This “Instant Heart Rate” app turns your phone into a heart rate monitor. I have used it to measure my resting heart rate and it works really well in certain situations. The one time I used it when my heart was racing during exercise, it wasn’t working. So maybe it doesn’t work so well if the beat is super high but I haven’t tried it enough to know. But it does work fine if you wanna measure your resting heart rate or if you’re moderately working out.
Note: You may need a phone with a camera-flash for this work. I tried it on my friends phone that doesn’t have the flash-light and it wasn’t working, so maybe it needs one.
Available on both iPhone and Google Play: http://www.azumio.com/apps/heart-rate/
Note about Resting Heart Rate: RHH should be measured when someone wakes up in the morning and is still in bed and hasn’t moved around. As of November 2012, my resting heart rate is 48-50bpm. The stronger ones heart is, the less often it needs to pump to help blood circulate because each contraction is powerful. Conversely, if someones heart is weak, then it’s going to need to pump more frequently to provide the same blood flow. I reckon my heart rate is good because I play on the Santa Monica Traveling Rings and they provide the perfect HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) exercise.
People on average have a resting heart rate between 60-70bpm (the older one is, the higher the normal heart rate). Elite athletes may have a resting heart rate of 40bpm and lower. Lance Armstrong’s, for example, was 32bpm at his peak. It’s a pretty cool indicator of ones health, but not the best indicator. Heart rate recovery is an even better indicator, but requires a lot more work to figure out (like exercise!!! haha).