into a different mode, until finally, with the phone help of LifeTrak’s president (a perk of being a reviewer), I got the correct rhythm of the three quick pushes. The button on the pod will react differently if it is or is not in contact with your skin, or connected to your phone. You have to learn all that, and what the LEDs signal or you will get little out of the LifeTrak Zoom HRV.
As for the HRV and the “VScore” the app will give you, I’d say get some professional advice from your physician or a qualified trainer to truly understand what it means for you. Unfortunately, as with many consumer “health” devices, there’s no easy way to extract the data to share with a medical or fitness expert other than showing that person what’s on your phone’s screen.
In this promotional video, the only person “our” age is the company president, who told me he swims for cardio exercise, wearing his LifeTrak: