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Taking advantage of technology to stay in shape

Being active and getting in shape takes work, but thanks to advancing technology, the work doesn’t have to be done solo.

The Garmin Forerunner watch is specifically designed to help people track their runs and walks. It includes useful features such as auto pause, which contributes to accurate workout data, along with a heart-rate tracker.

The watch keeps track of how many miles the person has run and allows people to track themselves daily and set goals.

All of the relevant data is then stored for later review.

While there are phone-specific apps to track exercise, the Forerunner eliminates the impracticality of holding a phone during exercise. The watch can also be connected to a smartphone so texts, phone calls and emails can go directly to the watch.

In addition to staying connected on a personal level, the Forerunner also allows the user to connect with other active users in the fitness community. Progress can be shared to active members, and users can participate in challenges to help them meet their goals.

An old version of Forerunner tracks distance, pace and time during exercise. (Source: Brighterorange / Wikimedia Commons)

Athletes at Weber State University, like cross-country runner Tyson Green, use Forerunner to help them improve their skills and achieve goals.

“The biggest thing that helped me personally with having a (Forerunner) watch is setting goals,” Green said.

With the data tracked on the watch, Green said he has created an spreadsheet to track his personal mileage.

“It has helped me to know whether I’ve been running the right pace to get that mileage,” Green said.

The Forerunner is being used by more than just serious athletes. It can be a helpful tool for those with low-intensity work-out routines.

Melissa Smith, Ogden resident, said that she uses Forerunner at a slower pace to keep track of her weekly walks.

“I try to walk three days a week to stay in good shape,” Smith said.

Smith enjoys the connectivity of the Forerunner with her smartphone.

“With the watch I don’t have to bring my phone with me,” Smith said. “If my grandchildren text me to pick them up from school, that’s when I know it’s time to stop walking.”

Madison Jackson, a Utah State University student, said she uses the Forerunner to stay in good shape and has seen good results from using it regularly.

“I love using the Forerunner to track how far I ran the day before,” Jackson said. “There are times where I see what I ran before and think wow I have to be that time today.”

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