First published: 30-06-2015

I'm interested in a sports watch

Article date: Tue 27th July 2015 03:32 PM
I'm interested in a sports watch
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For the man who leads an active lifestyle, a sports watch is ideal. With inbuilt functions to help boost your performance, these watches will enhance your fitness regime, with options for swimmers, runners and hard-core hikers. However you choose to stay in shape, there's a watch to suit you.

How are sports watches different?

An everyday watch may come with a leather strap and tell you little more than the time. A sports watch on the other hand is bursting with different features, reporting everything from your lap time to your pulse rate and the quality of every dive.

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They come in a range of shapes and sizes, from this slim-line Adidas model, to the chunkier Casio designs.

They are also more commonly digital, rather than analogue and made from plastic, so they're functional whatever the weather. While some features of a sports watch (such as a compass) can be found in everyday watches, others such as interval timers and Zulu time capabilities are quite unique.

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Of course, if you are training for a triathlon, having an interval timer on your watch may not be as useful as a blood pressure monitor might, while a Chronograph will be less helpful for a hiker than it will be for a sprinter. The gadgets and functions of these watches are pretty amazing, but it's worth considering which features you're going to find the most useful to your active lifestyle. Choosing the right watch is crucial, so here are a few tips to help you find the right watch to suit you!


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Whether you're out for a casual jog or training for a distance run, a Chronograph watch is an ideal option. A Chronograph is like a watch and a stopwatch in one, so you're able to track how long your laps are taking. Timex have a great selection of watches for runners, including this Timex one which has all the above plus an alarm, so you can set a limit to your workout if necessary. Other watches come with pulse monitors and heart rate monitors, helping you stay on top of your health as you exercise – this Polar one is a great example. When you choose a watch for running, you should ensure it is sturdy enough to withstand the weather, but lightweight enough that it does not have an impact on your exercise.

Interval training


If you are doing some High Intensity Interval Training and need a watch to keep on top of your regime, a watch with an interval trainer is ideal. Since interval training frequently has you chopping and changing between different activities, it is more important than ever that your watch is lightweight, allowing you a full range of movement between different exercises.
This Adidas model is perfect, since it has an interval and training timer plus a 100 lap memory, while it is sleek enough to fit effortlessly on your wrist while you work out.


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When you're off for a hike on some unfamiliar terrain, the most vital thing to have with you is a compass. Luckily, there are many sports watches available with an inbuilt compass, which will help you stay on track while you're out in the wilderness. This Tissot model is a perfect example and it comes with a barometer and thermometer, as well as an alarm function, just in case the sunrise doesn't quite wake you up!
For some really serious Bear Grylls-level hiking, you may want to invest in something with even more useful functions, such as a speed display, Bluetooth capability, safety catch and enhanced water resistance – this Casio model fits the bill!

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Obviously, your number one priority for a watch you can swim with is water resistance. If you need a watch that can withstand serious usage in water, you will need a diving standard level of resistance. Though this is somewhat specialist, there are still plenty of options for you to choose from. You can find these in both metal and plastic straps, and some are made with rubber to make them especially durable in water. For swimming laps, this Citizen model is ideal, since it is a Chronograph and can therefore keep track of how fast you are finishing those lengths.

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Alternatively, if you're a diver looking for the perfect watch, look no further than this Suunto one, which can record your dive depth and time as well as the water temperature, and store 14 dives in its internal memory.


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If your work or favourite activity involves piloting, this can require a whole set of unique features from a watch. An everyday watch will tell you the time where you are, but a pilot's watch will also give you the time in different parts of the world, as well as Zulu time – the specialist time frame used by those who live their lives in the sky.
This Casio watch has a GPS function, as well as a high level of resistance against shock and water, a Latitude measure and enhanced power saving functionality – perfect for any pilot!
Leading an active lifestyle requires all the right gear, so a specialist watch can be a huge enhancement to your fitness regime. With so many options to choose from, you are guaranteed to find a watch that is a perfect fit and with the correct care and maintenance, it can be an investment in your workout, from the everyday exercises to the occasional extreme hike!


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