Once you’ve resolved to do something to get fitter, one of the hardest things can be knowing what to do. Or, almost as importantly, what not to do, because it’s very easy to go in all guns blazing and either injure or overwork yourself, nipping your new-found determination in the bud all too soon.
You can seek advice from more experienced friends, the internet, or professionals like personal trainers. Only recently could you also say technology like fitness trackers could perform that role, and that tech is best realised in the Polar Unite.
Polar’s new fitness watch, the cheapest in its current line-up, is laden with clever features to help track and guide your exercise. The stand-out is FitSpark., a feature we’ve used on several Polar watches in the past, but it feels best suited to the Unite because FitSpark is absolutely perfect for those just getting into fitness.
The feature will provide you with daily recommendations for cardio, strength and stretching workout, based on a variety of factors including your fitness level, training history and, crucially, your overnight recovery and sleep quality. That means you’re always getting recommendations that suit your fitness and ability to train that day, so you avoid overworking yourself.
FitSpark isn’t the only feature on the Unite, of course. The watch is waterproof and has an optical heart rate monitor that is used in the guided workouts to ensure you’re working at the right intensity, and it also tracks your everyday activity alongside your sleep and sports sessions.
What the Unite doesn’t have, however, is built-in GPS. If you want accurate outdoor activity tracking for running or cycling, you’ll need to take your phone with you so the watch can piggyback off its GPS. This isn’t a great hardship, but the lack of built-in GPS is still disappointing – even the latest Fitbit Charge band has finally brought that feature on board.
Not having GPS does mean the Unite lasts for 50 hours during training mode, but the overall battery life of four days is underwhelming. The colour touchscreen no doubt saps a lot of juice, but still we’d have liked five days at least.
The Unite costs £134.50 and is available to order now on the Polar website with different colour bands available. If you are keen on the idea of the watch but consider GPS a necessity, then the Polar Ignite (£174.50) is the one for you.
Buy from Polar | £134.50