So who knew that me buying my husband a Garmin watch 3 years ago would have converted a college football watching couch potato into a dedicated runner?  Most people who see or hear of this type of watch think it’s meant for the triathlete or marathoner.  I think it’s just the opposite. Using this as a motivational and accountability tool is what it’s all about.

There are several different options and models. The one I will refer to here is the Garmin Forerunner 110.  The beauty of this thing is really it’s ease of use.  There is a very brief set up that allows you to enter information if you want to be able to estimate calories burned or get suggested heart rate zones (if you choose to wear a heaGarminrt rate monitor with it).  The watch itself is a nice size with a display that offers total time, distance, pace, calories burned, heart rate if you’re wearing a monitor and the time of day.  All of this serves as a great way to get objective feedback on progress.

The coolest part is what you can do after you’re done exercising.  This model allows you to download all of your information to your profile.  A screenshot I provided shows all of the information you can get including elevation, splits, and even allows you to see where you went on Google maps.  It’s pretty sweet.  Especially if you are traveling in new and different areas.  You can journal about your activity and even share that with others if you want, depending on how you set your privacy up.  A calendar view is also a nice tool to look at adherence and frequency.

Wearing a heart rate monitor is not necessary to use the watch, but it is another great feature to take advantage of.  Not only can the watch be used several different ways to motivate, the heart rate monitor can be used as a tool to apply specific exercise training intensity principles.  What more can you ask for!

The only thing I can possibly say negative (barely) about this tool is that the model I have has a connection piece that hooks it to the computer when it’s time to download information.   It’s a little finicky sometimes.  Newer models don’t have to actually attach to the computer, you can just waive it near the computer and your information will upload – cool, huh?  I highly recommend this product for anyone doing any type of exercise.  It’s an awesome way to set and achieve exercise goals, monitor intensity and keep anyone on track.

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