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Sometimes Old Is New Again, Especially In A Fitness Watch Like the Garmin Forerunner 235!

We live in a society that is obsessed with having the latest and greatest of just about everything. From the latest iPhone, regardless of the cost. I’m no judge but I may think more than twice or three times before shelling out a grand for a phone that when you get past all the bells and whistles, we ALL started off just looking into getting something that we could make just make calls with right?

The same can be said for our cars, whether it’s a Sedan, SUV, or Truck. They can do just about everything from parking themselves into a hard to get into parking space (whatever happened to practicing a “K” turn in order to pass a driving’s test)?.

And the same is happening to our fitness trackers as well. Now, don’t get me wrong. Technology is a great thing. It’s taken us from a static world to one that just about any kind of information is available to us within virtually seconds, or Nanoseconds (What’s a Nano? :)). Fitness watches have come such a long way from just telling time and tracking our steps and the calories burned, like a fancy pedometer. Now, you can track your VO2 levels, your target heart performance zones, even your stress levels, that may go up and down depending on whether your boss, significant other is on your case again.

Let’s face it, these days we expect running/activity watches to be more than distance and pace trackers. Increasingly, we want them to coach us too, with insights on how to improve form and train smarter.

It’s why the latest devices offer ever-more-detailed running dynamics, heart rate analysis and training feedback. It’s why you’d also think that a watch launched more than two years ago might struggle to keep up. But, not so dear reader. Let's take a look at the Garmin Forerunner 235 . Let’s be clear, there are more watches out there that are loaded with the latest and greatest that technology can offer, Garmin Forerunner 645 for a start, which means the 235 isn’t even close to the latest Garmin watch money can buy, but before you click away in a fit of I gotta have the latest and greatest fitness watch out there, it’s worth giving the Forerunner 235 a closer look, because this is a powerful watch with a lot going for it. Not the least its price!

Because of the Forerunner 235’s has been around for a while, you can pick it up much cheaper than its original launch cost of about $329.99, based on various vendors pricing structure. It launched toward the end of 2015, so it's almost three years old now.

We’ve seen it drop below its original price for a while now, so if you’re looking for lots of run-tracking capability but on a budget, this pricing drop should make it a very attractive option.

Let's go back over the features of the Garmin Forerunner 235  Built-in GPS and Strapless Heart Rate, the Garmin Forerunner 235 is a must-have for any fitness person who is looking for valuable feedback during a run or post run or hardworking exercise routine.

GPS Running Watch with Wrist-based Heart Rate
Tracks distance, pace, time, heart rate and more
Connected features: automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking, audio prompts, smart notifications, and social media sharing
Activity tracking counts daily steps, distance, calories, and sleep
Download data fields, watch faces, widgets, and applications from Connect IQ
Crisp color screen
Comfortable silicone strap, which is also interchangeable

Sport watches are rarely stylish and though the Forerunner 235 is still unmistakably a Garmin, it’s among the better-looking run trackers you can buy. It comes in three color combinations: black and frost blue, black and red and black and grey, and there’s some smart subtlety to the latter two.

There’s a classic round-faced, 1.23-inch diameter color screen that’s crisp and easy to read in most light, with enough real estate to display up to four stats on two customizable screens.

No touch screen but you get five side buttons to navigate your way through Garmin’s relatively simple menus.

The perforated soft silicone strap makes for a more comfortable, less sweaty run, particularly useful over longer distances and considering you’ll need to wear this a little tighter on the wrist to get the best accuracy from the built-in optical heart rate sensor.

The buttons are responsive and easy enough to use on the move though and the whole thing weighs in at just 42g, which makes it one of the lighter watches you can strap on.

Forerunner 235 Heart rate:
Useful 24/7 heart rate tracking
VO2 Max scores

The Garmin Forerunner 235 tracks heart rate (HR) from the wrist, though you can also pair ANT+ chest straps if you prefer the high-accuracy this brings.

This tracker was one of the earlier devices to embrace the Mio optical heart rate sensors in favor of Garmin Elevate sensor technology.

Compare the 235 against the Polar M430 over a range of tests, including a marathon distance run.

The devices performed fairly consistently. Garmin clocked the average HR at 154bpm and Max HR at 179bpm while the Polar M430 registered a 154bpm average but a Max HR of 172bpm. Anecdotally during the run the Polar seemed to run at 3-4bpm lower than the Garmin.
Both devices offer resting heart rate (RHR) tracking and when we came to compare them, both gave identical readings but the way Garmin highlights this hugely useful benchmark for health and fitness is much better.

In fact, the continuous 24/7 heart rate tracking on the Forerunner 235 is one of the best we’ve seen for monitoring your progress and spotting things like potential over-training and incoming colds.

With the touch of a button you get a read out of your current heart rate, highs and lows, your average RHR and a visual showing the last 4 hours. You can then tap for a chart of your RHR over the last 7 days.

Resting heart rate high that morning? That’s a sign you might want to skip a training session or ease off the intensity, and the Forerunner 235 makes that a much easier decision. This is definitely an added bonus when seeing a potential problem that you can alert a physician too, if it becomes a regular occurrence!

Run tracking and running metrics:
GPS locks on quickly
Accuracy seems reasonable
There are four sports modes: Run, Run Indoor, Cycle and Other, and it’s really useful that you can customize two data screens with up to four fields to create your own preferred displays for each of these.

Indoor runs are tracked by the onboard accelerometer while GLONASS and GPS provide the usual outdoor pace, distance and speed metrics. In our treadmill test, the Garmin was within 5% on total distance, though unsurprisingly the pacing rarely matched the treadmills.

Outdoors we consistently see a rapid GPS fix, though when it came to accuracy there were some question marks. For example, on our marathon test, running an officially measured course, the Forerunner 235 clocked our distance at 41.96km, short of the 42.195km. But again, stacked up against watches of a far greater price range, this was within an acceptable level.

In addition to distance, time, pace and calories, during your run, or rigorous exercise routines like HITT or CrossFit training, you can also see cadence, heart rate, and heart rate zone and there are customizable audio and vibrating alerts to help guide you on target pace and heart rate.

You can store up to 200 hours of activity on the watch itself giving you plenty of data should you wish to dig for insights from your past runs or fitness routines from the wrist, though with instant updates via your smartphone’s Bluetooth to Garmin Connect you might not need that.

How Active You Are:
Tracks your steps and distance all day
Shows how active you've been at a glance
The Forerunner 235 isn’t just a running watch, it’s also a comprehensive activity tracker that learns your daily patterns and automatically sets your step goals to strive for.

The main screen features an inactivity bar that creeps around the watch face when you’re on your backside, plus the accelerometer will keep tabs on your overall step count and distance covered during the day. All of which you can access with two taps of the left-hand arrow button to take you to a display.


Battery life and charging
Enough battery to last an average week!
The proprietary charger like all other Garmins
When it comes to endurance, Garmin claims the Forerunner 235 can last up to 9 days in watch mode and up to 11 hours in GPS mode with the heart rate monitor in use.

It was tested over a normal training week starting on Sunday with a long 1.5-hour run, with three short midweek runs of up to an hour and then normal daily usage in between. It performed well and did all we expected it to do, then we put it back on the charging dock before the following week’s Sunday run.

We also tried it out on a marathon, taking it off the dock at 6.30am on race day. It had no trouble tracking a 4-hour marathon and made it through to Wednesday with normal activity tracking and smartphone notifications on before it finally died. It’s more than capable of coping with an average training week, and it could potentially handle a 100km ultra for faster runners.

Bottom Line:
The Garmin Forerunner 235 delivers enough training insights to satisfy runners at most levels, right up to those shooting for personal bests at the faster end of the pack.

It’s a great tool for those who take performance at least semi-seriously more than casual fitness enthusiasts, as there are cheaper options for those who really only want to know how far, fast and hard they’ve worked.

The 11-hour battery life could potentially make it suitable for faster ultra-runners tackling runs up to 100km, but its skills are more suited to tarmac than the trail.

The Forerunner 235 has carried itself well during the past 3 years. This is a great running tool that’s still very competitive. In fact, if you don’t care about some of the more complex running dynamics we’re seeing offered on newer models, then this should definitely be the one you should consider strapping on your own wrist.

Read more

We live in a society that is obsessed with having the latest and greatest of just about everything. From the latest iPhone, regardless of the cost. I’m no judge but I may think more than twice or three times before shelling out a grand for a phone that when you get past all the bells and whistles, we ALL started off just looking into getting something that we could make just make calls with right?

The same can be said for our cars, whether it’s a Sedan, SUV, or Truck. They can do just about everything from parking themselves into a hard to get into parking space (whatever happened to practicing a “K” turn in order to pass a driving’s test)?.

And the same is happening to our fitness trackers as well. Now, don’t get me wrong. Technology is a great thing. It’s taken us from a static world to one that just about any kind of information is available to us within virtually seconds, or Nanoseconds (What’s a Nano? :)). Fitness watches have come such a long way from just telling time and tracking our steps and the calories burned, like a fancy pedometer. Now, you can track your VO2 levels, your target heart performance zones, even your stress levels, that may go up and down depending on whether your boss, significant other is on your case again.

Let’s face it, these days we expect running/activity watches to be more than distance and pace trackers. Increasingly, we want them to coach us too, with insights on how to improve form and train smarter.

It’s why the latest devices offer ever-more-detailed running dynamics, heart rate analysis and training feedback. It’s why you’d also think that a watch launched more than two years ago might struggle to keep up. But, not so dear reader. Let's take a look at the Garmin Forerunner 235 . Let’s be clear, there are more watches out there that are loaded with the latest and greatest that technology can offer, Garmin Forerunner 645 for a start, which means the 235 isn’t even close to the latest Garmin watch money can buy, but before you click away in a fit of I gotta have the latest and greatest fitness watch out there, it’s worth giving the Forerunner 235 a closer look, because this is a powerful watch with a lot going for it. Not the least its price!

Because of the Forerunner 235’s has been around for a while, you can pick it up much cheaper than its original launch cost of about $329.99, based on various vendors pricing structure. It launched toward the end of 2015, so it's almost three years old now.

We’ve seen it drop below its original price for a while now, so if you’re looking for lots of run-tracking capability but on a budget, this pricing drop should make it a very attractive option.

Let's go back over the features of the Garmin Forerunner 235  Built-in GPS and Strapless Heart Rate, the Garmin Forerunner 235 is a must-have for any fitness person who is looking for valuable feedback during a run or post run or hardworking exercise routine.

GPS Running Watch with Wrist-based Heart Rate
Tracks distance, pace, time, heart rate and more
Connected features: automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking, audio prompts, smart notifications, and social media sharing
Activity tracking counts daily steps, distance, calories, and sleep
Download data fields, watch faces, widgets, and applications from Connect IQ
Crisp color screen
Comfortable silicone strap, which is also interchangeable

Sport watches are rarely stylish and though the Forerunner 235 is still unmistakably a Garmin, it’s among the better-looking run trackers you can buy. It comes in three color combinations: black and frost blue, black and red and black and grey, and there’s some smart subtlety to the latter two.

There’s a classic round-faced, 1.23-inch diameter color screen that’s crisp and easy to read in most light, with enough real estate to display up to four stats on two customizable screens.

No touch screen but you get five side buttons to navigate your way through Garmin’s relatively simple menus.

The perforated soft silicone strap makes for a more comfortable, less sweaty run, particularly useful over longer distances and considering you’ll need to wear this a little tighter on the wrist to get the best accuracy from the built-in optical heart rate sensor.

The buttons are responsive and easy enough to use on the move though and the whole thing weighs in at just 42g, which makes it one of the lighter watches you can strap on.

Forerunner 235 Heart rate:
Useful 24/7 heart rate tracking
VO2 Max scores

The Garmin Forerunner 235 tracks heart rate (HR) from the wrist, though you can also pair ANT+ chest straps if you prefer the high-accuracy this brings.

This tracker was one of the earlier devices to embrace the Mio optical heart rate sensors in favor of Garmin Elevate sensor technology.

Compare the 235 against the Polar M430 over a range of tests, including a marathon distance run.

The devices performed fairly consistently. Garmin clocked the average HR at 154bpm and Max HR at 179bpm while the Polar M430 registered a 154bpm average but a Max HR of 172bpm. Anecdotally during the run the Polar seemed to run at 3-4bpm lower than the Garmin.
Both devices offer resting heart rate (RHR) tracking and when we came to compare them, both gave identical readings but the way Garmin highlights this hugely useful benchmark for health and fitness is much better.

In fact, the continuous 24/7 heart rate tracking on the Forerunner 235 is one of the best we’ve seen for monitoring your progress and spotting things like potential over-training and incoming colds.

With the touch of a button you get a read out of your current heart rate, highs and lows, your average RHR and a visual showing the last 4 hours. You can then tap for a chart of your RHR over the last 7 days.

Resting heart rate high that morning? That’s a sign you might want to skip a training session or ease off the intensity, and the Forerunner 235 makes that a much easier decision. This is definitely an added bonus when seeing a potential problem that you can alert a physician too, if it becomes a regular occurrence!

Run tracking and running metrics:
GPS locks on quickly
Accuracy seems reasonable
There are four sports modes: Run, Run Indoor, Cycle and Other, and it’s really useful that you can customize two data screens with up to four fields to create your own preferred displays for each of these.

Indoor runs are tracked by the onboard accelerometer while GLONASS and GPS provide the usual outdoor pace, distance and speed metrics. In our treadmill test, the Garmin was within 5% on total distance, though unsurprisingly the pacing rarely matched the treadmills.

Outdoors we consistently see a rapid GPS fix, though when it came to accuracy there were some question marks. For example, on our marathon test, running an officially measured course, the Forerunner 235 clocked our distance at 41.96km, short of the 42.195km. But again, stacked up against watches of a far greater price range, this was within an acceptable level.

In addition to distance, time, pace and calories, during your run, or rigorous exercise routines like HITT or CrossFit training, you can also see cadence, heart rate, and heart rate zone and there are customizable audio and vibrating alerts to help guide you on target pace and heart rate.

You can store up to 200 hours of activity on the watch itself giving you plenty of data should you wish to dig for insights from your past runs or fitness routines from the wrist, though with instant updates via your smartphone’s Bluetooth to Garmin Connect you might not need that.

How Active You Are:
Tracks your steps and distance all day
Shows how active you've been at a glance
The Forerunner 235 isn’t just a running watch, it’s also a comprehensive activity tracker that learns your daily patterns and automatically sets your step goals to strive for.

The main screen features an inactivity bar that creeps around the watch face when you’re on your backside, plus the accelerometer will keep tabs on your overall step count and distance covered during the day. All of which you can access with two taps of the left-hand arrow button to take you to a display.


Battery life and charging
Enough battery to last an average week!
The proprietary charger like all other Garmins
When it comes to endurance, Garmin claims the Forerunner 235 can last up to 9 days in watch mode and up to 11 hours in GPS mode with the heart rate monitor in use.

It was tested over a normal training week starting on Sunday with a long 1.5-hour run, with three short midweek runs of up to an hour and then normal daily usage in between. It performed well and did all we expected it to do, then we put it back on the charging dock before the following week’s Sunday run.

We also tried it out on a marathon, taking it off the dock at 6.30am on race day. It had no trouble tracking a 4-hour marathon and made it through to Wednesday with normal activity tracking and smartphone notifications on before it finally died. It’s more than capable of coping with an average training week, and it could potentially handle a 100km ultra for faster runners.

Bottom Line:
The Garmin Forerunner 235 delivers enough training insights to satisfy runners at most levels, right up to those shooting for personal bests at the faster end of the pack.

It’s a great tool for those who take performance at least semi-seriously more than casual fitness enthusiasts, as there are cheaper options for those who really only want to know how far, fast and hard they’ve worked.

The 11-hour battery life could potentially make it suitable for faster ultra-runners tackling runs up to 100km, but its skills are more suited to tarmac than the trail.

The Forerunner 235 has carried itself well during the past 3 years. This is a great running tool that’s still very competitive. In fact, if you don’t care about some of the more complex running dynamics we’re seeing offered on newer models, then this should definitely be the one you should consider strapping on your own wrist.

Read more

Going On A Fitness Run? Why Not Make It A Plogging Run?

What, you don’t know what Plogging is? Well, it’s a fairly new term that originated in Sweden. The word plogging fuses "plocka" and "jogga," meaning "picking (up)" and "jogging" in Swedish. Being as “Eco-Friendly” as the Swedes are, they combined these words to come up with another benefit besides becoming healthier when going out on a run, they pick up roadside trash and turn their solo run into a social event.

This new fad is gaining ground in the United States. After all, haven’t you frowned while your out there on a run and see a discarded coffee cup, or a soda or six-pack ring lying on the ground as you pass by? An avid runner, Colin Cooley co-founder of Wicked+, a creative and communications agency formed the plogging group Wicked+ Run Club as a way to bring together a group of local runners on a weekly basis and do some good. For their part, they pick up litter along their local beaches.

You too can participate in this new way to help the environment and “Mother Earth” at the same time. And yes, on this one day a week, your time and distance is probably going to drop off quite a bit, but everyone needs a “rest-day” when you can get out there and just enjoy a jog, instead of a fast-paced run. And why not ask a few friends to join you like Mr. Cooley did and pick a route that you know could use some care-taking attention. If you contact your local environmental agency, they may be able to supply you with bags to deposit the trash that you pick up along the way and coordinate a drop-off point where the agency can follow you at a later time or day and pick up what you have collected.

And there really are other fitness related benefits to beginning a running day of plogging. From a medical standpoint, plogging (or how about ‘plalking’, which would be walking and picking up litter) naturally emulates human body mechanics,” says Dr. Barbara Bergin, an orthopedic surgeon. “Our prehistoric ancestors walked long distances, and from time to time, would bend over to pick up fruit and nuts and bugs from the ground to eat.”

Plogging is multitasking in its best form. Dr. Bergin also notes the stretching benefits that the plogging may provide. “Bending overstretches the back, buttocks, hamstrings, and calves. Plogging is multitasking in its best form. And since your working a possible new route and probably depositing your bags of reclaimed litter from the day’s outing. You want to make sure you and your friends know just where you are in relation to the trail and your pickup/drop-off point.

If your friends are “game” once your free and clear of your bags of captured trash. There’s no reason you can’t make the distance back to your vehicles into a “Best Time” run. And using a GPS enabled running watch like the Garmin Forerunner 630  will let you know just where you are when you are. And this type of Smartwatch can be your constant fitness companion keeping track of all your important stats so that they’re available to you when you want them. And if you’d like to pick up the pace a bit more from your slower pace when you were picking up that trash, the Forerunner 630 provides you with advanced running dynamics¹ including ground contact time balance, stride length and vertical ratio. When your all participating in this Plogging adventure you can all upload your data to Garmin Connect and compare each other’s performance.

So are you ready to get your Plogging team together and do your eco-part to beautify your running route? Go ahead, get your friends involved and I bet your all going to feel pretty good about yourselves once your all sitting back in your cars with that satisfied smile on your faces.

Your Plogging companions here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com!

Read more

What, you don’t know what Plogging is? Well, it’s a fairly new term that originated in Sweden. The word plogging fuses "plocka" and "jogga," meaning "picking (up)" and "jogging" in Swedish. Being as “Eco-Friendly” as the Swedes are, they combined these words to come up with another benefit besides becoming healthier when going out on a run, they pick up roadside trash and turn their solo run into a social event.

This new fad is gaining ground in the United States. After all, haven’t you frowned while your out there on a run and see a discarded coffee cup, or a soda or six-pack ring lying on the ground as you pass by? An avid runner, Colin Cooley co-founder of Wicked+, a creative and communications agency formed the plogging group Wicked+ Run Club as a way to bring together a group of local runners on a weekly basis and do some good. For their part, they pick up litter along their local beaches.

You too can participate in this new way to help the environment and “Mother Earth” at the same time. And yes, on this one day a week, your time and distance is probably going to drop off quite a bit, but everyone needs a “rest-day” when you can get out there and just enjoy a jog, instead of a fast-paced run. And why not ask a few friends to join you like Mr. Cooley did and pick a route that you know could use some care-taking attention. If you contact your local environmental agency, they may be able to supply you with bags to deposit the trash that you pick up along the way and coordinate a drop-off point where the agency can follow you at a later time or day and pick up what you have collected.

And there really are other fitness related benefits to beginning a running day of plogging. From a medical standpoint, plogging (or how about ‘plalking’, which would be walking and picking up litter) naturally emulates human body mechanics,” says Dr. Barbara Bergin, an orthopedic surgeon. “Our prehistoric ancestors walked long distances, and from time to time, would bend over to pick up fruit and nuts and bugs from the ground to eat.”

Plogging is multitasking in its best form. Dr. Bergin also notes the stretching benefits that the plogging may provide. “Bending overstretches the back, buttocks, hamstrings, and calves. Plogging is multitasking in its best form. And since your working a possible new route and probably depositing your bags of reclaimed litter from the day’s outing. You want to make sure you and your friends know just where you are in relation to the trail and your pickup/drop-off point.

If your friends are “game” once your free and clear of your bags of captured trash. There’s no reason you can’t make the distance back to your vehicles into a “Best Time” run. And using a GPS enabled running watch like the Garmin Forerunner 630  will let you know just where you are when you are. And this type of Smartwatch can be your constant fitness companion keeping track of all your important stats so that they’re available to you when you want them. And if you’d like to pick up the pace a bit more from your slower pace when you were picking up that trash, the Forerunner 630 provides you with advanced running dynamics¹ including ground contact time balance, stride length and vertical ratio. When your all participating in this Plogging adventure you can all upload your data to Garmin Connect and compare each other’s performance.

So are you ready to get your Plogging team together and do your eco-part to beautify your running route? Go ahead, get your friends involved and I bet your all going to feel pretty good about yourselves once your all sitting back in your cars with that satisfied smile on your faces.

Your Plogging companions here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com!

Read more

So Are You An Iron Man/Woman?

You’ve thought about it, and now that it’s the end of March and Springtime weather just can’t be that far off, at least in the northeast,-we hope! You’ve made up your mind to get yourself in shape to take on your first triathlon. You’ve done some quick internet checking and are frankly pretty amazed at just how many triathlons there are in the northeastern part of the U.S. and with a little help, your shooting for the month of June, which is about 12 weeks out. So, 3 months is not a lot of time to prepare for this “Bucket-List” goal, but it is achievable. Like we said above, with a little help.

And the training just might be a bit easier than you think, even if you're currently not in the best of shape, after spending most of the winter watching “Netflix” while sitting on the couch. But, we are here to help and listed below are a few of what we feel are the must-haves to help you compete in your first triathlon. And these recommendations, won’t cost you, your bank savings, or take all of your time away from those episodes of your favorite shows, well maybe a little time away, but you’ve got “TiVo” right??

The Essential Gear
You do need some basic equipment for your first triathlon. This equipment doesn't have to be expensive and it can be borrowed to save money:

Swimsuit, goggles, and I recommend a cap if you have long hair. Now, this depends on the course that you're signing up for. The earlier in the year, a swimsuit is a great idea. It will help to keep the cold at bay. However, if you're participating at a time of the year when the waters are already getting warm, you can probably skip this item. But I would recommend using the goggles to keep the water out of your eyes to be able to see where you’re going as your swimming the allotted course. This should also help you with your time in the water!

A bicycle that fits you and is in good working order. This can be a road bike, a mountain bike or a hybrid, really the sky's the limit, along with the size of your wallet. You can use a time trial bike if you have one, or have access to one, but a special triathlon or time trial bicycle is not necessary. Again, I have found it worthwhile to work with the local shops. First, they appreciate your business, and also, the staff working in these home-grown businesses, usually use what they sell. You should be able to get some good advice on how to properly fit you for the bike for your body structure. And you never know, they might offer you a discount if you wear one of their custom jerseys during the event to help market their shop!

Cycling shorts for training. A decent pair of cycling shorts, worn sans underwear, can make riding more comfortable, and they help prevent saddle sores.
You can use clipless pedals and cycling shoes, but these are not a "must have" item.
You also want to keep in mind how often you’re going to undertake these races. If your going to be doing a couple of them a year, then invest in the clipless pedals and shoes, in the long run, they can help you shave some time off your race.

A water bottle for use on your long bike rides. But regardless, it’s a good idea to have one with you, and filled with either water or for longer and tougher endurance triathlons one with an energy booster like Nuun Active Electrolyte Tablets  These energy laced tablets are loaded with electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to help you stay properly hydrated throughout your race day, while your training or just going out to explore new trails!

Running Shoes, a good, fitted pair. You don't have to spend $200 to get a great pair of shoes, but you do need a pair of shoes that are made for running and that fit your feet. The best resource for shoes is a local running store. Make sure their staff is knowledgeable and can not only fit your foot for the proper size but have the ability to analyze your pressure points, preferably with an "In-Store" treadmill.  You may pay a bit more for this kind of specialized fitting, but in the long run (get the pun here?) it will be worth it!

How Much Time??
If your fitness has been dormant for quite a while, it's good to give yourself those 12 weeks to get in shape and minimize the chances of injury, this is really the minimum. These triathlon events really do take a lot out of you and you need to be back in condition to be able to tackle these events. In 12 weeks you can condition tendons, ligaments and your endurance so that you can enjoy the race. If you can commit to training five days per week—two and a half to four hours per week—that's plenty of time to get in shape.

Yes, that's right, no more than around four hours in the biggest training week.

Weekday workouts need only be 30 to 45 minutes and weekends can be used to build your endurance. Your longest workout, a bike ride, only needs to be between one and a half to two hours. Now again, these are really the minimums in order to get you to perform in a way that you’re not going to end up short come race day. That’s the last thing you want to have happened.

Out of the five weekly workouts, make two of them swim workouts. Now, this takes for granted that you’ve been in a pool before and have access to one to get you through your training for this event. If you haven’t been “Wet” for a while it’s a good idea to pace yourself through this 12-week course to get yourself built up to where you can, at the end of the 3 months be able to swim (10) 50 yards/meters, laps in the pool and be taking 20-30 second windbreaks in between each 50 yd. leg. In the beginning, you may need to rest for a full minute between each 50, and that’s ok, you’re going to be building yourself up so you can build up your endurance.

Make two more of the workouts run-to-bike combination workouts to build endurance and minimize injury risk.

Sample combination workouts
Combo Workout #1: (Run 1 minute, Walk 1 minute) x 5, then ride a bike for 30 minutes at an easy, conversational intensity. (Zone 1 to 2 for those with a heart rate monitor.) You can even do this workout at the gym.

And if you do have or are looking to get yourself a good Activity/Training watch. One with a “Heart Rate Monitor”. The one I like is the Garmin Forerunner 920XT Multisport GPS Watch 
This watch is water friendly, GPS to track your distance accurately and let you know where you are in relation to the course you’re on. It offers a high-resolution color display, with a flexible band that is easy to wear, and the activity tracking feature measures your steps, and even your sleep, when the training ends and you hit the sheets. This is a great Tri-Athletic training watch, as it will provide you with real-time data as you go about getting yourself ready for the big race day! Did I mention that it also provides a standard “Watch” mode so you can wear it all day long as well?

Plan to Rest
When learning how to train for a triathlon, it's tempting to add more and more circuits of training, but the body makes advances in fitness with a balance of stress and rest.

If you're planning your own training schedule, be sure to add recovery days and reduced volume rest weeks to allow your body to rebuild and get stronger. Remember, even a farmer left his plow-horse rest on Sundays, so they could benefit from a day of rest before they started their workload all over again!

Nutrition also plays a big part in providing the right combination of fuels to power your body through the vigorous demands you're going to be putting it through. For now, we’re going to leave that topic for another blog post, but eating the right balance of protein, good carbs and drinking enough fluids is important as you go through this training regimen of preparing your body for your first triathlon.

Get ready, Get Set, Train!

 

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You’ve thought about it, and now that it’s the end of March and Springtime weather just can’t be that far off, at least in the northeast,-we hope! You’ve made up your mind to get yourself in shape to take on your first triathlon. You’ve done some quick internet checking and are frankly pretty amazed at just how many triathlons there are in the northeastern part of the U.S. and with a little help, your shooting for the month of June, which is about 12 weeks out. So, 3 months is not a lot of time to prepare for this “Bucket-List” goal, but it is achievable. Like we said above, with a little help.

And the training just might be a bit easier than you think, even if you're currently not in the best of shape, after spending most of the winter watching “Netflix” while sitting on the couch. But, we are here to help and listed below are a few of what we feel are the must-haves to help you compete in your first triathlon. And these recommendations, won’t cost you, your bank savings, or take all of your time away from those episodes of your favorite shows, well maybe a little time away, but you’ve got “TiVo” right??

The Essential Gear
You do need some basic equipment for your first triathlon. This equipment doesn't have to be expensive and it can be borrowed to save money:

Swimsuit, goggles, and I recommend a cap if you have long hair. Now, this depends on the course that you're signing up for. The earlier in the year, a swimsuit is a great idea. It will help to keep the cold at bay. However, if you're participating at a time of the year when the waters are already getting warm, you can probably skip this item. But I would recommend using the goggles to keep the water out of your eyes to be able to see where you’re going as your swimming the allotted course. This should also help you with your time in the water!

A bicycle that fits you and is in good working order. This can be a road bike, a mountain bike or a hybrid, really the sky's the limit, along with the size of your wallet. You can use a time trial bike if you have one, or have access to one, but a special triathlon or time trial bicycle is not necessary. Again, I have found it worthwhile to work with the local shops. First, they appreciate your business, and also, the staff working in these home-grown businesses, usually use what they sell. You should be able to get some good advice on how to properly fit you for the bike for your body structure. And you never know, they might offer you a discount if you wear one of their custom jerseys during the event to help market their shop!

Cycling shorts for training. A decent pair of cycling shorts, worn sans underwear, can make riding more comfortable, and they help prevent saddle sores.
You can use clipless pedals and cycling shoes, but these are not a "must have" item.
You also want to keep in mind how often you’re going to undertake these races. If your going to be doing a couple of them a year, then invest in the clipless pedals and shoes, in the long run, they can help you shave some time off your race.

A water bottle for use on your long bike rides. But regardless, it’s a good idea to have one with you, and filled with either water or for longer and tougher endurance triathlons one with an energy booster like Nuun Active Electrolyte Tablets  These energy laced tablets are loaded with electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to help you stay properly hydrated throughout your race day, while your training or just going out to explore new trails!

Running Shoes, a good, fitted pair. You don't have to spend $200 to get a great pair of shoes, but you do need a pair of shoes that are made for running and that fit your feet. The best resource for shoes is a local running store. Make sure their staff is knowledgeable and can not only fit your foot for the proper size but have the ability to analyze your pressure points, preferably with an "In-Store" treadmill.  You may pay a bit more for this kind of specialized fitting, but in the long run (get the pun here?) it will be worth it!

How Much Time??
If your fitness has been dormant for quite a while, it's good to give yourself those 12 weeks to get in shape and minimize the chances of injury, this is really the minimum. These triathlon events really do take a lot out of you and you need to be back in condition to be able to tackle these events. In 12 weeks you can condition tendons, ligaments and your endurance so that you can enjoy the race. If you can commit to training five days per week—two and a half to four hours per week—that's plenty of time to get in shape.

Yes, that's right, no more than around four hours in the biggest training week.

Weekday workouts need only be 30 to 45 minutes and weekends can be used to build your endurance. Your longest workout, a bike ride, only needs to be between one and a half to two hours. Now again, these are really the minimums in order to get you to perform in a way that you’re not going to end up short come race day. That’s the last thing you want to have happened.

Out of the five weekly workouts, make two of them swim workouts. Now, this takes for granted that you’ve been in a pool before and have access to one to get you through your training for this event. If you haven’t been “Wet” for a while it’s a good idea to pace yourself through this 12-week course to get yourself built up to where you can, at the end of the 3 months be able to swim (10) 50 yards/meters, laps in the pool and be taking 20-30 second windbreaks in between each 50 yd. leg. In the beginning, you may need to rest for a full minute between each 50, and that’s ok, you’re going to be building yourself up so you can build up your endurance.

Make two more of the workouts run-to-bike combination workouts to build endurance and minimize injury risk.

Sample combination workouts
Combo Workout #1: (Run 1 minute, Walk 1 minute) x 5, then ride a bike for 30 minutes at an easy, conversational intensity. (Zone 1 to 2 for those with a heart rate monitor.) You can even do this workout at the gym.

And if you do have or are looking to get yourself a good Activity/Training watch. One with a “Heart Rate Monitor”. The one I like is the Garmin Forerunner 920XT Multisport GPS Watch 
This watch is water friendly, GPS to track your distance accurately and let you know where you are in relation to the course you’re on. It offers a high-resolution color display, with a flexible band that is easy to wear, and the activity tracking feature measures your steps, and even your sleep, when the training ends and you hit the sheets. This is a great Tri-Athletic training watch, as it will provide you with real-time data as you go about getting yourself ready for the big race day! Did I mention that it also provides a standard “Watch” mode so you can wear it all day long as well?

Plan to Rest
When learning how to train for a triathlon, it's tempting to add more and more circuits of training, but the body makes advances in fitness with a balance of stress and rest.

If you're planning your own training schedule, be sure to add recovery days and reduced volume rest weeks to allow your body to rebuild and get stronger. Remember, even a farmer left his plow-horse rest on Sundays, so they could benefit from a day of rest before they started their workload all over again!

Nutrition also plays a big part in providing the right combination of fuels to power your body through the vigorous demands you're going to be putting it through. For now, we’re going to leave that topic for another blog post, but eating the right balance of protein, good carbs and drinking enough fluids is important as you go through this training regimen of preparing your body for your first triathlon.

Get ready, Get Set, Train!

 

Read more

Are Those Holiday Outfits Feeling A Little Tighter Around The Collar?

How about it, have you started enjoying those holiday meals and parties just a little too much, yet? We know that the holiday times of year usually starts off with that Thanksgiving feast. And who’s to blame you for tackling all that food that you only have the opportunity to enjoy at this time of year. But maybe, just maybe that first helping unleashed a craving for everything you enjoy about eating your holiday favorites. Not that it’s a bad thing, but for some of us, we simply cannot say no to that second helping or taking a supply of left-overs home with us to make both us, and mom happy that you enjoy her food, and you do, maybe just a little too much!

However, if you give in to eating more than you know you should be doing this time of year, it may not be too long before you start leaving that top button on your shirt collar unbuttoned, or finding that you need to squeeze into those pair of pants or skirt that only a month or two ago, fit like they were made for you. That’s got to be a big wake up call, one that you should be paying attention to and not chalking it off to well, it’s that time of year and I’ll put things to right after the holidays are past.

You aren’t destined to gain those holiday pounds you know. In fact, with the right types of exercise and planning already worked into your holiday schedule, you can maintain your fitness and waistline, while still enjoying time with family and friends. We are going to list a few things you can do to enable you to stay on track throughout the holiday season, and avoid backsliding with your health and fitness.

If you’re going to be traveling to and fro this holiday season. Planning ahead of time to have some sort of schedule of when and where you can work in your exercise routines can go a long way of keeping you focused on what your priorities are. Which also helps in keeping you aware of the fact that you want to maintain the progress you’ve worked so hard on throughout the year. After all, why would you want to put the brakes to your exercise routines and eating habits, which were part of your commitment to getting in better shape? When during a few short weeks at the end of the year, can find yourself sabotaging not only your fitness routines, but also your waistlines.

Keeping yourself on track isn’t always an easy thing, especially at this time of year. It might be a good idea to get yourself an early Christmas present. One that you can use now, and every day this year and for years to come. No, I’m not talking about a new pair of exercise shoes or a new exercise outfit. What I’m talking about is a good multifunction Activity Watch. There are many out there but one that fits the bill now, and when that sun starts to rise earlier and stay brighter later in the day and evenings is an Activity Monitor that performs tracking on multiple conditions of sports activities. I’m suggesting the Garmin Forerunner 920XT Multisport GPS Watch . It can help you be aware of what you need to do in between all the holiday visiting and partying and help you stay on track with your exercises that still need to be done, even at this festive time of the year. Then after the holidays, it can help you continue to accomplish your goals of maintaining your fitness regimen along with proper nutrition. And when the seasons turn to a warmer time of year that allows you to Bike and Swim the Forerunner 920 can be with you then, through all your different activities. It offers the most advanced training features into one unit, like VO2 Max, running dynamics, and live tracking. The 920xt even has smart notifications to keep you connected, on the run outside or in the gym!

During this time of year, you may find it’s possible to hit the gym or get outside and do some running, jogging or walking early in the morning, before your hectic day even starts. This way, if you get into the groove of an early start, you can accomplish your exercise routines without it interfering with your busy daytime commitments, which seem to escalate during this time of year. And remember, if you’re traveling and can’t get to your gym, that’s still no excuse for not exercising. In fact, you can still get a great workout in, using just your bodyweight. Bodyweight workouts can be done anywhere using little to no equipment, and usually, take 20 minutes or less.

For example, set a timer for 20 minutes and see how many times you can go through the following circuit:
10 Burpees > 20 Mountain Climbers > 30 Jumping Jacks > 40 reps jumping rope > 30 Jump Squats > 20 Pushups > 10 Reverse Lunges.

Except for the jumping rope and jacks, these can be done in any hotel/motel room, if done quietly! And it’s just enough to get the heart pumping and your muscles toned to start or finish the day

And remember, you may not have an hour at this time of year to devote to your exercise routines, but even 10-15 minutes at a time can be beneficial. And remember, some exercise is better than no exercise at all!

Now we know that at this time of year we would be labeled a “Grinch” if we told you to NOT eat those favorite foods that only come around for most of us at this time of year. But we’ve said it before and we can’t stress it enough. “Moderation” is a key element that you and everyone need to adopt and OWN during this time of year! It’s ok to have a helping of that holiday food, Aunt Mary dished out, but take a helping, albeit, a small helping so you have your taste and memory in tack and be satisfied that you did not deprive yourself.

If you keep in mind all the hard work you did this past year in getting your lifestyle turned around to a healthier one, and make “Moderation” your new keyword. You should be able to get through the holidays without too much damage. And maybe, just maybe you won’t have to invest in a larger pair of pants, slacks, or skirts, let alone one of those button extenders for your shirt collar.
Happy Holiday Season from the gang here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com!

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How about it, have you started enjoying those holiday meals and parties just a little too much, yet? We know that the holiday times of year usually starts off with that Thanksgiving feast. And who’s to blame you for tackling all that food that you only have the opportunity to enjoy at this time of year. But maybe, just maybe that first helping unleashed a craving for everything you enjoy about eating your holiday favorites. Not that it’s a bad thing, but for some of us, we simply cannot say no to that second helping or taking a supply of left-overs home with us to make both us, and mom happy that you enjoy her food, and you do, maybe just a little too much!

However, if you give in to eating more than you know you should be doing this time of year, it may not be too long before you start leaving that top button on your shirt collar unbuttoned, or finding that you need to squeeze into those pair of pants or skirt that only a month or two ago, fit like they were made for you. That’s got to be a big wake up call, one that you should be paying attention to and not chalking it off to well, it’s that time of year and I’ll put things to right after the holidays are past.

You aren’t destined to gain those holiday pounds you know. In fact, with the right types of exercise and planning already worked into your holiday schedule, you can maintain your fitness and waistline, while still enjoying time with family and friends. We are going to list a few things you can do to enable you to stay on track throughout the holiday season, and avoid backsliding with your health and fitness.

If you’re going to be traveling to and fro this holiday season. Planning ahead of time to have some sort of schedule of when and where you can work in your exercise routines can go a long way of keeping you focused on what your priorities are. Which also helps in keeping you aware of the fact that you want to maintain the progress you’ve worked so hard on throughout the year. After all, why would you want to put the brakes to your exercise routines and eating habits, which were part of your commitment to getting in better shape? When during a few short weeks at the end of the year, can find yourself sabotaging not only your fitness routines, but also your waistlines.

Keeping yourself on track isn’t always an easy thing, especially at this time of year. It might be a good idea to get yourself an early Christmas present. One that you can use now, and every day this year and for years to come. No, I’m not talking about a new pair of exercise shoes or a new exercise outfit. What I’m talking about is a good multifunction Activity Watch. There are many out there but one that fits the bill now, and when that sun starts to rise earlier and stay brighter later in the day and evenings is an Activity Monitor that performs tracking on multiple conditions of sports activities. I’m suggesting the Garmin Forerunner 920XT Multisport GPS Watch . It can help you be aware of what you need to do in between all the holiday visiting and partying and help you stay on track with your exercises that still need to be done, even at this festive time of the year. Then after the holidays, it can help you continue to accomplish your goals of maintaining your fitness regimen along with proper nutrition. And when the seasons turn to a warmer time of year that allows you to Bike and Swim the Forerunner 920 can be with you then, through all your different activities. It offers the most advanced training features into one unit, like VO2 Max, running dynamics, and live tracking. The 920xt even has smart notifications to keep you connected, on the run outside or in the gym!

During this time of year, you may find it’s possible to hit the gym or get outside and do some running, jogging or walking early in the morning, before your hectic day even starts. This way, if you get into the groove of an early start, you can accomplish your exercise routines without it interfering with your busy daytime commitments, which seem to escalate during this time of year. And remember, if you’re traveling and can’t get to your gym, that’s still no excuse for not exercising. In fact, you can still get a great workout in, using just your bodyweight. Bodyweight workouts can be done anywhere using little to no equipment, and usually, take 20 minutes or less.

For example, set a timer for 20 minutes and see how many times you can go through the following circuit:
10 Burpees > 20 Mountain Climbers > 30 Jumping Jacks > 40 reps jumping rope > 30 Jump Squats > 20 Pushups > 10 Reverse Lunges.

Except for the jumping rope and jacks, these can be done in any hotel/motel room, if done quietly! And it’s just enough to get the heart pumping and your muscles toned to start or finish the day

And remember, you may not have an hour at this time of year to devote to your exercise routines, but even 10-15 minutes at a time can be beneficial. And remember, some exercise is better than no exercise at all!

Now we know that at this time of year we would be labeled a “Grinch” if we told you to NOT eat those favorite foods that only come around for most of us at this time of year. But we’ve said it before and we can’t stress it enough. “Moderation” is a key element that you and everyone need to adopt and OWN during this time of year! It’s ok to have a helping of that holiday food, Aunt Mary dished out, but take a helping, albeit, a small helping so you have your taste and memory in tack and be satisfied that you did not deprive yourself.

If you keep in mind all the hard work you did this past year in getting your lifestyle turned around to a healthier one, and make “Moderation” your new keyword. You should be able to get through the holidays without too much damage. And maybe, just maybe you won’t have to invest in a larger pair of pants, slacks, or skirts, let alone one of those button extenders for your shirt collar.
Happy Holiday Season from the gang here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com!

Read more

If Your Into Healthy...

Than Your Fitness Watch Should Be ON Your Wrist, NOT Left In A Drawer!

I know, most everyone from time to time has tried to get on the fitness treadmill. But there always seems to be something that takes you off that healthy track and into the “Jungle of Guilt” where you’ve labored for a while, even though your intentions were good, you slipped over to the “Dark Side” of eating those “Fatty Foods” again and seeing yourself entering the movie theater instead of going inside your gym.

Some of us have used incentives to motivate ourselves into getting healthy by purchasing the latest and greatest fitness watch, aka… Activity Monitor. Sure, you made sure it has all the bells and whistles, even has a heart rate monitor too, cause you’re gonna make sure you're working out to your fullest.

But you soon find out that even the best fitness monitors are like gym memberships. In the beginning, their shiny, new and you like showing it off as you work out, especially when you're amongst your fellow “Grunters and Sweaters” at the gym. Then, three months later you find that the novelty wears off and you realize that you haven't developed the body of a chiseled athlete and bit by bit you're visits to the gym are getting less frequent.

Well, you’re not alone, there are stats out there that show that most people, who make the purchase of an activity monitor whether it be a Gamin, or a Fitbit,  or some other popular fitness device, actually stop using them within the first 6 months!

So, how do you fix it so that you’re not one of the fitness wannabe’s out there that has their fitness watch laying alongside their old Timex? The answer is really simple. It’s all about what you want and your commitment to getting there. You need to approach your new fitness tracker, no matter the brand, (Naturally we like the two Brands we’ve spotlighted named above) with the right mindset!

Remember, just because you've strapped a tracker onto your wrist, doesn't mean you're going to get fit. What you've got here is a tool, and if used correctly, it can be a great, even life changing tool to aid you in staying motivated.

But if you asked us for our own personal favorite, we think the Garmin Forerunner 920XT Multisport GPS Watch  fits our purpose, quite nicely. It’s a multi-function activity tracker, so whether you run, bike, walk, jog or even swim laps or take a dive out in the ocean. This activity tracker does just what it says it will do. Track your Activity, period! It also monitors your running dynamics, which includes tracking your cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time. Yep, we are talking an advance tool but also one that can easily be worn during your workday, or social outing because it looks great on your wrist!

But this activity watch, like any other tracking device, Is NOT a replacement for your own desire to succeed. You may have been thinking about getting in shape for months or even years but you simply did nothing about it. You may have even made multiple attempts before this to get in shape, even purchasing other exercise devices to help get you there. Just like the rowing machine, set of free weights or that yoga mat you bought, but the reality is, if you don't interact with it and use it, it won't help! If you accept from the outset that the hard work and a lifestyle change is still down to you, you'll have more success.

Most fitness trackers come with preset step goals. Your current lifestyle might mean you can hit these targets with ease. But we all know doing what you've always done isn't going to bring about the change you're looking for. Use the tracker for a week and see how you compare and then change the targets to be more demanding.

At the same time make a list of the times during your day when you realistically have the opportunity to add in more steps. This will help you understand where you might need to make bigger changes for greater impact.

Challenge yourself or Ramp up your daily activities. Once you've made your list, it's time to work out how to change your behavior. One big problem with fitness trackers is that they'll sit there recording what you do all day but won't actually have any effect on your daily habits. One way to change that is to create micro targets during the day. Walk more steps on the way to work or at lunch.
Challenge yourself to walk at least 100 steps per hour. These small targets and goals help you focus during the day rather than just drifting to the an-end-of-day total.
In order to boost fitness and stay healthy, it's important to avoid being sedentary for long periods of time. Worse than that, sitting for long periods of time can actually increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. So if you’re like a lot of us, you spend your days sitting at a desk only getting up for lunch and the occasional coffee or heaven forbid a soda, diet or regular,  please note, both are NOT good for you, so, this is one habit to change.

Moving for five minutes every hour has been proven to aid overall wellbeing and fend off some of the bad habits mentioned above. Many of the latest fitness trackers including those from Garmin and Fitbit come with handy reminders. Make sure these are set to on and don't ignore them. Use your hourly strolls away from your desk as an excuse to go get a drink of water for a healthy double dose of good.

The bottom line on all of this is, the activity monitor of your choice, (we’ve picked our favorite lines above) are meant to make you aware of your progress, or lack thereof, in order for you to improve your health. But you need to accept the fact that you are responsible for YOU.

At HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com, we are here for you to help you achieve a life goal of being healthy. Feel free to send us an email, to let us know we are helping you in changing up your lifestyle habits. We hope WE ARE!

Your friends in attaining good health. The staff here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com.

Read more

Than Your Fitness Watch Should Be ON Your Wrist, NOT Left In A Drawer!

I know, most everyone from time to time has tried to get on the fitness treadmill. But there always seems to be something that takes you off that healthy track and into the “Jungle of Guilt” where you’ve labored for a while, even though your intentions were good, you slipped over to the “Dark Side” of eating those “Fatty Foods” again and seeing yourself entering the movie theater instead of going inside your gym.

Some of us have used incentives to motivate ourselves into getting healthy by purchasing the latest and greatest fitness watch, aka… Activity Monitor. Sure, you made sure it has all the bells and whistles, even has a heart rate monitor too, cause you’re gonna make sure you're working out to your fullest.

But you soon find out that even the best fitness monitors are like gym memberships. In the beginning, their shiny, new and you like showing it off as you work out, especially when you're amongst your fellow “Grunters and Sweaters” at the gym. Then, three months later you find that the novelty wears off and you realize that you haven't developed the body of a chiseled athlete and bit by bit you're visits to the gym are getting less frequent.

Well, you’re not alone, there are stats out there that show that most people, who make the purchase of an activity monitor whether it be a Gamin, or a Fitbit,  or some other popular fitness device, actually stop using them within the first 6 months!

So, how do you fix it so that you’re not one of the fitness wannabe’s out there that has their fitness watch laying alongside their old Timex? The answer is really simple. It’s all about what you want and your commitment to getting there. You need to approach your new fitness tracker, no matter the brand, (Naturally we like the two Brands we’ve spotlighted named above) with the right mindset!

Remember, just because you've strapped a tracker onto your wrist, doesn't mean you're going to get fit. What you've got here is a tool, and if used correctly, it can be a great, even life changing tool to aid you in staying motivated.

But if you asked us for our own personal favorite, we think the Garmin Forerunner 920XT Multisport GPS Watch  fits our purpose, quite nicely. It’s a multi-function activity tracker, so whether you run, bike, walk, jog or even swim laps or take a dive out in the ocean. This activity tracker does just what it says it will do. Track your Activity, period! It also monitors your running dynamics, which includes tracking your cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time. Yep, we are talking an advance tool but also one that can easily be worn during your workday, or social outing because it looks great on your wrist!

But this activity watch, like any other tracking device, Is NOT a replacement for your own desire to succeed. You may have been thinking about getting in shape for months or even years but you simply did nothing about it. You may have even made multiple attempts before this to get in shape, even purchasing other exercise devices to help get you there. Just like the rowing machine, set of free weights or that yoga mat you bought, but the reality is, if you don't interact with it and use it, it won't help! If you accept from the outset that the hard work and a lifestyle change is still down to you, you'll have more success.

Most fitness trackers come with preset step goals. Your current lifestyle might mean you can hit these targets with ease. But we all know doing what you've always done isn't going to bring about the change you're looking for. Use the tracker for a week and see how you compare and then change the targets to be more demanding.

At the same time make a list of the times during your day when you realistically have the opportunity to add in more steps. This will help you understand where you might need to make bigger changes for greater impact.

Challenge yourself or Ramp up your daily activities. Once you've made your list, it's time to work out how to change your behavior. One big problem with fitness trackers is that they'll sit there recording what you do all day but won't actually have any effect on your daily habits. One way to change that is to create micro targets during the day. Walk more steps on the way to work or at lunch.
Challenge yourself to walk at least 100 steps per hour. These small targets and goals help you focus during the day rather than just drifting to the an-end-of-day total.
In order to boost fitness and stay healthy, it's important to avoid being sedentary for long periods of time. Worse than that, sitting for long periods of time can actually increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. So if you’re like a lot of us, you spend your days sitting at a desk only getting up for lunch and the occasional coffee or heaven forbid a soda, diet or regular,  please note, both are NOT good for you, so, this is one habit to change.

Moving for five minutes every hour has been proven to aid overall wellbeing and fend off some of the bad habits mentioned above. Many of the latest fitness trackers including those from Garmin and Fitbit come with handy reminders. Make sure these are set to on and don't ignore them. Use your hourly strolls away from your desk as an excuse to go get a drink of water for a healthy double dose of good.

The bottom line on all of this is, the activity monitor of your choice, (we’ve picked our favorite lines above) are meant to make you aware of your progress, or lack thereof, in order for you to improve your health. But you need to accept the fact that you are responsible for YOU.

At HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com, we are here for you to help you achieve a life goal of being healthy. Feel free to send us an email, to let us know we are helping you in changing up your lifestyle habits. We hope WE ARE!

Your friends in attaining good health. The staff here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com.

Read more