Health + Fitness

How a GPS Watch Can Up Your Workouts

A GPS watch is a useful training tool to enhance your workouts and help meet your goals. Many watches track heart rate, distance ran, and calories burned. Some of the more advanced watches track recovery time, steps per minute, and can switch seamlessly from one activity to another. The following are a few ways how a GPS watch can up your workouts.

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Test Yourself

Instead of competing against other people, compete against yourself. There is no better motivation than watching yourself improve over time. With GPS watches, you get detailed information and stats on where you were, where you are, and where you can be in the future.

 

If you are training for a marathon and want to beat your time from last year, a GPS watch can help with that as well. A watch can track your sessions without you having to manually write it down. Train for the race and once a month go back to a familiar course to see how you improved. A good idea would be to run the route closest to the race you are training for.

 


 

Heart Rate Training Zones

If your GPS watch has a heart rate monitor, you can work out in your heart rate training zone. How do you calculate that? The first thing is to figure out your maximum heart rate. Take 220 and subtract your age. For example, if you are 20 then your maximum heart rate is 200 beats per minute. This is a general rule as some people have naturally higher or lower heart rate than others, so that is something to keep in mind. Next, figure your resting heart rate by taking your pulse before you get out of bed in the morning.

 

After you know your resting and maximum heart rate, you need to figure out your reserve. This is a subtraction of your resting heart rate from maximum heart rate. For example, if your resting heart rate is 70 and your maximum is 200, then your reserve heart rate is 130.

 

The aerobic training heart rate range is 50 to 75 percent of your heart rate reserve. For example, if your reserve is 130, then 50 percent is 65 and 75 percent is 93.6. Next, add 65 to 130 = 195 and 75 to 130 = 205. Therefore, you will efficiently burn the most calories when your heart rate is between 195 and 205.

 


 

Accurately Track Calories

If you are looking to lose weight or keep your calories in check, a watch can help keep you on track. The watch will accurately track your calories and connect to various third parties app for inputting meals. This can get even more detailed if you want to track macros, carbs, sugar, sodium, etc.

 

Another good idea for tracking calories is to ensure you are eating enough for your workouts. It is important for your body to have enough fuel to keep your performance up and to increase it over time. A watch can help keep track of the input and calories burned so you make sure you get the right amount of nutrition.

 

Software to Help Your Workout

There are a few well-known apps that pair with GPS watches. Strava is one of the most comprehensive and tracks calories, distance, heart rate, and all the other features you need. Strava has a Route feature where you can save your current route for later or download one another user has posted.

workout-sessions

If you are a Google fan, Google Fit offers activity tracking from your smartwatch, depending on what type you have. One nice option with this app is it can pull data from other apps such as Runkeeper, Strava, Lifesum, and Nokia Health Mate.

 

Runtastic is available on many GPS watches and works with Apple Watch and Samsung Gear. The app works with voice commands and you are able to pause activity right from the screen.

 

Lifesum is more than just tracking activities, it allows you to input what you eat and drink as well. Even more, it will let you know your current energy status right on your watch. This will let you know if you need to eat more, move around, or if it’s time to exercise.

 

Smart Recovery

Recovery time is as important as your exercise time. If you are overtraining, your body will be more tired and you will become more prone to injury or illness. A few GPS watches on the market track how training affects your body and compares the load to your body over workout sessions. If you put too much into intervals one day, the watch can adjust accordingly. Furthermore, the watch will also tell you how much downtime you should have in-between workouts.


 

Final Thoughts

GPS watches can be an important training tool if you are serious about training and want to track your progress. Furthermore, the watch can provide important feedback that allows you to adjust your workout accordingly. If you are wondering where to start, check out the top GPS watches of 2018.

 

 

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Ruggero Loda

Ruggero Loda is founder and editor at Running Shoes Guru - the only website that buys and tests more than 100 pairs of shoes each year to guarantee its independence and provide only expert, honest and unbiased running shoe reviews.

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