Fitness Watches – What Are They and What Do They Do?


There are actually lots of styles of fitness watches, all with several different functions and sports applications that vary from a basic heart monitoring aid at entry level to an on-board (or rather on wrist) fitness watches suitable for monitoring performance of world class athletes. Thus if you are just at the beginning of your fitness journey you may well be asking what all the fuss is about and how can fitness watches help.

First off, before starting any exercise for the first time or if you have got any health issues, it’s a good idea to check in with a health practitioner before you start. Once you have got the all clear you will then be able to get the best results from fitness regime.

All fitness watches or heart rate monitors as they’re commonly known work by either recording or displaying your heart rate. Heart rate is the number of heartbeats per unit of your time, typically expressed as beats per minute (BPM), your heart beat varies as your body’s call for oxygen changes, like during exercise.

Heart rate is sometimes measured by finding the heartbeat of the body. This beat or pulse rate can be measured at any place on the body where an artery’s pulsation is transmitted to the surface – often as it is compressed against an underlying structure like bone – by pressuring it with the index and middle finger. With fitness watches the rate is picked up by reading the electrical signal that’s emitted by the heart during it’s beats. Every time the heart beats, (or expands and contracts) an electrical signal is picked up by the monitor’s electrodes which are then transmitted to the receiver. The rate is then displayed on fitness watches where you’ll see your results.

Fitness watches help you to find a happy balance between maybe injury causing over-training, and ineffective under-training. The use of a decent fitness watches puts an end to a exercise guessing games, by concentrating on exercise intensity, tracking and keeping track of the overall efficiency of your training efforts. The results generated act as a reliable indicator to enable you to achieve your fitness goals.

Basic watches show just your heart rate, with the more elaborate and expensive watches allowing you to calculate and show the optimal average and highest heart rates. If you are very serious concerning your exercise efforts, some models are even in a position to download and receive data via the Web, allowing you to print, store, and keep track of your personalized training data on your home computer.

Establishing your fitness level, based on factors such as age, weight, activity, and heart rate, is wise before you start an exercise program. A high quality monitor should include this as a feature. A further benefit is that it provides you with a fitness baseline, for gauging improvement over time. It will give you a plan of how watch your improvements in fitness compared to how fit you were when you started.

If you’ve recently been converted to the fitness fraternity, you may still believe in the old adage of ‘no pain, no gain’. Your aim should be thought as something gentler.What you should be aiming at would be sustained controlled effort within your targeted heart rate, for a set period of time. This is where the real gain in fitness lies. By enabling you to stay on “target”, at the most useful exertion rate.