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If you are new to fitness tracking, check out the JawBone UP3 as an entry level fitness tracker.  As your wellness journey proceeds you may find that you desire your fitness tracker to do more for your workouts.  This happened for me last summer.  After I lost about 20 pounds I was ready to change my workouts.  As a father of 3 and teacher I have found that I don’t have a ton of time to work out.  The 2+ hour weight lifting sessions and 4-5 mile runs from high school and college just don’t fit into my schedule.  I came across high intensity interval training and started incorporating interval workouts into my routine.   The JawBone UP3 simply can’t track this type of data well.

At first, I used the bit timer app on my phone.  This was an affordable way for me to use a device to help me complete interval runs.  But I’d rather not have my phone on me while running.  That’s when I came across the TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor + 3GB Music + Bluetooth Headphones (Black, Large).  The watch is quite a bit bigger than the JawBone UP# but it offers more powerful fitness tracking.  Highlights of the TomTom Spark 3:

  • Built in GPS – you no longer need your phone to track your routes.
  • 3GB music storage – with a pair of bluetooth headphones you don’t need your phone to bring music with for your workout.
  • A powerful heartrate monitor – The consistency of the heart rate tracking is much better than the UP3 by Jawbone Heart Rate, Activity + Sleep Tracker, Black Twist
  • An intuitive app that is user friendly and provides a lot of data to consider.

I couldn’t be happier with my TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor + 3GB Music + Bluetooth Headphones (Black, Large).  It can handle some water, which is a necessity for high intensity interval workouts and the sweat that comes with the workout.  The original band did break after about 8 months but replacements are quite affordable and easy to swap out.

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Here are some examples shots of the data collected:

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I’m always skeptical of tracking sites that calculate things like fitness ages but I really like how easy it is to compare between months right from the trends page of the app.  As you can see, I haven’t been moving as much in May as in April which is interesting.  April was a concert month for my music teacher wife so I suppose I was running around for things more than I have been in May outside of my teaching life.

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One thing I did like about the UP3 by Jawbone Heart Rate, Activity + Sleep Tracker, Black Twist is that it checks heart rate in the morning which at least set up a baseline for resting heart rate.  On nights I didn’t sleep well, my heart rate would be higher in the morning.  The TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor + 3GB Music + Bluetooth Headphones (Black, Large) goes further and keeps track of an average resting heart rate.  This data is just as important as workout data as it shows how your overall fitness is changing over a period of time.

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The recent run data is valuable as it helps me see progress.  Once again, I tend to slow down during weeks that I don’t sleep well.  You can click through for even more data from here and really see how the pace and length of your runs is changing over time.

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I have no problem getting in steps during normal teaching days, but there are times that I value having step and active time information.  For instance, we are ending the school year and there will be a few days that I will be grading final projects.  The TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor + 3GB Music + Bluetooth Headphones (Black, Large) will help me decide what I do after school those days.  Mowing the yard once, walking with the kids to the park, running versus lifting weights are some examples of the decisions I might make those days because my steps are down.  This is valuable information for those times that I am not as active at work.

Overall the TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor + 3GB Music + Bluetooth Headphones (Black, Large) offers consistent heart rate data, it allows easy planning and tracking of interval workouts and the ability to leave a phone at home with GPS and music on the watch.  My only 2 complaints so far are that the original watch band broke and sometimes the GPS takes 5-6 minutes to connect.  I haven’t figured out what triggers this so perhaps the slow GPS connection is user error.

Take your fitness to the next level and get your TomTom Spark today.

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