With literally hundreds of different types of GPS watches, it can be difficult to make the right decision and find the perfect watch for you. Fancy extras like tracking software and high-tech functions like heart rate calculators can confuse the weekend exerciser, while they may delight the professional athlete. Additional functions included on a GPS watch fall into three main categories, making it simple to figure out which ones are imperative and which features you can do without. Once the features are broken down into categories, it’s easy to learn all about the different types of GPS watches available, and understand just how you can find the GPS sports watch that will fit right in with your lifestyle.

The first category is the GPS function itself. The simplest, most bare-bones GPS watch will include two main functions- the GPS navigator, and the time. Typically available in a digital interface, this makes it simple to check your location (via the GPS function) as well as other features such as the date, time, etc. The quality of the GPS you choose should depend on where you typically trek, as more expensive GPS functions can track locations despite tall buildings or trees. A GPS can also provide maps, keep track of previous routes, provide directions, and pinpoint your exact location.

Health features are useful if you’re training or working out with fitness, not enjoyment, in mind. Heart monitors track your heart rate and issue alerts if you waver too low or high from a preset rate, ideal for anyone concerned with their condition. Calorie calculators can track how many calories have been burned per workout, and compare it to past workouts to display your progress. Some GPS watches will include software that allows you to train against a “virtual partner,” ideal for those who train best when they’re in a competition.

Many of the best GPS watches now include tracking software. This is perfect if you’re training for a marathon, involved in a competitive sport, attempting to lose weight, or enjoy watching your progress. For those who exercise only occasionally or consider themselves an amateur, this function may not be needed. From tracking your calories burned to your heart rate, and your routes traveled to your speed, tracking software is useful. This software will record your specified data, log it into records, and than save these logs on your computer for later viewing and comparisons. Some brands include this software with a watch, while others may require you to download or purchase the software separately.

Miscellaneous extras may include alarms, water-resistance, date and calendar displays, and multi-sport functions. Depending on the sport or exercise method you prefer, these may or may not be necessary. For example, if you enjoy participating in triathlons, a multi-sport feature may be useful, while if you enjoy swimming and diving, water resistance may be imperative. GPS watches really aren’t that complicated to understand once you break down the functions and view each one separately to make your decision.

Reading your GPS heart rate monitor

More and more GPS watches currently on the market feature a heart rate monitoring function, ideal for any health-conscious exerciser. While they may seem complicated, setting, programming, and reading these monitors are actually quite simple. With just a few quick mathematical equations, it’s easy to discover your ideal resting and maximum heart rate. The user-friendly digital interface makes it effortless to read a heart rate monitor, no matter what brand or style of GPS watch you have chosen to purchase. With additional features like tracking software and alarm systems, anyone can learn to use a heart monitor with their GPS watch in no time at all.

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First of all, you must set the monitor to your average maximum heart rate. This data is essential to track your calories burned, exercising progress, and health status. Figuring out the maximum your body can handle before burning out doesn’t require any strenuous activity tests, only a quick computation. The number 220 minus your current age should give you your average maximum heart rate, a number you should not go above when exercising. For example, if you’re thirty, 220-30= 190, so you would set the monitor’s alarm to go off at 109 beats per minute as exercising at or above this rate may be harmful to your health.

To maximise caloric burn for a more efficient work out, your heart rate while exercising must stay between fifty and eighty-five percent of your previously calculated maximum heart rate. If your maximum heart rate is 190, as noted above, than you would multiply this number by .5 to figure out your bare minimum. You will than need to set the heart rate monitor’s alarm to go off if you go below 95 beats per minute, as 190x.5=95. If you wish, you can set another alarm to go off at 85%, or 162, as exercising above this number is nearing your maximum heart rate zone.

Reading the heart rate monitor on your GPS watch depends on the watch model you have purchased, but most heart rate monitors function the same. Equipped with a sensor that is either strapped across the chest or clipped to your fingertip, the monitor style you pick should blend seamlessly with your preferred method of exercise. On the watch’s face, your current heart rate will flash on the screen, and may also display your pre-set maximum and minimum rates in smaller numbers. The alarm you’ve already set up will sound if you’re exercising too leisurely or strenuously. To ensure the number you’re viewing is your heart rate an not another number such as the time or date, typically the watch will feature a small digital image of a heart somewhere on the screen.

Heart rate monitors on GPS watches are extremely useful whether you exercise daily or infrequently. They are especially helpful for those who enjoy training but suffer from health problems. Easy to use and simple to read, GPS watches with heart monitors will be an excellent addition to anyone‘s exercise equipment.

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