Guide from Stadium: Choose the optimal sports watch!

Sure, there is a plethora of phone applications which show distance, steps and calorie consumption. But if you wish to raise the level of your training, you need a heart-rate monitor with accurate measurement and built-in programs for everything from intervals to training.

Guide from Stadium: Choose the optimal sports watch!

How your heart rate works
Your muscles need oxygen to function. When you train more intensely, they need more oxygen and your heart therefore beats faster in order to transport the oxygen. That is the pulse itself. As you become more fit, your heart and lungs become stronger and can send out more oxygen with each heartbeat - this is what gives you the strength to train harder. A heart-rate monitor on your wrist - in some cases assisted by a band around your chest - helps to register your heartbeats. It is thus the perfect tool to know how to react to different types of training - both in real time and afterwards. Many manufacturers also have an app where you can save your results and follow your progress. You can in this way get to know your body better and adapt your training in accordance with want to achieve in a longer time-span.

Choose the right model
What watch you should select depends on what you intend to train - and what level you intend to reach.

  • The simplest models measure heart rate and calorie consumption and are best suited for individuals who exercise at a recreational level or those who want to know more about their sleep patterns or overall health.
  • If you want a more accurate heart-rate measurement and smart functions for speed, distance, heart and sleep analysis, as well as feedback on your training, you need a more advanced model.
  • For elite athletes, there are heart-rate monitors with built-in wi-fi and smart screens which have advanced programs for swimming, hiking, climbing, alpine skiing, cycling, triathlon, swimrun, crossfit, gym and for example treadmill running. Several manufacturers also offer the opportunity to create your own training programs based on your specific needs. In some models it is possible to measure how fit you are based on maximum oxygen uptake capacity or, for example, how much power you transfer to your bike's pedals.

Battery life

The battery life differs between the different models. If you intend to work out for long, you need a watch which can handle the workout without having to be charged. If you find it difficult to charge the watch every day or every other day, you need a watch which can "rest" for a long time.

Are you training for a race? If so, it is a good idea to use a watch which can accurately measure how far - and where - you have run. With phone apps, the distances can be off by several hundred meters. Manufacturers of heart-rate monitors have more sophisticated ways of measuring position with satellites and the most advanced clock models combine several different systems.

When are you going to wear the watch?
Not too long ago, most heart-rate monitors looked like something you could use on the running trails but not in public. This has changed - today, the design has improved to the extent that many choose to wear  heart-rate monitors even in everyday life. With smart functions such as notifications about calendar events, push notifications and incoming text messages and emails, your heart-rate monitor can also help at the workplace or at school.

Let others motivate you!
How fast are you on the distance between the bridge and the intersection? Compare yourself with others. The fact that running and cycling have become popular leisure activities is obvious, and with modern heart-rate monitors you can check your results and compare them directly with other people. A great way to motivate further improvement.

Keep in mind that
A large dial on the watch means larger numbers and better visibility, but if you have narrow wrists, a smaller dial will fit you better.

Did you know that
Your pulse reveals your day-to-day shape. If you have slept poorly or have an infection in your body, your heart-rate will be higher than normal and indicate that you should go a little easier or completely refrain from exercise until you feel better and your heart rate is normal again.

Find Stadium's entire selection of heart rate monitors here!

tcs TATA Consultancy Services