I never thought twice about measuring my heart rate until I took my Spin Instructor certification course and the instructor talked about the importance of tailoring workouts to heart rate zones. I'd learned about the zones in school but I was like wha whaaaat? How have I not been doing this already?!?
Monitoring your heart rate helps you train at the right intensity, prevents injury and possible "overtraining", plus it ensures you're working out in the right way to hit whatever goals you have! You can see how your body responds to each workout and you can use that to make sure they're effective and you're getting the most out of the time you're putting in.
After refreshing my knowledge on all of this and realizing it's importance, I bought the Polar FT4 a couple of years ago to start tracking my heart rate. It's a basic model and it's easy to use which is why I went with it. It displays your heart rate and alerts you if you go over or under the desired range.
Since I've been been using a monitor for a while now, I have been looking to update to a newer model that has more features. I finally took the plunge and got a Polar A360 last week - and I love it!!!
First off, how cool does it look?? So there's that! But more importantly, it tracks my heart rate during each workout and shows me what training zone I'm in, how many calories I've burned and the distance/pace during runs etc. It also tracks steps and sleep! It's just one of those gadgets that does it all and it's so motivating to see where my heart rate is and how many calories I'm burning during the workout.