Get Fit in 2017

Another year has passed and you may have presented yourself with another New Year’s Resolution along the lines of … “This year I will get fit” or “In 2017 I am going to tone muscle and lose body fat” or “In 2017 I am going to run my best 10K time”. December is a month full of temptation and over indulgence so it’s not surprising many of us start the year with a New Year’s Resolution to Get Fit. A heart rate monitor watch or basic fitness band may well be the motivational tool you have been looking for to help achieve your goal.

New Year Resolution advice to getting fit with a heart rate monitor watch

Start with a SMART goal

The secret to achieving any goal is making it SMART. This popular acronym takes many forms, for me it means

  • S – simple. Make your goal something that makes sense to you. Keep things easy
  • M – measurable. There has to be a method of measurement. This could be scales, body fat monitor, a stopwatch, a mirror, anything that helps you to measure your progression.
  • A – achievable. What’s the point in setting an goal that you can’t achieve. Yes, I’d love to be able to run a sub 40 minute 10K but it’s not going to happen. Think about your goal and the time you have given yourself. It might be hard, but that’s okay as long as it’s achievable.
  • R – realistic. Similar to achievable. Your goal has to be realistic.
  • T – time-based. Give yourself a date and set it in your diary. Set up monthly or weekly reminders. If you goal is to drop 1 stone (7kg) in 4 months break it down in to sensible time-based chunks. 1/4 stone every month.

Set a Reward

Motivate yourself with a reward. If you achieve your goal buy yourself those new running shoes or dress. Send yourself on a weekend break away or tickets to a show. Whatever your goal it will be easier to achieve if there’s a small personal reward at the end of it for you.

How does a Heart Rate Monitor help?

A heart rate monitor watch will help you achieve your New Year’s fitness resolution by controlling the effort while you’re training. It can help you train in the optimal Heart Rate Zone and help prevent over-training. As you get fitter a heart rate monitor will help you to MEASURE your progression. The fitter you get the lower your resting heart rate will decrease, showing a more efficient cardio-vascular system.

Wrist Based or Chest Strap?

When buying a heart rate monitor watch the first decision that needs to be taken is whether it’s a strapless model taking heart rate from the wrist, or a traditional chest strap monitor. If you are happy with 95% accuracy for 95% of the time then a STRAPLESS heart rate monitor watch will suffice. If you want near 100% accuracy for 100% of the time I still recommend a chest strap model.

Get Fit in 2017

If your 2017 New Year’s Resolution goes along the lines of “I want to get fit in 2017” or similar then the 3 models I recommend are the Garmin Vivosmart HR, the Fitbit Charge 2 and the Polar A360. All of these models acquire heart rate from the wrist (no chest strap required). They all incorporate 24/7 activity trackers with daily step, calories and distance targets. The Polar A360 is supported by the best smartphone APP, Polar Flow, giving Training Benefit feedback at the end of each training session. However, the Garmin Connect APP and the Fitbit APP are both also excellent providing community sharing and plenty of motivational support.

Polar A360

Garmin Vivosmart HR

Fitbit Charge 2

Want Something more basic

I strongly recommend the use of a heart rate monitor to anyone looking to improve their general fitness. However, simply increasing your daily activity and tracking your daily steps is going to yield health & fitness benefits. If your New Year’s Resolution was simply “To try a get in shape in 2017, lose a few pounds and be more active” then one of the following Fitness Bands will is all you need. If you want to keep things really easy then go for the Fitbit Flex 2. If you want something with a display then consider the Garmin Vivofit 3 or the Fitbit Alta

Fitbit Flex 2

Garmin Vivofit 3

Fitbit Alta

Want to improve ParkRun or a 10K?

If your 2017 New Year’s Resolution is something like this “In 2017 I will run a 10K in under 45 minutes” or “In 2017 I will run 1 ParkRun each month” then you should consider one of the many brilliant GPS running watches with heart rate. If you are a fun runner looking to get fitter and faster then I recommend either the Polar M200, Garmin Forerunner 35 or TomTom Spark 3. All three have built-in GPS and wrist based heart rate. All three are specifically designed with the runner in mind.

Polar M200

Garmin Forerunner 35

TomTom Spark 3

Set some PB’s and beyond …

If you are already a regular exerciser and run several times a week you may be looking to break some stubborn PB’s in 2017. If you are a technical runner and want a GPS running watch that will help you set new Personal Bests then I recommend either the Polar M400 or the Garmin Forerunner 230, both with CHEST STRAP heart rate. (or Forerunner 235 if you really don’t want the chest sensor). These watches are aimed at serious runners looking for quality feedback including Training Load (Polar) and VO2 Max & Recovery Time (Garmin). I have used both extensively and would be happy to tackle a 16 week 10K training program with either.

Polar M400

Garmin Forerunner 230

Garmin Forerunner 235

Whatever your New Year Resolution … Good Luck, have fun and enjoy life.

Need More Help

If you are still confused then please contact Tristan …

Ask an expert. Tristan will answer your heart rate monitor questions

Posted in Training Advice | Tagged , , , ,