Here’s some good news for Band 2 users who wish to participate in high-intensity interval training: Microsoft’s wearable is getting an updated this week to support real-time heart rate zone notifications.
Note: As Microsoft explains, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program, and I’d imagine that’s especially true of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which is a trendy new way to stay (or get) in shape.
“High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is gaining in popularity as an efficient way to get in shape and lose weight,” the Microsoft Health Blog notes. “Now your Microsoft Band can tell you exactly when you hit your target heart rate zones, and for how long, while using the Run, Bike, and Exercise tiles.”
The idea here is that you want to hit 90 percent of your maximum heart rate for 10 to 20 seconds at a time during a HIIT session, while alternating that with a few minutes of easier exercise. Of course, the trick is hitting that 90 percent figure. It’s relatively easy to do on exercise equipment—my elliptical trainer includes a chest strap that measures heart rate on the fly, for example—but even then you still need to keep track of where you need to be.
With this update, Band 2 can tell you exactly when you hit that target heart rate and can then tell you when the proper amount of time has elapsed as well. This works in the Run, Bike, and Exercise tiles, and includes both on-screen displays and, even better, vibrations so you don’t have to even look at the screen.
(If you do choose to look, the screen uses different colors to indicate how high your heart rate is: Orange for 80 percent of maximum and red for 90 percent.)
When the workout concludes, you can see the results in a summary display on the Band 2 screen.
Microsoft claims that the Band’s real-time heart rate zone notifications are even better than those on an exercise machine because they’re personal to you. That is, the heart rate milestones will adjust as you keep exercising and become more fit. “They are your personal heart rate zones, based on your data from previous exercise sessions,” Microsoft says.
As always with these Band updates, it may be some number of days before you actually see the update.
Tagged with Band 2