In-Depth Product Review From a Fitness Pro
Part of my job as a FitFluential Ambassador and fitness professional is trying out new fitness products and gadgets. I have tried a bunch of really cool things over the last few years. I have a whole drawer full of activity trackers, heart rate monitors and other fun apparatuses to help me get the most out of my fitness – then, the Polar M400 entered my life and my life is now changed!
I’m going to be honest. I was super excited to try this new fitness watch (mostly, because I LOVE techy toys!!) but I really had no idea what it’s features were, aside from tracking activity and my heart rate. I was intimidated by the thought of having to learn all the buttons and was a bit concerned it would be frustrating. Boy was I wrong. In just a few minutes, I had that bad boy all set up ready to go and fell in love with it in minutes!
Top 5 Reasons the Polar M400 is My New BFF
Instead of telling you ALL of it’s loooooong list of features (which you can SEE HERE), I want to tell you my top 5 reasons I love this amazing fitness watch and how it has rocked my world. (PLUS I’m going to give you a discount code too so you can get one for less!)
#5 It tracks calories accurately.
This may seem like a no-brainer (like “duh, there’s no surprise there). Of course it’s supposed to be accurate” but there are a lot of devices out there which are truly NOT accurate and NOT ideal for fitness enthusiasts who are serious about training and/or weight loss. If you are going to invest in a smart watch or fitness tracking device, keep reading.
While activity trackers are fun and hold you accountable, they aren’t super accurate for tracking activity and calories burned during exercise. So, for me, I was guestimating my intensity and logging my workouts in my calorie counter app to track workouts. I knew in my heart my numbers weren’t truly accurate but I tried my best.
Well, this watch is holding me WAY more accountable and giving me much more solid numbers to go by. I can see I’m not burning as many calories as I thought (which I already figured!). No more guessing – and no more extra work trying to add workouts in my activity trackers or calorie counting apps to figure stuff out. The work is done automatically and it’s right.
The M400 tracks activity (like a regular activity trackers – tracking steps, rest time, calories burned, etc) PLUS it also tracks my custom workouts too. I have mine set up for running, aerobics and elliptical cross training. iPhone Tip: If you have multiple apps, you can sync them all together for a full custom report in your iPhone’s Health app.
NOTE: Only heart rate monitors with a chest strap give you the most accurate reporting for heart rate and calories burned during exercise. The strap is NOT needed 24/7 to track activity. It’s JUST for exercise. Other devices that measure at the wrist and arm are not as accurate. CLICK HERE to watch a great video I found that puts various different heart rate devices to the test, comparing them to an EKG (the most accurate heart rate monitor). Spoiler alert – the chest strap was dead-on, exactly what the EKG said and nothing else matched it. So, if accuracy is important to you, this watch is the way to go.
#4 It holds me accountable.
One of the reasons I love activity trackers is it reminds me just how sedentary I am if I don’t exercise. The Polar M400 even has an alert that goes off when I’ve been sitting on my butt too long.These features are on most activity trackers – “but wait! That’s not all!!” (said in my best informercial voice).
I have the face set to the Activity mode so I can see the time AND exactly where my activity is according to my goal throughout the day. For instance, I barely have made a dent in my activity bar today so far. When I reach my goal, it will congratulate me, which makes me feel good. LOL
I LOVE the option to set the activity on the watch face so I don’t even have to press any buttons to see how I’m doing. I can see the day, date, time and activity all in one glance. (On my other tracker, I’d have to hit buttons to scroll through each screen). If I want even more details, like active time, calories burned, steps taken, and an example of what kind of workout I need to do to reach my goal – it’s all only TWO CLICKS away on one screen (click bottom right button once and middle button once to view report). Fast. Easy. Convenient.
#3 It pushes me to work harder.
Like I said, I already knew I wasn’t burning as many calories as one of my other apps was telling me, but another way it has held me accountable is it’s also showed me I need to take my heart rate up a notch. This has REALLY pushed me! If you’ve every had a heart rate monitor, you’ve experienced this first hand. BUT, if you’ve only had an activity tracker, you are missing out.
I use the heart rate chest strap during workouts to get an accurate report of my effort level and calories burned. When I thought I was DYING in kickboxing class, my heart rate wasn’t up near what I thought. Again, that means fewer calories burned, but it also means I need to work my heart and lungs more. In very little time it has already taught me what my “training zone” should feel like. It has made me more competitive (me against Polar lol) – giving me something tangible to strive for whether I’m running, lifting weights or taking a class.
#2 It simplifies my life.
The Polar M400 and Polar Flow app replaced 4 different fitness apps and devices for me. FOUR!! No more need for all the other apps and other bracelets or devices to track activity I once used. No more separate app to track my running, pace, distance, maps, etc. No other app needed to do time my intervals during my weight lifting or interval training on cardio. No need for a separate app for tracking calories burned in the gym, which I used to input manually using generic intensity settings, like “moderate intensity on the elliptical”.
I literally had separate apps for all of these things and now I manage it all with one device and one app! Who doesn’t need to simplify life more?? I sure did!! Thank you Polar!
#1 It keeps me connected without slowing me down.
And my number one favorite thing, hands down, is (drum roll please)… Smart Notifications! I had NO idea it had this feature and I freaked the heck out when I discovered I could get texts, news alerts, reminders, emails, facebook notifications and all kinds of stuff on this thing!!! OMG! How freaking cool is that?!! OK, well, at first I thought it was only cool – but it’s not just cool, it is SO helpful!!
One example is how it helps me while running. One of my pet peeves was going for a run, setting up my phone (I normally listen to a podcast) and then putting it in my armband all nice and secure – only to get annoyed with texts the whole run . As a business owner, I don’t have the luxury of ignoring calls or texts. So, each time I’d get a text, I’d have to pull my arm band lose to get my iphone out and check my phone just to see if it was something that needed addressing right away. Same with phone calls. SO annoying!
Now, with the smart notifications, all I do is glance down at my watch when I get a notification while running to read the text and see who it’s from to determine if I need to respond. 9 times out of 10, I don’t have to reply, but before the M400, each text would have been a very frustrating interruption. And, if you have headphones with a built in microphone, you can answer the call with your watch and it will go straight to your headphones so you don’t miss a beat! This picture is LITERALLY how this watch makes me feel!! lol Yes, I’m jumping for joy!
Also, as a trainer, I always have my phone on me – whether I need it my interval timer, or to make sure I don’t miss calls or texts. Now, I can actually have my phone plugged in charging in my office while I’m using the watch’s timers and still get texts and updates. It’s a LOT more professional than checking my phone in front of clients – and I don’t miss a thing (plus my phone battery doesn’t die on me!). Seriously, this feature alone has been the most incredible freeing thing to me. I simply LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!
While it’s not the only watch out that has smart notifications (where you can see texts, etc). It’s most definitely the most accurate one and the best one if your #1 focus is fitness. AND, if you are wondering if you can trust me, here is a photo of me on stage at our last Team Competition. If I didn’t just love this watch, it would NOT be on my wrist ON STAGE while wearing a skirt and heels. Seriously! I love it. It’s pretty and it’s my new BFF!
GET 20% OFF
Use this discount code: POLARFITBLOG (must be ALL CAPS) for 20% OFF of any Polar Heart Rate Monitor or activity tracker. No quantity limit. Good only online at Polar.com in the US. Expires on 12/31/15.
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Polar.