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Fitness watch concept

What I learned in 12 months using a fitness watch

I have now used a fitness watch for more than 12 months. During that time I have felt excitement, annoyance, and a sense of achievement. All bundled in a mix. You know, like many others, I bought the fitness watch with no clear idea of when and how I would use it. So I simply strapped it on the day I got it and left it at that. For some weeks it was eye-opening to observe how many steps I took daily. But then, I realized that I’d be better off combining it with some fitness goals, and this is where my learned lessons started piling up. Let’s go through them, hopefully, they will help you to assess how (and if) you can use a fitness watch.

Such a more versatile usage

If I want to count the number of steps I take daily, I might as well use the fitness app installed on my smartphone. We all have them. And they use a combination of sensors to count how many steps you take daily. Sure, they are not as accurate if you don’t wear some sort of bracelet (or fitness watch). But, it gives a good enough indicator to see how much daily movement (not fitness exercises) I got. This was the reason why I stopped wearing the fitness watch every day, and all the time. Instead, I developed a plan to use it with my fitness regimen.

Running time and step counter with pulse checking

I have one of the cheaper fitness watches. I just did not want to spend an amount of money equivalent to the price of a cheaper laptop on this gadget. Call it being functional and economical (inspired by my blog post, (track your expenses and get your finances and health in control). So, with this being said, I honed in on the two features of my fitness watch that stood out as features worthy of my attention when I sweat through my fitness sessions.

The first one was simply the step counter in combination with the “run program” feature. I can time my jogs, get a total time as well as several steps and the average speed. Since the fitness watch measures the steps so much more accurately, I enabled myself to measure my jogging ability progress over time. This was highly appreciated!

Checking my pulse

Secondly, with the pulse check, I can check my pulse as I go jogging, as well as when I do any of my strength, flexibility, or cardio fitness sessions. As we are all aware, checking the pulse is a valuable indicator of general health. With my recorded pulse (in beats per minute), I have enjoyed with satisfaction that my heart rate hovered over a healthy count of beats per minute.

Now what?

The future of my usage of a fitness watch is pretty well mapped out. I only wear it during jogging or one of my fitness sessions. I store data and compare it with historical data, to find indicators of progress (don’t we all!) and spot any deviating pulse counts or slower jogging paces. In the future, I will create a statistical analysis of my health (according to these two indicators, jogging speeds, and pulse in bpm), and map it to the different fitness exercises. For this to be of any use, I will need to use it for a longer time in my planned fitness sessions so that I have data that is comparable (same type of fitness exercise, over similar times of day, and in different seasons).

I hope this gave you some insights and thoughts for consideration, for your potential purchase of a fitness watch.

Paul-Christian Markovski, for ITProWorkout.com