A GPS Tracking Watch Can Improve Fitness

by Joe Mueller on June 10, 2008

We all exercise for different reasons. Some of us love the experience of testing your mettle against all that mother nature has to offer. Others like how a jog outside can break the monotony of treadmills and gym membership. Many cannot afford, or simply cannot handle, gyms so they turn to outside activities to get the most out of their fitness routine. It does not matter what the reason you go outdoors for your fitness regimen is – GPS tracking watches will enhance it.

One of the main assets of a GPS watch is its ability to track many different pieces of information simultaneously. Most watches record the following basic information that is important for your training – your speed, the total distance traveled, and the changes in altitude made over the course of your workout. In most workouts without a GPS tracking watch the best you can get for these metrics is the average.

Let us take a look at an example to see the benefit of what a GPS tracking device will do for you. If you just did your 7.4 mile trail run in 56:32 you can calculate that you ran an average speed of 7.86 miles per hour. This is important information in and of itself, but what if you can find your actual speed at any given point of the trail? Wouldn’t that help you get a better picture of how you can improve your workout and increase your speed? This is the power that GPS tracking watches provide – and it does so without you having to notice landmarks or check your watch and remember at what time you passed it. Your entire focus can be on hitting the trail, improving your speed, and enjoying all that it has to offer.

When you add the power of a heart rate monitor to the equation you have the perfect combination of effortless information tracking and training analysis. Not only do you get the standard information of speed, distance, and elevation, but now you also can see just how each of these affected your body’s performance – the real key in getting your training to the next level. I have talked previously about Garmin GPS tracking watches and the following is a screen shot taken from data recorded on one of these devices:

Garmin GPS Tracking Watch Output

These graphs are extremely data rich and can really help you better understand your body and the nature of your workouts. They provide information that you would not be able to gather otherwise! Who on earth has the coordination and concentration to keep pace while checking their pulse? Moving your hand away from pumping causes inefficiency of motion and only produces an estimate of your beats per minute. A GPS watch used in tandem with a heart rate monitor is an extremely efficient way to gather this information.

In addition to it being efficient, it is also very fun. Having the ability to see the exact locations of your run, kayak, or hike can add an element of adventure that goes beyond the actual experience. Looking at your route from outer space can give you new ideas of paths to take or interesting features to explore. This can be added motivation to improve your fitness even further and to hit the trail when you don’t really feel like it.

GPS tracking watches provide everything a person needs for outdoor exercise. The casual adventurer receives added motivation through the fun interface to explore new areas or push themselves to new limits. The more dedicate fitness enthusiast can access the powerful information recorded by the watch for use in analyzing their routine’s weaknesses and pushing their body to new heights of physical exertion. They are the best non-essential devices out there.

This article was included in the:
19th Edition of Weight Management and Fitness Forum
Workout Blog Carnival

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Martina August 26, 2008 at 10:12 pm

We all exercise for different reasons Some of us love the experience of testing mettle against all that mother nature has to offer.

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