6 exciting Garmin Watch features you might not know about
Whether you already have a Garmin - or you are considering getting one - here are six things you can do with it in style
At its core, technology is primarily designed to help us live better and to encourage change in society. Today, almost 7 billion out of the world’s 8 billion people have smartphones.
So, it’s unsurprising to see a surge in the number of people adding a smartwatch to their ever-growing list of gadgets.
If you’re a stranger to this new tech – a smartwatch, often known as a fitness tracker or wearable device, looks like a digital watch or band with a small digital display.
In general, these record your daily steps, heart rate and sleep patterns. Depending on the brand and model you get they can have even more bells and whistles to play with.
Using a fitness tracker can raise awareness of your activity throughout the day. They’re not just for gymgoers or marathon runners, they can have practical, every-day uses too.
We’ve seen Vitality members that wear a smartwatch earn 148% more activity points than those without (1).
So, if you’ve got yourself a new Garmin watch here are a few things you should do to get the ball rolling...
Let’s get tracking
Modern tech can often be overwhelming, but there’s no need to feel that way when getting started with your Garmin
Above all a fitness tracker, all you need to do for this function is hit start, choose the sport or activity you’re planning to do, wait for GPS to activate (this will go green when ready) and off you go.
There are various data screens available that show you statistics once you’ve completed your workout.
“Metrics are great tools to keep an eye on general activity and recovery throughout the day and week, which helps you make informed decisions to improve your wellbeing,” says Jonny Kibble, Head of Physical Activity at Vitality.
For example, for those who might enjoy a weekly 5k parkrun, there’s a plethora of information recorded, such as distance, heart rate (HR), pace and cadence.
That way you can track performance week-on-week and review how you’ve done.
parkrun is a great way to try out running for the first time or getting involved with a new activity; it’s free and there are hundreds of locations to choose from.
And, if running isn’t for you, you can get involved by volunteering to help out at the events, or even ‘parkwalk’ it.
Receive Activity points with qualifying health insurance and life insurance plans. Activity points won’t be rewarded for taking part in junior parkrun or for volunteering. Log into Member Zone for the details.
You got it, Coach
Sometimes all we need is a little guidance. As a part of the app, Garmin Coach is like having “a coach holding your hand the whole way through your training journey,” explains Jonny.
It’s your very own virtual motivator and partner that personalises training to your goals – and without a fee.
If you have a specific target or if it’s running a 5K, half marathon or cycling a Century Ride you can access an adaptive training plan through the Garmin Connect app.
Garmin looks to adjust your programme based on your target and where you are now, which will ease you into a new routine.
Having a plan for the week ahead has been found to help people form a routine, which they are more likely to follow through with.
Work it out
Most Garmin watches provide recommended daily workouts aimed to improve fitness, which are based on your recent training load, like recovery time and sleep.
With Garmin’s workout generator, getting on the gym floor becomes easier. It’s simple to use and the session can sync to your watch so you can follow from your wrist.
You can access this in the Garmin Connect app, all you need to do is hit ‘More’, then ‘Training’
Or get creative with custom workouts for all kinds of sports, which can be saved to your watch and accessed at any time. Go back to ‘More’, then ‘Training & Planning’ and select ‘Workouts’, then ‘Create a workout’.
Some Garmin smartwatches, like the fēnix® 7 Pro/ 7X Pro/ 7S Pro and epix™ Pro (Gen 2), have on-screen animations, showing you how to perform each movement correctly.
Blast your workout beats
A recent study shows that listening to music whilst getting active helps boosts motivation and performance. But that’s easier said than done if you don’t want to take your phone out with you.
Well, with a range of Garmin watches like the new fēnix® and epix™ models, you can download music and pair them to Bluetooth headphones and violà – you have music on the go.
Garmin supports Spotify, Amazon, Deezer (a subscription is required) and iHeartRadio music platforms using the Garmin Connect IQ app and Wi-Fi.
If you’re not using one of these streaming platforms, however, music can be downloaded from your computer too, using the Garmin Express app.
As a Vitality member, you could get up to 40% off on a range of Garmin fitness trackers.
Postage and packing applies. Log into Member Zone for the details.
Map a route
Keen to get out more? Available in the Training section in the Garmin Connect app is Courses, where you can map out routes and sync them to your Garmin smartwatch where it guides you on your way.
If you plan on taking on longer routes, it’s a tad easier to set it out on the website version ready for longer activity.
Top-end watches like the fēnix® and epix™ offer a full colour map on the wrist, which not only makes it easy to follow pre-planned routes but also allows you to create new routes on the fly.
Also, when you’re exploring a new place and need a route, you can set a rough direction and distance and the watch will produce three options for you based on popular paths from other Garmin users.
This last option is perfect if you’re away for the summer holidays and want your new watch to find you the perfect running route to enjoy the sunshine before the weather turns.
Relax, relax, relax...
Breathwork is a practice that is used across the globe to help connect the body and mind.
“Physically, breathwork stimulates recovery, digestion and general relaxation. In terms of our mental health, it can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress as well as improve sleep quality if performed before going to bed,” explains Jonny.
You can practice three types of breathing techniques on some of the Garmin watches – like the new fēnix® and epix™ models.
The three techniques are: Tranquillity, Coherence and Relax and Focus, each have their own distinct patterns to help relieve stress and leave you feeling zen.
And did you know that your phone is already tracking your steps. You’re already doing the hard work, so why not get rewarded for it. Take 2 minutes to connect your phone today and start earning rewards.
So, what are you waiting for? Start earning your points by logging into Member Zone today.
- Vitality data, figures are based on engaged members in 2022.
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