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Traditional GPS watches and heart rate watches from classic manufacturers, such as Garmin, Suunto or Polar, all feature highly detailed training modes and a long battery life of around a week.
More distinctive smart watches, such as Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch, support significantly more features through apps and really nice screens. However, this is done at the expense of battery life, which is two days at best.
Determine what you want from your watch beforehand, and consider how often you want to charge it.
If you’re into running or cycling, you really don't have to worry, as those training modes are available in all the watches. But if you want to use the watch during your yoga sessions, cross-country skiing, canoeing, or other less frequent choice of sport, you need to make sure that the watch actually has a training mode for that.
It’s incredibly sad to have a brand new watch and then have to set your favourite sport as “other” because the watch doesn't have a sensible and appropriate training mode.
Among traditional fitness watches, there was a big gap between companies’ cheaper and more expensive watches. They were often extremely limited in terms of function and training modes.
In recent years, however, the cheaper watches have become better and better, and the fact is that you get quite a lot from even the cheapest watches. You should check that all the features you want are included, but budget options have become more value-for-money.
Do you wish learn more of the benefits of working out with a watch that monitors your heart rate, check out this article at Runtall.
A fitness tracker or sports watch usually offers three functions, as follows:
If you are a beginner at fitness, a sports watch can be a good way to measure your workouts in order to see your development and how you improve over time. It’s also a good tool to use to optimise your fitness results; you could, for example, use it for your interval training and keep track of how fast you have to run to get your desired results.
Different sports watches use different techniques. The most common is a combination of the watch detecting that you’re not moving, what your pulse is and the time of day.
By working out according to the different pulse zones, you can optimise your workouts based on your needs. Depending on your pulse, the body will focus on different things, such as endurance or fat burning. You can also use the watch to stay under a specific pulse level to avoid wearing yourself out.
This depends on what you want to use the watch for and what your budget is. There are many different models of sports watches, from simple ones made for running to more advanced multi-sports watches, which have settings for most sports. If you wish to find out more about which ones we have rated the highest, you can read our test of sports watches.