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Your Beach Body Didn’t Just Happen on Memorial Day. It’s An All Year Building Process.

So, Will You be Wearing An Oversized “T” This Summer At The Beach, Or Slapping On The 30-SPF?

Those of us that care, know that being comfortable with the body your wearing takes work. And consistent work. That can mean regular hours at the gym, early before work, or after you already have put in a 10-hour day at your workstation. But as we work out, we know that one thing that needs to be done is setting goals and measuring our progress on how well we’re doing on our road to attaining them. To do this, serious fitness orientated people, like you and me, use an activity monitoring device to provide the data we need in order to stay the course and make sure we not only reach our goals but surpass them.

One such “Smartwatch” is the Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS Running Multisport Watch With the 735XT, you can now let your fitness routine be more than just a routine. With the advanced technology and cutting-edge features, you can create your activity profiles of cycling, running, swimming, skiing, paddling, strength training, and hiking. The auto multisport features allow you to switch between different sports activities with a single press and will also give you customized workouts. With free Garmin Connect, you can easily review your past efforts and share it with the online fitness community.

Since we are, or should I say, we want to be active, we do juggle multiple work responsibilities each day, and possibly also juggle multiple workout sessions as well. After all, nothing helps relieve the stress of the day better than working up a sweat, pushing your body, knowing everything you’re doing in the gym, out on the road pounding the pavements or doing multiple laps in the pool is helping you to not only get out from under that stress level but also conditioning your body so it performs and looks the way you want it to.

So, let's delve into the functionality of the Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS Running Multisport Watch a little deeper so that you can get a good idea of what it can do for you so you can do for yourself!

Even though the Garmin 735's been around for a bit, it's still one of the best all-purpose activity trackers in the Garmin footlocker!

At the Forefront of the deliverables, the 3 gives you are:
It's lightweight and designed for both training and racing.
Great Batter Life for everyday use and delivers when your exercising.
Tracks regular steps and how well your sleeping
Offers a wide range of data, which you and your friends (if you wish) can be viewed via Garmin Connect
Offers Strava Integration
Comes in an assortment of colors

Activities
The 735 is a great overall activity tracker, while it's optimized mainly for running, biking and swimming it definitely lives up to its "Multisport" capabilities. Apart from triathlon sports, the 735 also has cross country skiing, hiking, rowing, strength training, (which is a must for anyone who does a lot of running so they get the cross-training benefits), even paddle boarding and just plain general cardio. Straight out of the box!
As you can see, this covers a wide range of sports!

Basic Features:
The 735 offers the standard features found on most running and sport watches. It tracks distance, pace and lap times on all supported activities. You can see this data on the watch screen while it's running. These data fields can also be changed in the settings like on most other models of Garmin. This information is also stored in the watch and on any accounts that you have previously set up via the synced function.

Heart Rate:
The watch features an optical heart rate sensor, which requires no additional strap or equipment. Thus, making it streamlined and not having to fuss with a chest strap is a big plus! Your heart rate data is visible during your exercise routines and also in various graph forms afterward on Garmin Connect.

The watches other feature is that it is truly multifunctional. When in multisport mode, the watch will enter the next sport when you push the lap button, though you can also configure it to enter transition periods when the lap button is pushed. This is a great feature when you’re running or training for triathlons in particular.

The 735 additionally offers integration with a huge range of running services and products. Strava, Garmin Connect, ANT+, are some services that are supported. Phone syncing, and phone notification display is also possible.

Accuracy:
Accuracy tends to be pretty good in most of the sensors of the Garmin 735. The GPS is precise and works well even in areas with tall buildings and trees, giving accurate routes, and overall distance traveled. This holds true while biking, running, or swimming. The heart rate sensor is a solid reporting factor of this watch. The optical heart rate sensors are generally less accurate than straps and this holds true here as well.

Connectivity:
The 735 offers standard connectivity that most athletic watches have. Primarily, it can connect to a smartphone or other device via Bluetooth and sync data across apps that way. Syncing is pretty quick, and the data does not take very long to transfer. Additionally, the 735 can be synced via its charging strap, which is another pretty standard feature of the Garmin Smart Watches.

Durability:
The Garmin Forerunner 735 is solid! Its face is pretty resistant to abrasions and scratches and can definitely handle most average drops or bumps that can occur as life happens. Naturally, excessive force or pressure, like dropping the watch from a multistory building or something similar can cause issues., but that is to be expected, regardless of what you see on "Infomercials"
The band itself is also pretty durable, and there have not been many complaints about the band wearing out or tearing with use. And emersion in water should not have adverse effects on the watch considering it is literally designed to be used within bodies of water like a pool. You’re paying for both durability and functionality and the Garmin 735 delivers!

Ease of Use:
The 735 is pretty straightforward to use. For those who plan on using it as a basic activity watch, (but why would you since all those extra tracking and monitoring features are available?) it functions like many others for running, biking and swimming.

The watch has a mode to record the information during your activities, a lap function, and a pause and finish function, all of which are fairly simple to use. The quick start guides provided are pretty self-explanatory and do a good job of walking you through the process. For users who have experience doing things like uploading workouts and using them or syncing multiple devices to the watch, it probably won't be much of a challenge to use. For those not used to doing this, there will be a learning curve but it probably won't be hard for the average user to get the hang of using.

And like most things today, there are multiple sources of how to sights to use, especially Garmin's YouTube channel. Overall, the 735 has well designed and easy to use interfaces.

Battery Life and Charging it up!
The Garmin 735 charges via a charging clip that comes with the watch, which can be plugged into a USB or wall outlet, which is especially nice when you’re traveling without taking your laptop. The watch offers about 14 hours of GPS usage. This is a good stretch of time for everyday use but for a triathlon, it will only be enough for shorter to mid-distance races. But again, its main function is at the training level to get you in the right shape in order for you to be able to tackle those triathlons. Overall, the battery life is adequate for the average athlete.

The overall "Skinny" on this smartwatch is that it’s a pretty solid multisport watch. It has a large range of tracking features that will provide you with all the data you need to train and modify your training accordingly to what it acquires from monitoring your stats.

So, how about it, do you think the Garmin 735 can help you get, and maintain that kind of body that will turn heads this summer at the beach…. For all the right reasons? We think it will. Go get yours today at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com  

Before someone kicks sand in your face at the beach!





Read more

So, Will You be Wearing An Oversized “T” This Summer At The Beach, Or Slapping On The 30-SPF?

Those of us that care, know that being comfortable with the body your wearing takes work. And consistent work. That can mean regular hours at the gym, early before work, or after you already have put in a 10-hour day at your workstation. But as we work out, we know that one thing that needs to be done is setting goals and measuring our progress on how well we’re doing on our road to attaining them. To do this, serious fitness orientated people, like you and me, use an activity monitoring device to provide the data we need in order to stay the course and make sure we not only reach our goals but surpass them.

One such “Smartwatch” is the Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS Running Multisport Watch With the 735XT, you can now let your fitness routine be more than just a routine. With the advanced technology and cutting-edge features, you can create your activity profiles of cycling, running, swimming, skiing, paddling, strength training, and hiking. The auto multisport features allow you to switch between different sports activities with a single press and will also give you customized workouts. With free Garmin Connect, you can easily review your past efforts and share it with the online fitness community.

Since we are, or should I say, we want to be active, we do juggle multiple work responsibilities each day, and possibly also juggle multiple workout sessions as well. After all, nothing helps relieve the stress of the day better than working up a sweat, pushing your body, knowing everything you’re doing in the gym, out on the road pounding the pavements or doing multiple laps in the pool is helping you to not only get out from under that stress level but also conditioning your body so it performs and looks the way you want it to.

So, let's delve into the functionality of the Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS Running Multisport Watch a little deeper so that you can get a good idea of what it can do for you so you can do for yourself!

Even though the Garmin 735's been around for a bit, it's still one of the best all-purpose activity trackers in the Garmin footlocker!

At the Forefront of the deliverables, the 3 gives you are:
It's lightweight and designed for both training and racing.
Great Batter Life for everyday use and delivers when your exercising.
Tracks regular steps and how well your sleeping
Offers a wide range of data, which you and your friends (if you wish) can be viewed via Garmin Connect
Offers Strava Integration
Comes in an assortment of colors

Activities
The 735 is a great overall activity tracker, while it's optimized mainly for running, biking and swimming it definitely lives up to its "Multisport" capabilities. Apart from triathlon sports, the 735 also has cross country skiing, hiking, rowing, strength training, (which is a must for anyone who does a lot of running so they get the cross-training benefits), even paddle boarding and just plain general cardio. Straight out of the box!
As you can see, this covers a wide range of sports!

Basic Features:
The 735 offers the standard features found on most running and sport watches. It tracks distance, pace and lap times on all supported activities. You can see this data on the watch screen while it's running. These data fields can also be changed in the settings like on most other models of Garmin. This information is also stored in the watch and on any accounts that you have previously set up via the synced function.

Heart Rate:
The watch features an optical heart rate sensor, which requires no additional strap or equipment. Thus, making it streamlined and not having to fuss with a chest strap is a big plus! Your heart rate data is visible during your exercise routines and also in various graph forms afterward on Garmin Connect.

The watches other feature is that it is truly multifunctional. When in multisport mode, the watch will enter the next sport when you push the lap button, though you can also configure it to enter transition periods when the lap button is pushed. This is a great feature when you’re running or training for triathlons in particular.

The 735 additionally offers integration with a huge range of running services and products. Strava, Garmin Connect, ANT+, are some services that are supported. Phone syncing, and phone notification display is also possible.

Accuracy:
Accuracy tends to be pretty good in most of the sensors of the Garmin 735. The GPS is precise and works well even in areas with tall buildings and trees, giving accurate routes, and overall distance traveled. This holds true while biking, running, or swimming. The heart rate sensor is a solid reporting factor of this watch. The optical heart rate sensors are generally less accurate than straps and this holds true here as well.

Connectivity:
The 735 offers standard connectivity that most athletic watches have. Primarily, it can connect to a smartphone or other device via Bluetooth and sync data across apps that way. Syncing is pretty quick, and the data does not take very long to transfer. Additionally, the 735 can be synced via its charging strap, which is another pretty standard feature of the Garmin Smart Watches.

Durability:
The Garmin Forerunner 735 is solid! Its face is pretty resistant to abrasions and scratches and can definitely handle most average drops or bumps that can occur as life happens. Naturally, excessive force or pressure, like dropping the watch from a multistory building or something similar can cause issues., but that is to be expected, regardless of what you see on "Infomercials"
The band itself is also pretty durable, and there have not been many complaints about the band wearing out or tearing with use. And emersion in water should not have adverse effects on the watch considering it is literally designed to be used within bodies of water like a pool. You’re paying for both durability and functionality and the Garmin 735 delivers!

Ease of Use:
The 735 is pretty straightforward to use. For those who plan on using it as a basic activity watch, (but why would you since all those extra tracking and monitoring features are available?) it functions like many others for running, biking and swimming.

The watch has a mode to record the information during your activities, a lap function, and a pause and finish function, all of which are fairly simple to use. The quick start guides provided are pretty self-explanatory and do a good job of walking you through the process. For users who have experience doing things like uploading workouts and using them or syncing multiple devices to the watch, it probably won't be much of a challenge to use. For those not used to doing this, there will be a learning curve but it probably won't be hard for the average user to get the hang of using.

And like most things today, there are multiple sources of how to sights to use, especially Garmin's YouTube channel. Overall, the 735 has well designed and easy to use interfaces.

Battery Life and Charging it up!
The Garmin 735 charges via a charging clip that comes with the watch, which can be plugged into a USB or wall outlet, which is especially nice when you’re traveling without taking your laptop. The watch offers about 14 hours of GPS usage. This is a good stretch of time for everyday use but for a triathlon, it will only be enough for shorter to mid-distance races. But again, its main function is at the training level to get you in the right shape in order for you to be able to tackle those triathlons. Overall, the battery life is adequate for the average athlete.

The overall "Skinny" on this smartwatch is that it’s a pretty solid multisport watch. It has a large range of tracking features that will provide you with all the data you need to train and modify your training accordingly to what it acquires from monitoring your stats.

So, how about it, do you think the Garmin 735 can help you get, and maintain that kind of body that will turn heads this summer at the beach…. For all the right reasons? We think it will. Go get yours today at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com  

Before someone kicks sand in your face at the beach!





Read more

Spring And Warmer Weather Cycling….Are You Ready?

Now that the weather has finally given us a break and is starting to act like it’s the end of May/Early June, it’s the perfect time to get out and get riding. After all, taking up cycling can be one of the best decisions you’ll make in life. Whether you choose to hop on a bike for health reasons, to help the environment, try a new activity, or even to supplement another sport, cycling is a ton of fun.

And if you're taking up cycling for the first time, you’re going to be joining a great group of people that are already out there enjoying the road on a two-wheel, self-propelled means of transportation. Globally, more people own bikes than own cars – about 42% of the world’s population – and that number is growing every year.

FOR EXAMPLE, in the US, the number of people biking to work has grown by 60% over the past 10 years and the number of cyclists has grown by 15 million people overall.

And there are many benefits of taking up cycling, the best is to get yourself in better shape by taking up a cardio sport like cycling. After all, exercise Is A Critical Component of Staying Healthy. But the Type of Exercise You Do – Strength or Cardio, Sprinting or Endurance - Also Matters. Cycling, Is a great way to capture the health benefits of these different styles of fitness since It blends the line between lower body strength, aerobic training, intervals, and long rides in the “Saddle”.

Of course, health benefits don’t come for free. While you might see some benefits after your first few times on the bike, many of these benefits require cycling regularly to develop and maintain these improvements. Mixing up your cycling workouts, for example by doing intervals one day a week and a long ride later in the week, can help you to hit on different aspects of fitness.

Build Muscle
Cycling is a serious leg workout, and your quads, hamstrings, and glutes are sure to respond by building new muscle fibers to adapt. Although cycling at low resistance will slowly build muscles, you can maximize the gains and build muscle faster by riding uphill, riding in higher gears, or including sprint intervals in your workout.

Cut Fat
Low intensity, aerobic, and consistent exercise is one of the most effective ways to lose body fat. Cycling for an hour or so each day is plenty to begin losing fat, and you can maximize the loss by heading into a training section after fasting for a few hours – but be careful not to overeat at the end of the ride.
Low Intensity, Aerobic, & consistent exercise Is one of the most effective ways to lose body fat.

Strengthen Your Legs
Cycling is far more fun than lifting weights in the basement, but it can help you achieve similar strength gains in your lower body. The best way to build brute strength, particularly in your quads, is to grind away in your highest gear – but if you drop below 60 pedal strokes per minute, drop a gear so that you don’t crush your knee joints.

Decrease Your Stress
Many athletes point to the “runner’s high” as a zen mental state that comes from exercise, but the same stress-free feeling can be found through cycling. Cycling forces you to regulate your breathing, breathe more deeply, and focus on the task at hand rather than the stress of other parts of your life.

Save Your Knees
Unlike “Running”, and most team sports that involve running, that high impact shock of your feet hitting the pavement or that hilly mountain trail can, over time, slowly breaks down your knee joints. Cycling, on the other hand, has a low impact on your knee joints and as a result, is a sport you can participate even in old age. Be sure to fit your bike properly, since a seat that is too high or low can cause grinding or overextension.

Breath Deep
Just as you can train the muscles in your legs, you can train the muscles that expand and contract your lungs. Cycling is a great way for this because there are ample opportunities to include intervals in your workouts or to practice cresting a hill and then keeping up the hard effort. This type of training can help to expand your lung capacity and teach you to move air more effectively.

Reduce Anxiety
Cycling has been shown to reduce stress levels by up to 40%, and as a result, can keep feelings of anxiety at bay. By keeping your mind on the road in front of you rather than aspects of work or life that are bothering you, cycling can provide a much-needed mental break.

Stretch Yourself
The motion of cycling forces you to extend specific muscles in your lower body that don’t often get stretched, like your glutes and hip flexors. This stretching can increase your overall range of motion and flexibility. However, it’s also important to remember to stretch these muscles after rides so they don’t tighten up after expanding.

Sleep Better
Decreases in fitness have been found to correlate with levels of insomnia in both men and women, so it’s important to stay in shape to give yourself the best possible chance of a good night’s sleep. Cycling, in particular, is a great way to reap exercise-induced sleep benefits since it reduces anxiety and keeps weight down, both of which are thought to contribute to insomnia.

Heart Healthy
Hopping on a bike can drastically cut your risk of heart disease. One study found that cycling regularly can decrease your chance of developing heart problems by 50%, while another study found that those who ride just 20 miles per week have half the heart disease risk as people who don’t exercise.

Now that you’ve seen the benefits of getting that bike out of storage and hitting the open road or mountain trail, if you’re going to put some significant miles on that odometer of yours then you should get yourself a good cycling computer. One that can track your distance, your leg reps, the measurement of your ride’s difficulty and with Garmin’s GPS functionality, it can not only tell you where you are but provide maps that help to get you where you're going! The cycling computer that does this and more is the Garmin Edge 530 . It also has functionality built in to provide cycling safety features, which also include a new bike alarm, group messaging and tracking, incident detection and compatibility with Varia™ rearview radar and lights so you can see and be seen!

Now, just so you have an idea over the features that come with this model of cycling wonders. The Garmin Edge 530 has the following features designed in:

Increased display size 13% from 2.3” to 2.6”

Increased battery life from 15 to 20 hours, and to 48 hours in battery saver mode

Significantly increased processor speed: Results in much faster route calculation

Maintained complete onboard turn by turn map database for your region

Added WiFi: Used for syncing of activities/metrics/routes (not during the ride)

Added ClimbPro: Automatically shows how much distance/elevation remains for each climb on the route

Added Mountain Bike Metrics: Shows Grit, Flow, and Jump details on both unit and Garmin Connect

Added Trailforks maps to the unit: Added global Trailforks data/maps to baked-in data on the unit (no downloads required)

Added ForkSight: Automatically shows mountain bike trail options when you pause at a fork in the trail

Added Heat Acclimation: Will automatically take into account heat/humidity for performance/recovery metrics

Added Altitude Acclimation: Will automatically take into account (high) elevation for performance/recovery metrics

Added Training Plan API support: This includes a redesigned structured workout execution page

Added Hydration/Nutrition Smart Alerts: When using a course/route, it’ll automatically figure out how much water/calories you should be taking

Added Hydration/Nutrition Tracking: It allows you to record this data in ride summary screens and log it on Garmin Connect

Added Edge Battery Pack Support: You can now attach the Garmin integrated battery pack to the Edge (you can still use generic USB power too)

Added Bluetooth Smart sensor support: You can now pair Bluetooth Smart sensors like heart rate, power, and cadence

Added Performance Power Curve: This shows you your mean maximal power over different durations/timeframes (like many training sites)

Added Bike Alarm Feature: Used for cafes/bathroom stops, emits loud alarm if bike is moved

Added ‘Find my Edge’ feature: Automatically record exact GPS location on your phone if Edge is disconnected (in case unit pops off)

Added Training Plan Weather/Gear Tips.

Now if the above is not enough to satisfy you, then YOU are a very finicky person! So what are you waiting for? Get that bike out, give it a “Once Over” to make sure it's in “Tip-Top” shape. Get yourself that Garmin Edge 530 GPS Cycling Computer  and go ahead and start those peddles churning!


Read more

Now that the weather has finally given us a break and is starting to act like it’s the end of May/Early June, it’s the perfect time to get out and get riding. After all, taking up cycling can be one of the best decisions you’ll make in life. Whether you choose to hop on a bike for health reasons, to help the environment, try a new activity, or even to supplement another sport, cycling is a ton of fun.

And if you're taking up cycling for the first time, you’re going to be joining a great group of people that are already out there enjoying the road on a two-wheel, self-propelled means of transportation. Globally, more people own bikes than own cars – about 42% of the world’s population – and that number is growing every year.

FOR EXAMPLE, in the US, the number of people biking to work has grown by 60% over the past 10 years and the number of cyclists has grown by 15 million people overall.

And there are many benefits of taking up cycling, the best is to get yourself in better shape by taking up a cardio sport like cycling. After all, exercise Is A Critical Component of Staying Healthy. But the Type of Exercise You Do – Strength or Cardio, Sprinting or Endurance - Also Matters. Cycling, Is a great way to capture the health benefits of these different styles of fitness since It blends the line between lower body strength, aerobic training, intervals, and long rides in the “Saddle”.

Of course, health benefits don’t come for free. While you might see some benefits after your first few times on the bike, many of these benefits require cycling regularly to develop and maintain these improvements. Mixing up your cycling workouts, for example by doing intervals one day a week and a long ride later in the week, can help you to hit on different aspects of fitness.

Build Muscle
Cycling is a serious leg workout, and your quads, hamstrings, and glutes are sure to respond by building new muscle fibers to adapt. Although cycling at low resistance will slowly build muscles, you can maximize the gains and build muscle faster by riding uphill, riding in higher gears, or including sprint intervals in your workout.

Cut Fat
Low intensity, aerobic, and consistent exercise is one of the most effective ways to lose body fat. Cycling for an hour or so each day is plenty to begin losing fat, and you can maximize the loss by heading into a training section after fasting for a few hours – but be careful not to overeat at the end of the ride.
Low Intensity, Aerobic, & consistent exercise Is one of the most effective ways to lose body fat.

Strengthen Your Legs
Cycling is far more fun than lifting weights in the basement, but it can help you achieve similar strength gains in your lower body. The best way to build brute strength, particularly in your quads, is to grind away in your highest gear – but if you drop below 60 pedal strokes per minute, drop a gear so that you don’t crush your knee joints.

Decrease Your Stress
Many athletes point to the “runner’s high” as a zen mental state that comes from exercise, but the same stress-free feeling can be found through cycling. Cycling forces you to regulate your breathing, breathe more deeply, and focus on the task at hand rather than the stress of other parts of your life.

Save Your Knees
Unlike “Running”, and most team sports that involve running, that high impact shock of your feet hitting the pavement or that hilly mountain trail can, over time, slowly breaks down your knee joints. Cycling, on the other hand, has a low impact on your knee joints and as a result, is a sport you can participate even in old age. Be sure to fit your bike properly, since a seat that is too high or low can cause grinding or overextension.

Breath Deep
Just as you can train the muscles in your legs, you can train the muscles that expand and contract your lungs. Cycling is a great way for this because there are ample opportunities to include intervals in your workouts or to practice cresting a hill and then keeping up the hard effort. This type of training can help to expand your lung capacity and teach you to move air more effectively.

Reduce Anxiety
Cycling has been shown to reduce stress levels by up to 40%, and as a result, can keep feelings of anxiety at bay. By keeping your mind on the road in front of you rather than aspects of work or life that are bothering you, cycling can provide a much-needed mental break.

Stretch Yourself
The motion of cycling forces you to extend specific muscles in your lower body that don’t often get stretched, like your glutes and hip flexors. This stretching can increase your overall range of motion and flexibility. However, it’s also important to remember to stretch these muscles after rides so they don’t tighten up after expanding.

Sleep Better
Decreases in fitness have been found to correlate with levels of insomnia in both men and women, so it’s important to stay in shape to give yourself the best possible chance of a good night’s sleep. Cycling, in particular, is a great way to reap exercise-induced sleep benefits since it reduces anxiety and keeps weight down, both of which are thought to contribute to insomnia.

Heart Healthy
Hopping on a bike can drastically cut your risk of heart disease. One study found that cycling regularly can decrease your chance of developing heart problems by 50%, while another study found that those who ride just 20 miles per week have half the heart disease risk as people who don’t exercise.

Now that you’ve seen the benefits of getting that bike out of storage and hitting the open road or mountain trail, if you’re going to put some significant miles on that odometer of yours then you should get yourself a good cycling computer. One that can track your distance, your leg reps, the measurement of your ride’s difficulty and with Garmin’s GPS functionality, it can not only tell you where you are but provide maps that help to get you where you're going! The cycling computer that does this and more is the Garmin Edge 530 . It also has functionality built in to provide cycling safety features, which also include a new bike alarm, group messaging and tracking, incident detection and compatibility with Varia™ rearview radar and lights so you can see and be seen!

Now, just so you have an idea over the features that come with this model of cycling wonders. The Garmin Edge 530 has the following features designed in:

Increased display size 13% from 2.3” to 2.6”

Increased battery life from 15 to 20 hours, and to 48 hours in battery saver mode

Significantly increased processor speed: Results in much faster route calculation

Maintained complete onboard turn by turn map database for your region

Added WiFi: Used for syncing of activities/metrics/routes (not during the ride)

Added ClimbPro: Automatically shows how much distance/elevation remains for each climb on the route

Added Mountain Bike Metrics: Shows Grit, Flow, and Jump details on both unit and Garmin Connect

Added Trailforks maps to the unit: Added global Trailforks data/maps to baked-in data on the unit (no downloads required)

Added ForkSight: Automatically shows mountain bike trail options when you pause at a fork in the trail

Added Heat Acclimation: Will automatically take into account heat/humidity for performance/recovery metrics

Added Altitude Acclimation: Will automatically take into account (high) elevation for performance/recovery metrics

Added Training Plan API support: This includes a redesigned structured workout execution page

Added Hydration/Nutrition Smart Alerts: When using a course/route, it’ll automatically figure out how much water/calories you should be taking

Added Hydration/Nutrition Tracking: It allows you to record this data in ride summary screens and log it on Garmin Connect

Added Edge Battery Pack Support: You can now attach the Garmin integrated battery pack to the Edge (you can still use generic USB power too)

Added Bluetooth Smart sensor support: You can now pair Bluetooth Smart sensors like heart rate, power, and cadence

Added Performance Power Curve: This shows you your mean maximal power over different durations/timeframes (like many training sites)

Added Bike Alarm Feature: Used for cafes/bathroom stops, emits loud alarm if bike is moved

Added ‘Find my Edge’ feature: Automatically record exact GPS location on your phone if Edge is disconnected (in case unit pops off)

Added Training Plan Weather/Gear Tips.

Now if the above is not enough to satisfy you, then YOU are a very finicky person! So what are you waiting for? Get that bike out, give it a “Once Over” to make sure it's in “Tip-Top” shape. Get yourself that Garmin Edge 530 GPS Cycling Computer  and go ahead and start those peddles churning!


Read more

Are You Getting More Active Now That The Sunshine Is Finally Falling On Your Shoulders?

Sunshine And Warmer Weather Are Finally Making There Presence Felt.  And Like most of us, this past winter season, for that matter this past year has been one that has given us more in-door, stay at home days then outdoor ones. The weather just hasn’t been cooperative. But hopefully, this year is starting off a bit better with more sunshine filled days that coax us to get outdoors and be active. Whether its getting that yard cleaned up after last years fall and winter seasons made a mess with fallen tree branches, not to mention the leftover fallen leaves that have gone un-raked because of just plain, wet weather!

But now the sun is finally shining and beckoning to us to get outside and get some much-needed exercise, which for many of us means running, power-walking or jogging along our favorite paths, country roads or mountain trails. Just getting outside provides the necessary incentive to move!

Now, because we are going to put that sunshine to good use, we wanted to use an activity tracker that’s made for being active outdoors and the one we chose is the Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Multi-Sport Watch . Just for a few attention getters, the Fenix 5 has a bright, high-resolution, full-color Garmin Chroma Display. And so you can keep track on just how well you’re doing health-wise, it has the functionality of using the new Elevate wrist-based heart rate technology that lets you monitor your heart rate without the need to wear a chest strap!

And it's not just for running, but it’s also a Multiple Sports Activity watch as well. It has "Preloaded" activity profiles for all of your sports and adventures. You can get key stats at your fingertips with the performance widget that shows your training status, training load and more.

Befitting a watch meant for the outdoors, the Garmin Fenix 5 has a rugged exterior that looks like it could take some abuse. Five screws hold a beveled, black bezel in place, while five circular buttons (three on the left, two on the right) ring the 1.2-inch display. There's an inner bezel around the screen, along with an outer bezel; together, they measure nearly half an inch, though that's mitigated visually by the design. When you get right down to it, it's tough to find an activity that the Fenix 5  can’t track! What’s also an asset is its overall size and weight. Wearing the Fenix 5 it never feels weighty on your wrist, and with its good-looking design, you can wear it as an everyday watch and its right there with you when you lace up your sneaks for a run!

Display
The Fenix 5 has an always-on color display (a plus) with a transflective surface that uses sunlight to make the screen brighter. I never had a problem reading the display, even in direct sunlight.
The Fenix 5  also gives you a VO2 max score (a measure of your overall fitness level), the intensity of your training over the past week and a race predictor, which lists how fast the watch thinks you'll complete a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon.

For each run that you do, you get a training effect, which gives you a score for both aerobic and anaerobic activity. A Training Status screen shows how productive your exercises have been and gives you a general sense if your fitness level is improving, holding steady or decreasing.

The Fenix 5's optical heart rate monitor proved accurate, but it did not respond to changes as quickly as a chest strap would. But for just a few points off, it dosesn't really make it a game changer. It’s very accurate based on being worn on the wrist.

The home screen (also known as the Snapshot screen), which has a black background, has two large circles toward the top that show how many steps you've taken and how much sleep you've had. Below that are small blocks for Active Calories, Activities, MyFitnessPal, Intensity Minutes and Floors Climbed.  Great data that you need in one place.

Swiping left or right shows you more information about various activities (steps, sleep, running, swimming, etc.). You can customize how many of these pages show up, as well as their order, by pressing an icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

Battery Life
One of the reasons I prefer wearing Garmin's watches over smartwatches is that I rarely have to worry about recharging. If you're not using GPS or the heart rate monitor, the Fenix 5 will last up to two weeks. That means if you forget to bring the charger on a trip lasting more than a day, you won't have a useless hunk of metal on your wrist. If you are using GPS, the battery is rated to last up to 24 hours, which is more than twice what the TomTom Adventurer (11 hours) offers. If you turn on UltraTrac mode (where the watch pings the satellite only once every minute, rather than every second), the Fenix 5 should last for up to 60 hours. I also like that Garmin has continued to shrink the size of its charging cables. Rather than using a bulky wireless charger like so many smartwatches do, the Fenix 5 has a small USB cable that snaps into a port on the back of the watch.

Bottom Line
The Garmin Fenix 5 has everything you need to keep you honest and provide you with enough data to make sure you’re not only reaching your goals but what you need to do in order to surpass them! This GPS watch is made for the outdoor adventurer who needs or wants to capture everything they do. It provides detailed stats on a multitude of activities, has an accurate heart rate monitor, doesn't weigh your wrist down too much and lasts a long time on a charge. All in All its a keeper and once you have it strapped on your wrist, you won't soon be taking it off.

So, go ahead, enjoy that warm sunshine we spoke about earlier and get yourself out there and get moving!


 

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Sunshine And Warmer Weather Are Finally Making There Presence Felt.  And Like most of us, this past winter season, for that matter this past year has been one that has given us more in-door, stay at home days then outdoor ones. The weather just hasn’t been cooperative. But hopefully, this year is starting off a bit better with more sunshine filled days that coax us to get outdoors and be active. Whether its getting that yard cleaned up after last years fall and winter seasons made a mess with fallen tree branches, not to mention the leftover fallen leaves that have gone un-raked because of just plain, wet weather!

But now the sun is finally shining and beckoning to us to get outside and get some much-needed exercise, which for many of us means running, power-walking or jogging along our favorite paths, country roads or mountain trails. Just getting outside provides the necessary incentive to move!

Now, because we are going to put that sunshine to good use, we wanted to use an activity tracker that’s made for being active outdoors and the one we chose is the Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Multi-Sport Watch . Just for a few attention getters, the Fenix 5 has a bright, high-resolution, full-color Garmin Chroma Display. And so you can keep track on just how well you’re doing health-wise, it has the functionality of using the new Elevate wrist-based heart rate technology that lets you monitor your heart rate without the need to wear a chest strap!

And it's not just for running, but it’s also a Multiple Sports Activity watch as well. It has "Preloaded" activity profiles for all of your sports and adventures. You can get key stats at your fingertips with the performance widget that shows your training status, training load and more.

Befitting a watch meant for the outdoors, the Garmin Fenix 5 has a rugged exterior that looks like it could take some abuse. Five screws hold a beveled, black bezel in place, while five circular buttons (three on the left, two on the right) ring the 1.2-inch display. There's an inner bezel around the screen, along with an outer bezel; together, they measure nearly half an inch, though that's mitigated visually by the design. When you get right down to it, it's tough to find an activity that the Fenix 5  can’t track! What’s also an asset is its overall size and weight. Wearing the Fenix 5 it never feels weighty on your wrist, and with its good-looking design, you can wear it as an everyday watch and its right there with you when you lace up your sneaks for a run!

Display
The Fenix 5 has an always-on color display (a plus) with a transflective surface that uses sunlight to make the screen brighter. I never had a problem reading the display, even in direct sunlight.
The Fenix 5  also gives you a VO2 max score (a measure of your overall fitness level), the intensity of your training over the past week and a race predictor, which lists how fast the watch thinks you'll complete a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon.

For each run that you do, you get a training effect, which gives you a score for both aerobic and anaerobic activity. A Training Status screen shows how productive your exercises have been and gives you a general sense if your fitness level is improving, holding steady or decreasing.

The Fenix 5's optical heart rate monitor proved accurate, but it did not respond to changes as quickly as a chest strap would. But for just a few points off, it dosesn't really make it a game changer. It’s very accurate based on being worn on the wrist.

The home screen (also known as the Snapshot screen), which has a black background, has two large circles toward the top that show how many steps you've taken and how much sleep you've had. Below that are small blocks for Active Calories, Activities, MyFitnessPal, Intensity Minutes and Floors Climbed.  Great data that you need in one place.

Swiping left or right shows you more information about various activities (steps, sleep, running, swimming, etc.). You can customize how many of these pages show up, as well as their order, by pressing an icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

Battery Life
One of the reasons I prefer wearing Garmin's watches over smartwatches is that I rarely have to worry about recharging. If you're not using GPS or the heart rate monitor, the Fenix 5 will last up to two weeks. That means if you forget to bring the charger on a trip lasting more than a day, you won't have a useless hunk of metal on your wrist. If you are using GPS, the battery is rated to last up to 24 hours, which is more than twice what the TomTom Adventurer (11 hours) offers. If you turn on UltraTrac mode (where the watch pings the satellite only once every minute, rather than every second), the Fenix 5 should last for up to 60 hours. I also like that Garmin has continued to shrink the size of its charging cables. Rather than using a bulky wireless charger like so many smartwatches do, the Fenix 5 has a small USB cable that snaps into a port on the back of the watch.

Bottom Line
The Garmin Fenix 5 has everything you need to keep you honest and provide you with enough data to make sure you’re not only reaching your goals but what you need to do in order to surpass them! This GPS watch is made for the outdoor adventurer who needs or wants to capture everything they do. It provides detailed stats on a multitude of activities, has an accurate heart rate monitor, doesn't weigh your wrist down too much and lasts a long time on a charge. All in All its a keeper and once you have it strapped on your wrist, you won't soon be taking it off.

So, go ahead, enjoy that warm sunshine we spoke about earlier and get yourself out there and get moving!


 

Read more

The In’s & Out’s Of The Garmin Forerunner-45

This may be just the ticket to get you off of the couch and out on the road and giving you the incentive, you need to make being active your NEW norm!

The Garmin Forerunner 45 hits the mark as one of Garmin’s most capable running watches.
The 45 does a great job of being the smartwatch to go with if you’re into tracking your sports activities. If you’re looking for a running or sport specific watch, then this is the one for you.

The Forerunner 45 also has another selling point, it's price structure of being around $200. While letting you have the ability to download structured workouts, including those from the company’s free ‘Garmin Coach’ adaptive/dynamic training programs, as well as incident detection and assistance (which notifies friends/family if you get into trouble). Just the ticket if you're heading off the regular running tracks and off into the hilly mountain paths.

It has an optical HR sensor on it for tracking 24×7 HR and stress. It supports more than just running, with other sports including cycling, treadmills, and yoga, but doesn’t have quite the number of sports their other units have. And finally, it adds Connect IQ custom watch faces but stops short of allowing full Connect IQ apps or data fields.

Below are the specs on what's improved with the 45 over the Garmin 35.
– Added two sizes: 39mm (Forerunner 45S) and 42mm (Forerunner 45)
– Added color display
– Added structured workout support
– Added training plans support (including calendar/scheduled workouts)
– Added Garmin Coach compatibility
– Added Connect IQ Watch Face support
– Added incident (crash/fall) detection
– Added safety tracking/assistance
– Added Pace/Speed alerts
– Added stress widget/tracking
– Added VO2Max calculation
– Added 24×7 HR tracking widget/tracking
– Added body battery widget/tracking
– Added new Garmin Gen3 ELEVATE optical HR sensor
– Added more sport modes
– Changed from square watch to round watch
– Changed from 4 to 5 buttons (which actually makes a world of difference)
– Changed all-day battery from 9 days down to 7 days
– Of note: GPS-on battery life remains the same at 13 hours (GPS-mode)

The above are the new features which enhance the Garmin 45. But just in case your not as familiar with Garmin’s previously included functionality, we’ve listed the noteworthy ones here below.
– Built-in GPS (no reliance on phone for GPS)
– Workout support for a few sports, with customizable pages/fields
– 24×7 activity tracking, including sleep
– Optical heart rate sensor in the watch
– Smartphone notifications
– Live tracking when paired with a smartphone
– Weather/calendar widgets
– Vibration/Audio alerts
– Uploading to Garmin Connect Training Log website via phone or USB
– Broadcasting of your HR over ANT+ (from wrist to other devices)
– Automatic sync to 3rd party sites like Strava, MyFitnessPal, TrainingPeaks and many more

Probably the biggest difference between the new Forerunner 45/45S and the Forerunner 35 is the basics of the device. While the interface of the Forerunner 35 was roughly based on past budget Garmin watches, the new FR45 instead lends itself to Garmin’s higher end watches. Which, we think makes it easier to use. Note that anytime we refer to the FR45, we’re referring to both FR45 and FR45S. They’re technologically identical in every way except the bezel is simply larger on the FR45 (not the screen size, just the bezel).

Now with that screen, you can toggle between a couple of different stock watch faces. Though unlike Garmin’s higher end units, you can’t customize the stock watch faces (changing data and such). You can only tweak the accent color. But you can download thousands of custom watch faces from Garmin Connect IQ store, which is Garmin’s free app store. You can even make your own watch faces, including adding in photos as the background. Not bad for an activity watch at this price point.

The Garmin Forerunner45 captures all the normal activity tracking metrics you’d expect, including steps (as well as distance), sleep, and heart rate. It doesn’t capture stairs, however, as it lacks a barometric altimeter to measure height.
These metrics are consolidated into widgets, which you can display on the watch by pressing the up/down buttons. Note that the FR45 doesn’t support downloading Connect IQ Widgets like some of Garmin’s higher end watches, but there’s plenty of stock ones to choose from on the watch itself. Here’s a gallery of some of those.

Keep in mind that the 45 is now tracking your activity constantly, it’s also sending that over to Garmin Connect Mobile (the smartphone app) via Bluetooth Smart. From there, you can view these activity stats, challenge friends/family, and also see the stats on the Garmin Connect website. In addition, some 3rd party sites and healthcare providers can also receive this data if you’ve authorized them to. Which helps if you get into an uncomfortable place and need help right away. This is one feature that can provide you with some peace of mind that you are never truly alone, especially if your out on a remote running trail!

Say Good Night!
It will automatically track your sleep if you wear it at night. Technically you can set your regular sleep timeframe to any portion of the day, though it will only track one ‘sleep’ per day. Meaning – it doesn’t track naps. In my experience, it does a pretty good job of nailing my sleep, even with having toddlers running around and waking us at all sorts of random hours. The unit will track the exact sleep cycle, and then log it into Garmin Connect. You can plot and trend this over various timeframes.

The Garmin 45 benefits from a new optical HR sensor ‘package’, the same exact package as the Forerunner 245/945/MARQ. This is used to track your heart rate 24×7, as well as during workouts. For heart rate, it includes modest updates over the sensors used about a year ago, though a bit more significant update over the much older Forerunner 35 sensors. Note that while the sensor hardware itself on the FR45 compared to that of the other new units noted, it doesn’t have PulseOx enabled.

From a continuous heart rate standpoint, it tracks this constantly and then uploads it into Garmin Connect mobile as well. Using your resting HR is a great indicator of when you’re over-trained, fatigued, or when sickness is on the way.

Just a Few More Basic Functions:
The Forerunner 45 supports smartphone notifications like all previous Garmin watches. You’ll see the notifications based on how you’ve configured them on your smartphone via the normal phone notification center, and then they show up on the unit itself. You can then open up a given notification to get more detail about it (such as a longer text message): You can also check missed/past notifications in the notification’s widget seen in the widget gallery a bit earlier in this section. Note that unlike the higher end Forerunner watches, the FR45 doesn’t support a privacy mode for smartphone notifications.

Now Let the Sports Begin!
The Forerunner 45 is all about being a sports watch, or at least, a running-specific watch. But it does monitor other workouts, including cycling and yoga. But face facts, you’re buying it for running (or perhaps walking).

To begin with sports, you do indeed have a few options when it comes to which sports are on the device. By default, that’s: Running (outdoors), Treadmill, Cycling (outdoors), Walk, and Cardio (catch-all bucket).

However, you can use the Garmin Connect Mobile app to add other sports, which include: Indoor Track, Bike Indoor, Walk Indoor, Elliptical, Stair Stepper, Yoga, and the mythical ‘Other’. You can have a max of 6 activities loaded onto the watch at any one point in time. In other words, they duplicated what Fitbit does here (for no particularly good reason).

No matter whether you’ve modified the sports or just kept with the defaults, to start recording a new workout you’ll simply tap the upper right button and then select the sport. Once you’ve done that, it’ll ask you if you want to execute any scheduled workouts for that day. So if you had something loaded up from Garmin Coach for example, or something else on your calendar, it’ll offer those to you first (which you can skip).
After that, you’re at the GPS and HR waiting screen. It’s here that it’ll go off and find GPS. This Sony GPS chipset supports GPS, GPS+GLONASS, and GPS+Galileo.

As part of this, the 45 will also ensure it has a lock on your heart rate via the optical HR sensor on the back of the unit. Generally, that’s instantaneous since it’s constantly tracking HR 24×7 anyway.

If you press down again before you start the workout you can tweak some of the settings for that sport, in this case – running. First is the ability to select a structured workout. While before, it asked us if we wanted to do the day’s scheduled workout if you had nothing scheduled/setup – then this is a chance to select one from your library of workouts. Or, you can just do a one-off interval session where you define the duration of the interval, the repeats, the rest, and the cool-down/warm-up.

Next, you can customize your data screens during the workout. The FR45 is pretty basic, mirroring that of the FR30/35 before it. Here’s what you get to start with (all are three-field pages by default). All of these are customizable:
Data Page 1: Distance, Timer, Pace
Data Page 2: HR Zone, Heart Rate, Calories
Data Page 3: Lap Time, Lap Distance, Lap Pace
Data Page 4: Time of day clock page
Data Page 5 (Optional): 1, 2, or 3 metrics each of your choosing

Available Data Metrics: Timer, Distance, Pace, Calories, Heart Rate, HR Zone, Lap Time, Lap Distance, Lap Pace, Average Pace, Cadence, Steps, Time of Day.

In the case of cycling, you’ll get the speed variants of each of the above (i.e., MPH/KPH) instead of pace.

Next, you can configure alerts. Options include heart rate (zone, or custom BPM range), run/walk (time-based), time, distance, pace (specific pace), or calories. What’s nice is that you can configure alerts but toggle them on/off quickly to use on different runs. For example, you might setup run/walk for your long run, but then toggle it off for your other runs that week. It’s a single toggle, versus having to set it up again.

You can also configure laps. By default, auto-lap is enabled at 1-mile (or 1-kilometer depending on if you use statute or metric). But you can manually lap at any time with the lap key. Or you can turn auto-lap off.

Finally, there’s auto pause, which is off by default but can be enabled to automatically pause the timer when you stop. Unlike some of Garmin’s higher end watches though – there’s no configurable threshold on this though. Also, the GPS options are in here as well, where you can toggle between the aforementioned GPS modes (GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO).

With the setup process complete you’re ready to get moving and then you can see your results displayed on the various screens. If you’re running a custom, structured training session, you’ll also get a custom workout screen which shows the specific targets of your workout. Say you're doing a run, it will give you a 5-second beeping countdown to each segment of your workout followed by the specific targets for that portion. It’ll also give a guide chart while doing that section with the target, as well as the specific time/distance/etc remaining for that portion.

It works well and is easy to follow. And in many ways, this is the most important part of this watch. It’s what fundamentally separates it from the Apple Watch and others which lack the depth and customization of the structured workout program.

You have to do a test workout first (it’s only 9 minutes), and then based on the results of that test workout, it’ll fill in exactly what the structure and intensity is to reach your goal time. You can adjust which days of the week you can work out, and your preference for the long run too.

Once you’re done with your run, you’ll go ahead and press the start button to pause it. At this juncture you can eat some ice cream and then press resume to continue running, or, you can end it. Then you'll get a summary page, including your current VO2Max level.

Then the watch is automatically transmitting this information over to your phone via Bluetooth Smart. It’s there that you can see much more detailed information on Garmin Connect Mobile (the smartphone app). Additionally, you can also look at your workouts on the Garmin Connect website as well.

Further, if you’ve connected Strava, MyFitnessPal, TrainingPeaks or any other sites, all of those will receive a copy of your workout instantly as well. Just remember on Strava to add emoji, it increases your likes (so they say).

The one last thing we want to touch on in the sports section is Garmin’s Incident Detection and Assistance features, which are seeing widespread rollout to Garmin devices – especially with these three (FR45/245/945) product launches. Both features are safety focused and have two slightly different purposes.

Incident Detection: This will automatically detect an incident while running/cycling (in a workout specifically) and notifies your predefined contacts with a text message and a live track link to see exactly where you are.

Safety Assistance: This allows you to, with one button, send a predefined message to emergency contacts with your initial location, followed by a live tracking link. The main scenario here being, you feel unsafe and want someone to be aware of that.

Both of these features depend on you having your phone with you. Since the Forerunner 45 doesn’t have cellular in it, you need to be within range of your phone. Both features can be canceled in the event they’re triggered accidentally. And both features are set up on Garmin Connect Mobile first. It’s here you define emergency contacts.

Once that’s done, the crash detection will occur while cycling or running during a workout. This is different than Apple, which has fall detection 24×7. Essentially, Garmin is looking for forward speed, followed by a significant stopping accelerometer event – and then critically – no further forward progress. Meaning, if you were running along and jumped down a big ledge and kept running, that wouldn’t trigger it, since you continued going. Whereas if you were running, jumped off the ledge and then face-planted, that would likely trigger it since you ceased making forward progress.

Rounding things out – the thing that makes the Forerunner 45 a more capable running watch than the Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Active (or Fitbit Versa/Ionic) is the structured workout and complete tie-in with all of the aspects of Garmin Connect/Garmin Connect Mobile. 

To Sum Things Up:
There’s no question that Garmin packed an incredible number of features into the FR45, at least from an upgrade perspective over the FR35. If sports and fitness are what you’re after in a sports activity tracker – then the FR45’s super strong offering is all ready to strap on to your wrist.

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This may be just the ticket to get you off of the couch and out on the road and giving you the incentive, you need to make being active your NEW norm!

The Garmin Forerunner 45 hits the mark as one of Garmin’s most capable running watches.
The 45 does a great job of being the smartwatch to go with if you’re into tracking your sports activities. If you’re looking for a running or sport specific watch, then this is the one for you.

The Forerunner 45 also has another selling point, it's price structure of being around $200. While letting you have the ability to download structured workouts, including those from the company’s free ‘Garmin Coach’ adaptive/dynamic training programs, as well as incident detection and assistance (which notifies friends/family if you get into trouble). Just the ticket if you're heading off the regular running tracks and off into the hilly mountain paths.

It has an optical HR sensor on it for tracking 24×7 HR and stress. It supports more than just running, with other sports including cycling, treadmills, and yoga, but doesn’t have quite the number of sports their other units have. And finally, it adds Connect IQ custom watch faces but stops short of allowing full Connect IQ apps or data fields.

Below are the specs on what's improved with the 45 over the Garmin 35.
– Added two sizes: 39mm (Forerunner 45S) and 42mm (Forerunner 45)
– Added color display
– Added structured workout support
– Added training plans support (including calendar/scheduled workouts)
– Added Garmin Coach compatibility
– Added Connect IQ Watch Face support
– Added incident (crash/fall) detection
– Added safety tracking/assistance
– Added Pace/Speed alerts
– Added stress widget/tracking
– Added VO2Max calculation
– Added 24×7 HR tracking widget/tracking
– Added body battery widget/tracking
– Added new Garmin Gen3 ELEVATE optical HR sensor
– Added more sport modes
– Changed from square watch to round watch
– Changed from 4 to 5 buttons (which actually makes a world of difference)
– Changed all-day battery from 9 days down to 7 days
– Of note: GPS-on battery life remains the same at 13 hours (GPS-mode)

The above are the new features which enhance the Garmin 45. But just in case your not as familiar with Garmin’s previously included functionality, we’ve listed the noteworthy ones here below.
– Built-in GPS (no reliance on phone for GPS)
– Workout support for a few sports, with customizable pages/fields
– 24×7 activity tracking, including sleep
– Optical heart rate sensor in the watch
– Smartphone notifications
– Live tracking when paired with a smartphone
– Weather/calendar widgets
– Vibration/Audio alerts
– Uploading to Garmin Connect Training Log website via phone or USB
– Broadcasting of your HR over ANT+ (from wrist to other devices)
– Automatic sync to 3rd party sites like Strava, MyFitnessPal, TrainingPeaks and many more

Probably the biggest difference between the new Forerunner 45/45S and the Forerunner 35 is the basics of the device. While the interface of the Forerunner 35 was roughly based on past budget Garmin watches, the new FR45 instead lends itself to Garmin’s higher end watches. Which, we think makes it easier to use. Note that anytime we refer to the FR45, we’re referring to both FR45 and FR45S. They’re technologically identical in every way except the bezel is simply larger on the FR45 (not the screen size, just the bezel).

Now with that screen, you can toggle between a couple of different stock watch faces. Though unlike Garmin’s higher end units, you can’t customize the stock watch faces (changing data and such). You can only tweak the accent color. But you can download thousands of custom watch faces from Garmin Connect IQ store, which is Garmin’s free app store. You can even make your own watch faces, including adding in photos as the background. Not bad for an activity watch at this price point.

The Garmin Forerunner45 captures all the normal activity tracking metrics you’d expect, including steps (as well as distance), sleep, and heart rate. It doesn’t capture stairs, however, as it lacks a barometric altimeter to measure height.
These metrics are consolidated into widgets, which you can display on the watch by pressing the up/down buttons. Note that the FR45 doesn’t support downloading Connect IQ Widgets like some of Garmin’s higher end watches, but there’s plenty of stock ones to choose from on the watch itself. Here’s a gallery of some of those.

Keep in mind that the 45 is now tracking your activity constantly, it’s also sending that over to Garmin Connect Mobile (the smartphone app) via Bluetooth Smart. From there, you can view these activity stats, challenge friends/family, and also see the stats on the Garmin Connect website. In addition, some 3rd party sites and healthcare providers can also receive this data if you’ve authorized them to. Which helps if you get into an uncomfortable place and need help right away. This is one feature that can provide you with some peace of mind that you are never truly alone, especially if your out on a remote running trail!

Say Good Night!
It will automatically track your sleep if you wear it at night. Technically you can set your regular sleep timeframe to any portion of the day, though it will only track one ‘sleep’ per day. Meaning – it doesn’t track naps. In my experience, it does a pretty good job of nailing my sleep, even with having toddlers running around and waking us at all sorts of random hours. The unit will track the exact sleep cycle, and then log it into Garmin Connect. You can plot and trend this over various timeframes.

The Garmin 45 benefits from a new optical HR sensor ‘package’, the same exact package as the Forerunner 245/945/MARQ. This is used to track your heart rate 24×7, as well as during workouts. For heart rate, it includes modest updates over the sensors used about a year ago, though a bit more significant update over the much older Forerunner 35 sensors. Note that while the sensor hardware itself on the FR45 compared to that of the other new units noted, it doesn’t have PulseOx enabled.

From a continuous heart rate standpoint, it tracks this constantly and then uploads it into Garmin Connect mobile as well. Using your resting HR is a great indicator of when you’re over-trained, fatigued, or when sickness is on the way.

Just a Few More Basic Functions:
The Forerunner 45 supports smartphone notifications like all previous Garmin watches. You’ll see the notifications based on how you’ve configured them on your smartphone via the normal phone notification center, and then they show up on the unit itself. You can then open up a given notification to get more detail about it (such as a longer text message): You can also check missed/past notifications in the notification’s widget seen in the widget gallery a bit earlier in this section. Note that unlike the higher end Forerunner watches, the FR45 doesn’t support a privacy mode for smartphone notifications.

Now Let the Sports Begin!
The Forerunner 45 is all about being a sports watch, or at least, a running-specific watch. But it does monitor other workouts, including cycling and yoga. But face facts, you’re buying it for running (or perhaps walking).

To begin with sports, you do indeed have a few options when it comes to which sports are on the device. By default, that’s: Running (outdoors), Treadmill, Cycling (outdoors), Walk, and Cardio (catch-all bucket).

However, you can use the Garmin Connect Mobile app to add other sports, which include: Indoor Track, Bike Indoor, Walk Indoor, Elliptical, Stair Stepper, Yoga, and the mythical ‘Other’. You can have a max of 6 activities loaded onto the watch at any one point in time. In other words, they duplicated what Fitbit does here (for no particularly good reason).

No matter whether you’ve modified the sports or just kept with the defaults, to start recording a new workout you’ll simply tap the upper right button and then select the sport. Once you’ve done that, it’ll ask you if you want to execute any scheduled workouts for that day. So if you had something loaded up from Garmin Coach for example, or something else on your calendar, it’ll offer those to you first (which you can skip).
After that, you’re at the GPS and HR waiting screen. It’s here that it’ll go off and find GPS. This Sony GPS chipset supports GPS, GPS+GLONASS, and GPS+Galileo.

As part of this, the 45 will also ensure it has a lock on your heart rate via the optical HR sensor on the back of the unit. Generally, that’s instantaneous since it’s constantly tracking HR 24×7 anyway.

If you press down again before you start the workout you can tweak some of the settings for that sport, in this case – running. First is the ability to select a structured workout. While before, it asked us if we wanted to do the day’s scheduled workout if you had nothing scheduled/setup – then this is a chance to select one from your library of workouts. Or, you can just do a one-off interval session where you define the duration of the interval, the repeats, the rest, and the cool-down/warm-up.

Next, you can customize your data screens during the workout. The FR45 is pretty basic, mirroring that of the FR30/35 before it. Here’s what you get to start with (all are three-field pages by default). All of these are customizable:
Data Page 1: Distance, Timer, Pace
Data Page 2: HR Zone, Heart Rate, Calories
Data Page 3: Lap Time, Lap Distance, Lap Pace
Data Page 4: Time of day clock page
Data Page 5 (Optional): 1, 2, or 3 metrics each of your choosing

Available Data Metrics: Timer, Distance, Pace, Calories, Heart Rate, HR Zone, Lap Time, Lap Distance, Lap Pace, Average Pace, Cadence, Steps, Time of Day.

In the case of cycling, you’ll get the speed variants of each of the above (i.e., MPH/KPH) instead of pace.

Next, you can configure alerts. Options include heart rate (zone, or custom BPM range), run/walk (time-based), time, distance, pace (specific pace), or calories. What’s nice is that you can configure alerts but toggle them on/off quickly to use on different runs. For example, you might setup run/walk for your long run, but then toggle it off for your other runs that week. It’s a single toggle, versus having to set it up again.

You can also configure laps. By default, auto-lap is enabled at 1-mile (or 1-kilometer depending on if you use statute or metric). But you can manually lap at any time with the lap key. Or you can turn auto-lap off.

Finally, there’s auto pause, which is off by default but can be enabled to automatically pause the timer when you stop. Unlike some of Garmin’s higher end watches though – there’s no configurable threshold on this though. Also, the GPS options are in here as well, where you can toggle between the aforementioned GPS modes (GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO).

With the setup process complete you’re ready to get moving and then you can see your results displayed on the various screens. If you’re running a custom, structured training session, you’ll also get a custom workout screen which shows the specific targets of your workout. Say you're doing a run, it will give you a 5-second beeping countdown to each segment of your workout followed by the specific targets for that portion. It’ll also give a guide chart while doing that section with the target, as well as the specific time/distance/etc remaining for that portion.

It works well and is easy to follow. And in many ways, this is the most important part of this watch. It’s what fundamentally separates it from the Apple Watch and others which lack the depth and customization of the structured workout program.

You have to do a test workout first (it’s only 9 minutes), and then based on the results of that test workout, it’ll fill in exactly what the structure and intensity is to reach your goal time. You can adjust which days of the week you can work out, and your preference for the long run too.

Once you’re done with your run, you’ll go ahead and press the start button to pause it. At this juncture you can eat some ice cream and then press resume to continue running, or, you can end it. Then you'll get a summary page, including your current VO2Max level.

Then the watch is automatically transmitting this information over to your phone via Bluetooth Smart. It’s there that you can see much more detailed information on Garmin Connect Mobile (the smartphone app). Additionally, you can also look at your workouts on the Garmin Connect website as well.

Further, if you’ve connected Strava, MyFitnessPal, TrainingPeaks or any other sites, all of those will receive a copy of your workout instantly as well. Just remember on Strava to add emoji, it increases your likes (so they say).

The one last thing we want to touch on in the sports section is Garmin’s Incident Detection and Assistance features, which are seeing widespread rollout to Garmin devices – especially with these three (FR45/245/945) product launches. Both features are safety focused and have two slightly different purposes.

Incident Detection: This will automatically detect an incident while running/cycling (in a workout specifically) and notifies your predefined contacts with a text message and a live track link to see exactly where you are.

Safety Assistance: This allows you to, with one button, send a predefined message to emergency contacts with your initial location, followed by a live tracking link. The main scenario here being, you feel unsafe and want someone to be aware of that.

Both of these features depend on you having your phone with you. Since the Forerunner 45 doesn’t have cellular in it, you need to be within range of your phone. Both features can be canceled in the event they’re triggered accidentally. And both features are set up on Garmin Connect Mobile first. It’s here you define emergency contacts.

Once that’s done, the crash detection will occur while cycling or running during a workout. This is different than Apple, which has fall detection 24×7. Essentially, Garmin is looking for forward speed, followed by a significant stopping accelerometer event – and then critically – no further forward progress. Meaning, if you were running along and jumped down a big ledge and kept running, that wouldn’t trigger it, since you continued going. Whereas if you were running, jumped off the ledge and then face-planted, that would likely trigger it since you ceased making forward progress.

Rounding things out – the thing that makes the Forerunner 45 a more capable running watch than the Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Active (or Fitbit Versa/Ionic) is the structured workout and complete tie-in with all of the aspects of Garmin Connect/Garmin Connect Mobile. 

To Sum Things Up:
There’s no question that Garmin packed an incredible number of features into the FR45, at least from an upgrade perspective over the FR35. If sports and fitness are what you’re after in a sports activity tracker – then the FR45’s super strong offering is all ready to strap on to your wrist.

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Spring Activities Need The Right Fuel And Tools

If you’re like me, this weather that’s finally arrived has me itching to get out and do something. Whether its lacing up a pair of running shoes and hitting the trails or a running path throughout the neighborhood or getting my bike down from its hangers and taking it out for a spin on the open road or mountain bike trails. All I know is winter seems to be finally behind us and I want to get out and enjoy the sunshine and feel nature hitting me in the face!

If it was a long winter for you and you’re seeking some new ways to exercise outside, why not do so with your significant other? It’s long been known that there are some serious benefits to getting healthy with your partner, including a better maintaining that urge to be active outside by being able to support each other's individual fitness and diet goals. Not to mention that couples that are active together have been shown to be 90% more likely to stick to a routine than if they were going it alone. So, use that enthusiasm that's got you itching to get outside and be more active by encouraging your partner along with you for that ride, jog, even rock-climbing, but do it together and you’re going to increase that feeling of wellbeing two-fold!

Besides, it's a known fact that some outside activities also build strength and stamina, the more you do them and to the greater length that you push your bodies to increase the duration that you're participating together to meet your pre-set goals. 

Endurance: Endurance activities increase your breathing and heart rate. They keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy and improve your overall fitness. Building endurance makes it easier to carry out many of your everyday activities.

Brisk walking or jogging: Getting those running shoes on is always a good feeling. After all, going for a good run is a great way to get your heart pumping and getting the kinks out after being cooped up in your home during the winter months. But as always, you need to work up to last years pace and distance and knowing just how well your doing is important in order to set realistic goals for yourself.

A good way to do this is by monitoring your progress with a good, accurate smartwatch. One equipped with a GPS and heart rate monitor to let you know just how far you’re going and how well your body is reacting to the stress you're putting on it. One good all-around monitor is the Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Watch  It’s a great all-around activity monitor that’s simple and easy to use. It has a built-in GPS function that tracks your distance and allows you to plot your course for repeat runs, or walks. This activity monitor also doubles as a heart rate monitor as well and it’s doing this right on your wrist, no more chest straps are needed. Using Garmin's Elevate wrist heart rate technology. It can keep track of your heart rate when you’re really moving and even at rest, so you know the kind of stress you're putting on yourself. And it has an "All-day” activity tracking capability that counts your steps, calories and intensity minutes and reminds you when to move. And if you desire, it automatically uploads your data to Garmin Connect, where you can see how you’re doing against your friends if you choose to allow them to view your progress.

Yard work (mowing, raking, digging) is another form of outdoor activity that can get your blood pumping while getting your place in order. After all, your yard probably needs a lot of attention if you’ve been stuck inside all winter. Now is the perfect time to get those fall leaves off of the grass, and pick up the fallen branches and sticks and give the yard a rake before you try starting that lawnmower of yours. And if it’s a pull crank, you may just be looking for a little help in yanking on that cord to get it started after its been hibernating like you this past winter season!

No matter what you're looking at doing this spring to get outside and be more active, you also need to remember to provide the fuel your body’s engine is going to need to make all of these things happen. One good form of energy to have on hand is GU Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel.  This smooth, great-tasting gel snack that not only tastes good but also gives you a kick of energy! The perfect fuel for those looking for a snack that can also be a benefit to not only their workouts but provides a boost for those that are working their muscles outside doing routine clean up chores that require hours of work to get the jobs done.

So, you can bet you’re not going to be alone this spring as the sun begins to climb higher in the sky every day, and sets a little bit later each day. Taking advantage of the springtime warmth to get back to being outdoors and active is going to be on everyone’s agenda. The key is to keep your activities in moderation as you build up your body’s stamina and in time you're going to be back up to speed to where you were when the leaves started to drop last fall.  



 

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If you’re like me, this weather that’s finally arrived has me itching to get out and do something. Whether its lacing up a pair of running shoes and hitting the trails or a running path throughout the neighborhood or getting my bike down from its hangers and taking it out for a spin on the open road or mountain bike trails. All I know is winter seems to be finally behind us and I want to get out and enjoy the sunshine and feel nature hitting me in the face!

If it was a long winter for you and you’re seeking some new ways to exercise outside, why not do so with your significant other? It’s long been known that there are some serious benefits to getting healthy with your partner, including a better maintaining that urge to be active outside by being able to support each other's individual fitness and diet goals. Not to mention that couples that are active together have been shown to be 90% more likely to stick to a routine than if they were going it alone. So, use that enthusiasm that's got you itching to get outside and be more active by encouraging your partner along with you for that ride, jog, even rock-climbing, but do it together and you’re going to increase that feeling of wellbeing two-fold!

Besides, it's a known fact that some outside activities also build strength and stamina, the more you do them and to the greater length that you push your bodies to increase the duration that you're participating together to meet your pre-set goals. 

Endurance: Endurance activities increase your breathing and heart rate. They keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy and improve your overall fitness. Building endurance makes it easier to carry out many of your everyday activities.

Brisk walking or jogging: Getting those running shoes on is always a good feeling. After all, going for a good run is a great way to get your heart pumping and getting the kinks out after being cooped up in your home during the winter months. But as always, you need to work up to last years pace and distance and knowing just how well your doing is important in order to set realistic goals for yourself.

A good way to do this is by monitoring your progress with a good, accurate smartwatch. One equipped with a GPS and heart rate monitor to let you know just how far you’re going and how well your body is reacting to the stress you're putting on it. One good all-around monitor is the Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Watch  It’s a great all-around activity monitor that’s simple and easy to use. It has a built-in GPS function that tracks your distance and allows you to plot your course for repeat runs, or walks. This activity monitor also doubles as a heart rate monitor as well and it’s doing this right on your wrist, no more chest straps are needed. Using Garmin's Elevate wrist heart rate technology. It can keep track of your heart rate when you’re really moving and even at rest, so you know the kind of stress you're putting on yourself. And it has an "All-day” activity tracking capability that counts your steps, calories and intensity minutes and reminds you when to move. And if you desire, it automatically uploads your data to Garmin Connect, where you can see how you’re doing against your friends if you choose to allow them to view your progress.

Yard work (mowing, raking, digging) is another form of outdoor activity that can get your blood pumping while getting your place in order. After all, your yard probably needs a lot of attention if you’ve been stuck inside all winter. Now is the perfect time to get those fall leaves off of the grass, and pick up the fallen branches and sticks and give the yard a rake before you try starting that lawnmower of yours. And if it’s a pull crank, you may just be looking for a little help in yanking on that cord to get it started after its been hibernating like you this past winter season!

No matter what you're looking at doing this spring to get outside and be more active, you also need to remember to provide the fuel your body’s engine is going to need to make all of these things happen. One good form of energy to have on hand is GU Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel.  This smooth, great-tasting gel snack that not only tastes good but also gives you a kick of energy! The perfect fuel for those looking for a snack that can also be a benefit to not only their workouts but provides a boost for those that are working their muscles outside doing routine clean up chores that require hours of work to get the jobs done.

So, you can bet you’re not going to be alone this spring as the sun begins to climb higher in the sky every day, and sets a little bit later each day. Taking advantage of the springtime warmth to get back to being outdoors and active is going to be on everyone’s agenda. The key is to keep your activities in moderation as you build up your body’s stamina and in time you're going to be back up to speed to where you were when the leaves started to drop last fall.  



 

Read more