By Mary Webb
Now, not only can you feel the burn trekking on a full-geared mountain bike, but you can also measure how many calories you burn with Suunto’s M2 series watch for women. The two piece watch and heart monitor set went with me on a 30 mile Mount Shasta bike ride, steep-hilled road bike training, and on the elliptical at the gym; monitoring me with every beat of my heart.
The M2 series is a fashionable way to stay fit. With a wide clock face, nine different language options and a large digital numbering system, it’s easy to track the progress of your calorie burn and heart rate increase; speeding along bike trails and track speed runs. There are several adjustment holes in the watch band to accommodate a number of wrist sizes, and the rubber material of the band provided relief as perspiration set in.
Easy as one, two, three buttons comprise the M2, and each are responsible for a different function.
Button 3: An athlete is on the move. There are times when my watch bumps into the side of my leg or perhaps my handle bars, turning on the exercise recorder when I don’t necessarily want it to. It’s nice to have the option of button 3, which is a locking mechanism for the M2. This locking mechanism allows the watch to stay in “time only” mode only by simply holding down the button. A series of digital arrows spin clockwise around the face and let you know when you are locked and loaded.
Button 2: Set’s the groove. By holding down this button, the familiar stream of digital arrows let you know when you are ready to program. Here you can set the time, alarm, date, weight, fitness level, max heart rate, resting heart rate, and watch sounds. This button can also be used to check the date and seconds during the course of the day as well.
Button 1: Time to start recording those amazing 100 mile bike events and waterfall hikes! The M2 will ask you if you want to select a new exercise, a previous exercise or a history trend of previous exercises. If you choose a new exercise, you will push button 2 and you will notice that the watch is looking for your heart rate. If it finds it, that’s a good thing! Instantly you will see your real-time resting heart rate, but make sure to push button 1 again to start recording your exercise. The first time I put on the watch I didn’t do this and was quite disappointed that I couldn’t read my calorie results after trudging up mountain-like terrain.
After you push your body to great heights and are ready for a nice cool drink and shower, push button 1 again, this will stop the recording process and allow you to view your results. I really appreciate the summary, it was very helpful, especially preparing for my Mount Shasta event. The M2 shows you your heart rate automated into 3 different zones. You will be able to see what percentage of your exercise comprises each zone. Zone 1 being the easiest and zone 3 being the harder working heart rate of the 3. It will also tell you what percentage you are under in zone 1 or over in zone 3, something to be cognizant of to not over exert yourself. It shows the calories you have burned. I really enjoyed this aspect because I was always curious how many calories I was burning on my morning bike ride while training for Mount Shasta. Nice to know I can have that other half of bagel in the morning without too much concern. The average heart rate is recorded, as well as the peak heart rate. Previous exercises allow you to compare against your current exercise, and the history trend is an accumulative perspective. Don’t worry, if you end up starting your watch and your neighbor stops over for some chit chat and coffee, you can choose to cancel your exercise and opt for “no-save” so the interruption will not interfere with the cumulative totals.
On my Mount Shasta ride I surpassed my maximum heart rate. At the end of the exercise recording, the summary gave me the option to supersede my maximum heart rate and it automatically gave me a new training goal. I was amazed to see that I burned more than 1300 calories and was more often in zone 3 than not.
Keep your belts firmly fastened:
The Dual-Comfort belt monitor works with the M2 watch to communicate your heart rate. The belt is easy to put on, there is an elastic adjustable strap that adjusts for all body types; with a quick click into place, built in rubber sensors hug your heart while you pick up the pace.
What is impressive about this belt is that it is compatible with most gym cardio equipment; paired up with Suunto Fitness Solution (see link below), club members are able to generate reports on their progress and instructors are able to determine the fitness needs of their clients. www.suunto.com/en-US/Products/Fitness-Solution/suunto-fitness-solution
While the M2 can only give you the previous exercise summary, there is a website called www.movescount.com that is a great platform for the M2. I created an account and I was able to log in my individual exercises and provide important attribute information that will be beneficial for future events.
If you are looking for fashion and function, l would keep my eye out for Suunto’s M2. For a suggested retail price of $120.00 you are on your way to tracking your fitness goals. The M2 comes in black and fuchsia and will become a staple to your outdoor lifestyle.
Accessories for this product:
M2 Battery Kit Black
M-Series Black Pattern Strap
M-Series Plain Black Strap
M-Series Ventilated Black Strap
Calories: In real time
HR in real time
Memory Capacity: 1 log and 4 week totals in unit history menu
HEART RATE BELTS
Suunto Comfort Belt (Analog Coded): Compatible
Suunto Dual Comfort Belt (Analog Coded & ANT Coded): Included
Menu-based user interface
Operating temperature: -10°C to +50°C / +14°F to +122°F
Selectable metric/imperial units
Storage temperature: -30°C to +60°C / -22°F to +140°F
Water resistance: 30 m / 100 ft
Weight Max. 40 g
Low battery warning
User replaceable battery
Languages: Menu in 9 languages (EN, DE, FR, ES, IT, FI, SV, NL, PT)
TRAINING AND EXERCISE GUIDANCE
Automatically switches between 3 HR zones
Recovery time suggestion after exercise: false
Daily alarms: 1