A smartwatch is a digital watch that provides different features that can help to monitor your heart rate, to track your training, and to provide some alerts and reminders. Smartwatches have a touchscreen display, where you can perform different tasks by tapping or touching the screen.
Modern smartwatches provide several apps which can display info about the weather, measure your heartbeat, giving directions, making phone calls and similar apps as smartphones.
Smartwatches can offer a number of features that don’t require a smartphone. For example, a smartphone with a GPS can track and record outdoor runs, purchase items with a credit card if it has an NFC (near field communication) chip, or play songs using wireless headphones.
This article will examine some benefits of using a smartwatch in terms of pace, tracking distance and calories burnt.
More than just a watch with different trends it can be a reliable training partner that can help you to maintain an active lifestyle, take your training to a better level and track your progress towards your goals.
Basic and useful functions
Smartwatches can help you to monitor your fitness goals and progress meanly they can count steps, distance, calories, heart rate, pulse rate, sleep and other important metrics you might need.
Measuring your heart rate is beneficial because you can monitor your heart race while exercising detect if there are some abnormal heart rhythms and increase gradually your fitness level.
Most recent models can also measure your blood pressure like Omron oscillometric blood pressure smartwatch or they have a dispositive to detect a fall and notify your emergency contact if you are not responsive. Step counter and fitness trackers can help to count your steps and notify when your reach your daily goals.
Burnt calories counting can be very useful to check on your workout and it’s estimated on a calculation of your logged activity like running or swimming and the measurements during those
activities. Different smartwatches allow you to track your training for your walks, runs, cycling, swimming, etc. Garmin is a very well known brand for its multisport and accurate measurements.
GPS watches are the future!
Having a GPS watch can give you an exact pace, a general idea on how fast or slow you want to take your session. GPS watches are able to track wherever you go and for however long. An exact measurement of the distance will help to better plan your goals.
Others useful tools you can find on a GPS watch are an Accelerometer, which is used in detecting movement related to sleep tracking or the step counter and a Gyroscope which can detect what type of movement you are doing or if you like to track your swimming.
The barometric altimeter combined with the compass and thermometer is useful for runners and hikers to measure altitude by calculating the location’s air pressure.
With a GPS watch you can clearly see if you have achieved specific results with a precise measurement of distance and pace, also setting lap alerts to pace yourself correctly, and to run even mile/kilometer splits to better hit your target times.
To know the amount of calories burned can be a great aid in terms of properly refueling after a training session. Having a watch that can measure this information can be helpful for everyone that wishes to better manage calories intake vs calories consumed.
What should I consider before to buy a smartwatch?
You should be able to get notifications to get incoming calls, emails, text message alerts and from social media accounts.
This function allows you to have a quick look once you hear a little buzz on the wrist instead of taking out your phone to check.
Although most smartwatches will work with most available smartphones, it
is good to consider that you might want to buy a smart phone that is able to
connect with your phone seamlessly.
First you need to consider if your phone uses Windows OS, you can only use the Microsoft Band or the Microsoft Band 2. Secondly, if you would like to buy an Apple watch, you must connect it with an iPhone, since it won’t work with other smartphone operating systems.
Rather, If you are a fitness pro, or you just enjoy doing light
exercises, a smartwatch with fitness tracking capability is
an important aspect to consider.
Basically a smartwatch should have at least those features :
- Heart rate monitor
- GPS tracking
- Waterproof if you love swimming
- Step and sleep tracking
- Reliable battery life
Smartwatches batteries can last for few hours while others for days with a single charge.
It depends also on how many features you use at the same time as some might consume more power like when you use GPS or you listen to the music.
You should check the battery ratings of the smartwatch before you buy it.
The price for smartwatches can vary from $100 to high-end models that can reach thousand dollars.
You should look for the one that fits for you consider that the expensive models have the same features as the cheaper ones. The higher price can be attributed to the brand name, the material and the straps. To get something in the middle which is not top range but still valuable I would suggest a price around $300.
Some disadvantages to consider
Typically, smartwatches can only be used 1 to 2 days after a full
charge especially if you use power consuming features. If you forgot to charge it, you’ll end up having a dead watch the next day. So be sure to check the battery life of the device and opt for something that has a battery life of 6 days and up at least.
Sometimes it might take a while before your watch acquires a satellite signal especially if you run through a shaded wooded area or on just a cloudy day. Small screen is another disadvantage as sometimes we might feel that everything is contained in a small space of a smartwatch display.
To scroll some features you might need time to understand each functions connected to the buttons. Unfortunately many smartwatch tests shows that the data is not 100% accurate because of some inaccuracy in some heart rate sensor and some step calculator.
Are you ready to buy your new smartwatch? I hope you have a better idea about smartwatches and if you would like to take your fitness experience to the next level you might get one at some stage. Smartwatches can help you to get more motivated, to better keep track of your training, to plan your session in advance and to share many functions with your smartphone.
To start with you don’t need to buy a top high quality watch but just one with some important features that we’ve mentioned above and you are ready to run. I have personally achieved many improvements since I have used a smartwatch during my training sessions and I hope that you can share your experience with us even if you are using one already. Please leave a comment if you wish and see you on the next healthy episode!