Wristband devices for athletes can provide a variety of information while you run. The devices help you enjoy more efficient workouts by tracking statistics such as the distance and total time you’ve run, the pace at which you’re running, your heart rate and the number of calories you’ve burned. These fitness-tracking instruments can be as simple as wristbands that offer basic information after you plug them into your computer. On the higher-priced end you’ll find GPS devices that analyze your movements and display a variety of data in real time.
In addition to providing basic statistics, wristband devices can alert you if you’re running significantly faster or slower than a pre-set pace, and if your run exceeds your planned distance or duration. Some devices let you establish a “virtual partner” and tell you whether you’re running ahead or behind of this imaginary competitor throughout your session. You can also pre-set a specific workout, such as an interval session, so the device signals you when it’s time to pick up your pace and when you should slow down. Some wristband instruments let you track yourself on a map via GPS, while others analyze your previous data and offer suggestions -- such as your next fitness goal, or the best time of day for you to run.
Monitoring Your Form
Some higher-end devices that include a heart-monitoring strap can offer feedback on your running form. Improving your form helps you run faster, more efficiently and may help you avoid injuries. By detecting movements in your torso, the device can display your vertical oscillation -- the distance your body bounces up and down as you run. It also measures your cadence, so you can see how many steps you’re taking, and your ground contact time. You can then analyze these numbers and make appropriate corrections to your running form.
Communicating With Other Devices
Many wristband fitness instruments allow you to upload and store data on computers or smartphone apps. This lets you see cumulative statistics, such as miles run during a specific period of time. You can also track trends -- looking for changes in your speed or heart rate over time, for example, or whether your form is improving. Many products also allow you to share your information on social media to let you compare data with running friends, and even enter virtual competitions.
Listen to Your Body
A wristband device’s pacing information can help you meet your workout’s goals, but following that information slavishly may cause problems. For example, you might fail to listen to your body -- perhaps you’re a bit sore from another run or a recent injury and you need to run slower than you anticipated when you programmed the device. Following the device’s pace may also force you to run faster than you should on difficult terrain. During longer sessions, running coach Greg McMillan recommends ignoring the device for the first 10 minutes of your run so you can set a natural pace.
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- Business Insider: FuelBand Vs. Fitbit: Which Exercise-Tracking Device is Really Better
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- Photo Credit blyjak/iStock/Getty Images
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