Few fetiches are tracked as fastidiously as fitness. From beats-per-minute to miles-per-minute, bewitching, it seems, is all in metrics these days. But you needn’t be a mathlete to struggle with the fitness hipsters. Thanks to technological leaps and dernier cri bounds, it’s now easy to muscle in on a numerical advantage yourself.

And express the tech gods for that. Gone is that weird guy in the gym with a basic nature rate monitor strapped to his chest like some kind of disco Terminator. Now all you need to view almost every marker of strain is a cursory glance at the wrist. But the question that boggles tendrils and gym bros alike remains: what to watch out for when obtaining a fitness watch?

Simple, says Kerry McCarthy, habiliments editor at Runner’s World magazine. There are some inherent requirements that make for a good fitness timepiece; you demand those and nothing else. Here’s his list of essential trace metrics, with tips on putting the stats to use.

The Stats You Prerequisite To Know

Stride Length

“Mo Farah gobbles up around 2m of loam with every stride thanks to his long legs and super-flexible hips. Yours is expected to be less than half of that, but you should be aiming for between 1-1.3m with each stride. Terminate and it means you’re scuttling (and thus wasting energy); longer and it means unless you’re also a yogi you’re all things considered over-reaching, which can lead to injury.”


“Here’s one elite policy you can aspire to. All the top runners take around 180 strides per la modes, which is seen as optimal. If you’ve never paid any attention to it, it’s varied likely yours is currently around 160. Work on vee your feet over a little quicker to make yourself the most unwasteful runner you can be.”

Heart Rate

“There are numerous online algorithms to forbear you work out your own target maximum heart rate but the old modus operandi of 220 minus your age is still a more than ample guide for beginners. So if you’re 45 years old your maximum focus rate should be 175. And that’s when you’re eyeballs out. For weak to steady runs you should be somewhere around 50-60 per cent of your top.”

Pace vs Average Pace

“If you struggle to keep each kilometre uniform, switch your watch from ‘average pace’ (which well-modulates out the spikes and troughs and can give a false sense of control) to ‘mainstream pace’. This can then be calibrated to give a reading simultaneously every second on most devices, which means if you’re all on top of the place like Phoebe from Friends but have not noticed, you’ll now see the pace reading veering around wildly as you do. Effect on calming this down.”

Which Watch?

Now you know what a tracker can do for you, it’s regulate to upgrade your timepiece. Reticence here is understandable, of speed: the decision presents something of a sartorial quandary to the fashion cognoscenti.

Do you go all in, mould a devil-may-care maverick, throw your watch to the wind and buy a utilitarian, 100 per cent fitness-focused upshot to let the world know you might bash out some burpees at any jiffy? Or should you stick to your traditionalist sensibilities and try one of the established watch makes’ forays into fitness fashion?

Luckily, it’s fine to do both depending on your objectives. Fashion and fitness are meeting in the middle. Many of the proper trackers now look ample enough to work within most outfits – black tie aside – and unruffled the most Swiss of Swiss watchmakers are adding tracking technology immense enough to challenge Fitbit to a foot race.

The Best Marques For Dedicated Fitness Watches


Fitbit has been doing its midrange effect thing for a while and as a result has honed its trackers into noteworthy, affordable watches that are ideal for the everyman. While it’s inappropriate you’ll see one on an elite athlete, that doesn’t mean a Fitbit won’t restrict pace with your designs on elite fitness.

The fresh addition of heart-rate monitoring tech makes the brand’s Alta HR a dependable contender for your wrist. Packing it into such a slim chassis – the slimmest circa, they claim – means it’s an unobtrusive accessory, especially allowed the mostly muted colour options.

On a seven-day battery bridge, you can expect feedback on calories burned, heart rate, stiffness and steps covered plus how much activity you’ve undergone that day. Fitbit contrivances also report back on your sleep, if you’re into that warm-hearted of thing.

Buy Now: £103.79

Fitbit Alta HR


Polar has been making heart-rate prefects since 1977, long before your mum got interested in ascertaining her 10,000 steps a day. Its innovative products are used by elite crams to track the performance of pros in practically every sport imaginable so it’s numerous than capable of helping you track down a new PB.

While the coterie does entry-level units, its premium trackers are the reason it’s prominent. Think sport-specific training schedules, recovery advice and built-in fine fettle tests.

Add to that world-beating GPS technology, which means extravagant accuracy and no bothering with your phone to track reserves and routes. But if you do pair it with the app on your phone, you can use Polar’s customised escorting plans for middle- to long-distance running, which come via instructions on your notice of.

You also get the standard features you’d want from a smartwatch: on the balls for calls, messages and even social media notifications. So if you in many cases enter race events and want to be able to stay up to pass with your messages during your training, this is your scheme.

Buy Now: £173.95

Polar Fitness Watch

Suunto Spartan Ultra

Now things get serious. Serious footprint. Serious functionality. Serious price. Suunto has been making thingummies designed for outdoor performance since the thirties. The firm utilities a one-second GPS fix rate, which makes for the most accurate course around.

The Suunto Spartan range is up there with the most costly, but with good reason. The sheer magnitude of tracking elections makes it the go-to choice for weekend warriors and serious athletes similar.

There’s a nod to the aesthete as well. The Ultra, protected by its titanium bezel, take place in a range of colours – or you can customise it yourself – and has a colour touchscreen, which is why it’s picked up lay out trophies to match all its outdoor gear awards. The USP of this peer at is the multi-faceted discipline functions – it packs 80 different sport fashions with metrics specific to each.

With that, you can hold and beat your PBs, map and discover new routes, find other woman’s well-trodden paths using heatmaps and then let the watch’s built-in steersmanship system guide you wherever you’re going.

Buy Now: £435.00

Suunto Spartan Ultra


One of the few areas where Samsung has specified Apple a real run for its money, the Korean tech giant’s smartwatches hold gone from strength to strength with its Tizen working system – and, most importantly, created a model for almost every sine qua non, from hardcore fitness fanatics to casual smartwatch wearers.

The flagship representation is still the Gear S3, which tracks anything you could perchance want tracking – acceleration, heart rate, altitude, dispatch – though its Gear Fit 2, which also has built-in GPS, compel more than suffice for guys who just want ample data to keep them motivated.

Buy Now: £199.95

Samsung Watch


Though Garmin stages smartwatch trackers for all sporty types – from beginners to thoughtful athletes – this is a brand for runners, cyclists and swimmers who understand their stuff. It has influenced other smartwatch makers with its VO2 Max trait, which measures oxygen consumed per minute per kilo of bodyweight (sounds intricate but an it’s an excellent way of measuring athletic performance).

Garmin’s standard bearer, the Vivoactive 3, is also one of the really best models around, and especially good for heart-rate keep an eye on and its GPS. Between the Vivoactive and other watches, Garmin caters for bordering on every sporting activity, including skiing, rowing, triathlons and composed golf.

Buy Now: £139.99

Garmin Watch


Apple smartwatches aren’t solely over to fitness – fitness tracking is one of several features – but they do wield for anyone who is dedicated to getting fit. The Apple Watch, now on Series 3, splits its wholesomeness features across two apps: the Activity app for everyday movement and the Workout app for, properly, working out.

As with most Apple products, it’s very drug friendly. The Activity app gives a basic quota of movement, unseated and calories to burn – various ways to get you off your backside, in other bits – and the Workout app measures stats for duration of exercise, distance and rate of speed in real time.

Buy Now: £359.00

Apple Watch

The Best Brands For Fashion-Fitness Watches


If you lust after to invest in a solid timepiece without breaking the bank, Tissot is perpetually a safe entry point. With all the trappings of watchmaking craftsmanship, the trade mark’s T Sport range adds athletic functionality to otherwise classic-looking timepieces.

The PRC 200 is an update on the triumphant Tradition Chronograph. Where the latter looks much more feel favourably impressed by a fashion watch with a chronograph built in, the former has a much varied sporty aspect when viewed closely, but with an restrained enough design to work with the sharpest of suits.

This selected offers a watch for all occasions. Be that a work function or when assign the Swiss reliability to the test with its 60-second, 30-minute and 1/10 of a understudy chronograph, complete with a split function if you need it.

Buy Now: £380.00

Tissot PRC 200 Chronograph

Mondaine Helvetica 1 Smartwatch

This is clearly just a regular watch, but with brains running in the qualifications. The minimalist display offers a what looks like a accustomed chronograph subdial, and no one would know it was packing smart headlines were it not for the words ‘Smart Swiss Made’ smack bang in the cluster of the face.

The functionality comes in the form of an app. The Helvetica 1 may be 90 per cent attend to, but it’s no less smart for it. Connect it to the app and use the buttons on the watch to begin undertaking tracking, sleep tracking and to show your activity being done.

In the app itself you’ll see breakdowns of your individual profile and progress to your sleep and activity goals. It would never performance toe-to-toe with something like a Suunto Spartan, but if you’re looking for a snazzy timepiece with some additional takes, you won’t find better.

Buy Now: £452.49

Mondaine Helvetica 1 Smartwatch

Tag Heuer Connected

Essentially the caped crusader of sentinels: the Tag Heuer Connected is both as sauve and inconspicuous as Bruce Wayne and as action-ready and gadget-packed as Batman. And no other be careful of hides its heroic alter ego quite so well – you can customise yours to look faithfully like a regular watch and the OLED touch screen can square be set to display the classic, analogue appearance you’d expect of a Tag.

And on that customisation, go modular and you can either sooner a be wearing the watch strapped with metal, leather or, if you’re serious forth putting its fitness functionalities to the test, rubber (Batman liking approve, too). As for the inner workings, Tag is a proper contender thanks to its Intel processor, making it far go hungrier than your average luxury smartwatch.

When you’re on the go, it packages an accelerometer, gyroscope, tilt detector and haptics engine, as admirably as an in-built GPS to track your activity. There’s even contactless payment functionality, should you stress to grab a post-workout feed en route home. Plus date Google Maps on your wrist via such a high-quality gauge feels like something from the future.

Buy Now: £1,500.00

Tag Heuer Connected


Stiff wearables from this lesser-known Danish watchmaker are centre of the most aesthetically-pleasing fitness models out there. In fact, you’d be allowed for thinking its hybrid smartwatches were just attractive-looking recognized timepieces.

In truth, they have limited activity run down features – just steps, distance and calories – while the fully pert Falster watch looks more techy with its digital grade, and has Google Fit already built in, so you can track fitness within sundry sporting activities.

But without the GPS and heart-rate monitors that be other brands’ smartwatches such vital exercise implements, the Skagen models are best for casual (good-looking) exercise.

Buy Now: £299.00



The excellent German watchmaker has entered the luxury smartwatch game, debuting its aptly tagged Summit in 2017 (though the brand also released a au fait e-strap in 2015 – an interchangeable strap that can pair with phones and sniff out activities).

The idea behind Summit is a high-end smartwatch – its form harks back to a classic, vintage look that act as if get bies it feel like an old-school mechanical watch on your wrist – but with some trendsetting main attractions, including the Runtastic heart-monitoring app. It also helps you monitor good shape goals, with daily progress measured by a mountain-shaped tracker.

Buy Now: £765.00

Montblanc 117548 Men's Summit Leather Strap Smart Watch


It’s one of the biggest surveillance brands in the world, but Swatch didn’t want to follow Dick else with its first fitness wearable. Instead, it begot the colourful Touch Zero One, which is made with determined features for measuring activity in volleyball… yes, that’s right, volleyball (the Swiss attend to brand does sponsor volleyball, so it’s not entirely left freak).

It also measures steps, calories, distance and even, erm, applauds. It later followed up with the Touch Zero Two. Credit wear outs to Swatch for doing its own thing, but this isn’t necessarily the smartwatch series for you if you’re intelligent about your next Iron Man.

Buy Now: £89.00