Smart exertion pacing with Polar Beat app EnergyPointer feature


Well-Known Member
I like to go out for a walk most days to get in some exercise, but as you know, even walking can bring on PEM. I've found a nice little tool to help me avoid this that I'd like to share here. It's called "EnergyPointer", and it's an upgrade feature you can purchase for the Polar Beat app. Polar Beat uses a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor strap (like the Polar H7) to monitor your heart rate during your workout, and GPS to track speed and distance. With the EnergyPointer upgrade, it will also monitor your heart rate variability, and using this data it will set an "EnergyPointer" heart rate, i.e. the rate at or above which is considered "improving fitness". Below this heart rate, you are "burning fat". The EnergyPointer HR is basically the point at which you are starting to ramp up the stress on your body with the intensity of your exertion.

If I was an athlete, or otherwise not struggling with chronic illness, I would think of the EnergyPointer HR as a desirable minimum HR to maintain during endurance training. However, with chronic illness, the idea is to get in what exercise we can without overdoing it, so I use it as an upper limit, unless I'm feeling especially energetic, in which case I use the Maffetone Method formula to derive my upper limit.

My EnergyPointer HR is typically between 110 and 113 bpm, and my Maffetone limit is 122. I know those are probably ridiculously low numbers for POTS patients who are just standing upright, much less out walking, but for those who have been spared that aspect of ME and are in the mild to moderate range of illness, it could be a useful tool to prevent a crash.

Let me know if you've also used this app, or if you've found other ways of measuring to help pace yourself .

(FYI, I have no financial interests in Polar Electro, just sharing useful info.)

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