Dean Karnazes Tested This New Fitbit Feature To Make the Most Of His Workout

We’ve all been advised to stay as active as possible during COVID-19. Physical wellbeing facilitates emotional wellbeing. Venturing outdoors responsibly and within the local guidelines is important, and encouraged by health officials. Personally, going out for my daily runs is really helping me get through this crisis. 

Technology can play a part. With the release of the new Charge 4, Fitbit has also made some really exciting updates to its app. One feature I am particularly enamored with is the new workout intensity map. After syncing the GPS data from my tracker, the workout intensity map provides a detailed breakdown of the different heart rate zones I passed through along the way. I can also toggle over and see my pace displayed on the same map.

What’s particularly useful is the heat map overlay, which displays the corresponding color of the workout intensity, or what zone you are in, during the workout. Blue refers to when you’re below zones (such as during your warmup), while yellow corresponds with fat burn, orange with cardio zone, and red occurs when you hit your peak. 

This allows me to visualize and improve upon my performance when navigating different terrains, like hills or sand. The pacing map overlay is displayed in blue and green (low pace and high pace) and the average pace for the duration of the run is also displayed for easy reference.

While all this may sound a bit complicated, using the app is anything but. The workout intensity map is intuitive, easy to use, and dare I say it, even fun. Having your workout stats displayed visually is much more motivational than columns of numbers.

If you are able to get outside and exercise, please do so (again, responsibly of course). If technology like this can help you stay motivated and engaged, use it to your benefit. Together we will weather this storm. And the healthier we remain, the better off we’ll be.

When tested by a Fitbit editor, she was off to a fast start, reaching peak heart zone before finishing her first mile. You can see she took a break to walk around mile two, and her heart rate came down to the fat burn zone.

Workout intensity map available in the Fitbit app for all activities using built-in or Connected GPS.

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