Taking a Look at the Polar M400 Heart Rate Monitoring GPS Watch – Activity Diary, Both on the Watch and on Flow

I had previously written about the Polar M400 and it’s ability to track your daily activity, including inactivity and sleep.  In this segment we’ll take a look at the diary aspect of the M400, both on the watch and, briefly, on the website.

For transparency purposes, I will mention that I am a Polar Ambassador however the opinions and discussions in this article (and this blog) are my own. I write about the M400 only because I think it’s *amazing* and would love to help educate people on how to use it! 🙂

According to Polar’s website the Polar M400 “Stores up to 30h of training time (may vary depending on your language settings). You can see your training history from the past four weeks and what you have planned for four weeks ahead.”

I like to look at what I did that week, and maybe the week before, but not really much further than that (on the watch), so that works perfectly fine for me 🙂

Let’s look..

Polar M400 Diary Menu ScreenFrom the main watch screen there are three buttons on the right hand side. The center button either starts the process of a new workout or, within the menus is like your ‘Enter’ button. To get to the Diary you will press the down arrow twice, then hit the red / Enter button when you see “Diary.”

From here you will see your current week, with the first day of the week being whatever you set it up as on Polar’s Flow website. For mine, I set it to start my weeks on Sunday because I like to think like the calendar 🙂

For my example, we are going toPolar M400 Diary Menu Screen - Showing Number of Workouts for Each Daylook at Tuesday .. because Tuesday is the day that I teach so much that it makes it a rough day but still a good example!

Since I am looking at a Tuesday on a previous week I pressed the up arrow until I got to that week, highlighted Tuesday, then pressed the red / Enter button to take a look at those numbers.

What you will see on the next screen depends on what you did that day.

20150308_192117If you did not log any workouts on the device then you will just see your daily tracking numbers (as in your Active Time, Smart Calories, Steps, and Approximate Distance Traveled). That is shown in the image as 317% Daily Activity. Highlighting that, and clicking on the red button, will give you the details that I mentioned above.

If you logged a workout, or workouts, then you’ll see those as well. In this example you see one activity for Indoor Cycling. We’re going to look at that work out.

If you like stats andPolar M400 - Looking at the Workout feedback screens on the watch instant feedback, then you will love the Polar M400. After completing a workout you have access to a nice set of information! Can we say stats galore!

On the feedback screens you will see how many calories you burned, what heart rate zones you worked in, average and max heart rates, and even feedback on what your workout accomplished (on the screenshot that says “Training benefit tempo & Maximum training” .. clicking on that actually gives you even more feedback!). You will get this for every workout you log on the watch.

Taking it a step further, the new site Flow, will have even more stats goodness to sink your teeth into. Let’s take a quick look at that same week on the website.

Here is a peek at the same week, below, on their site.

It summarizes the different activities and gives you a quick view of

  • Workouts, including calories burned and an icon to show you what the workout was
  • Your Daily Activity percentage achievement (the teal percentage # at the bottom of each day)
  • Your inactivity alerts (see the yellow icons on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday? I had a good excuse .. we got more snow and I was enjoying the lazy time at home!)

Polar Flow Webiste Week View

Then at the end of the week you’ll see a week summary of what you accomplished.

Let’s take a look at Tuesday, which is what we were looking at on the Polar M400 itself:

Polar Flow Day View of Activities

This is a general view of what we say on the week view but scrolling down further on this page is where you see all the fun stuff 🙂

Activity Summary is an overview of the entire day, including my workouts, daily activity, and sleep.

Polar Flow Day View Details - Activity Overview

Training Summary is more specific to the workouts that you logged on the Polar M400, and gives you a fancy summary of what zones you worked in between them all. Because all three of these were indoor workouts (classes I was teaching) I logged zero miles but I knocked out too many calories. Thankfully I only have one day a week like this .. !

Polar Flow Day View Details - Training Overview

I really hope this helps someone out there.

I will continue to blog about the Polar M400 and, additionally, am going to start talking about the newest Polar watch, the Polar A300, which is similar yet different, yet also fantastic!

If you have any specific topics that you’d like me to cover, please let me know in the comments!

If you’d like to see all of the blog posts I’ve written on the Polar M400 I’ve made an easy tag for that!

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to follow me on social media!



Taking a Look at the Polar M400 Heart Rate Monitoring GPS Watch – Daily Activity Tracking

I’ve had the Polar M400 for the past two weeks and have had an opportunity to really put it to use, both in outdoor activities (cycling and running) and extensively with indoor use. So far I’ve been amazed at how solid of a heart rate monitor, and daily activity tracker, this watch is!

For transparency purposes, I will mention that I am a Polar Ambassador however the opinions and discussions in this article (and this blog) are my own.

The Polar A300, M400, and V800 are almost the next evolution of Polar products. Today’s technology on our wrists is more than a simple watch and, in Polar’s case, more than a heart rate monitor. The evolution of the watch is that they are now daily activity trackers (i.e. steps taken, approximate calories burned in your daily life, sleep habits). Additionally Polar has evolved their watches into incorporating feedback within the watch itself, based on how you are doing for the day.

The way I distinguish the three watches is like this .. The Polar A300 is targeted more towards the indoor fitness enthusiast, one who wants to monitor their heart rate but may not need GPS tracking. If you want a device with GPS tracking, that is where the M400 is a good fit for you. The V800 is the highest in the series, aimed at serious athletes and triathletes.

Over a series of blogs we will both take a look at the Polar M400. In the process we’ll also take a look at Polar’s new Flow website, which is pretty spectacular on it’s own!

My intention is to dive into different parts of the watch over time as to not be overwhelming in one monstrous blog. But trust me, it will be worth reading 🙂 . For now let’s look at the daily activity tracking aspects of this watch.

Daily Activity Tracking The M400 has the ability to track your daily activity, which includes steps, inactivity, approximate / smart calories, and sleep patterns.

Polar M400 - Daily Activity Screens
Polar M400 Daily Activity: Top Left – Shows the empty bar when little steps have been taken. Top Right – When you meet your goal that bar is full! Bottom Left & Right shows the feedback that watch provides as your day progresses!

Steps / Daily Activity:

Polar M400 GPS Watch - Showing Daily Activity Needed to Reach Your Goal
Polar M400 GPS Watch – Showing Daily Activity Needed to Reach Your Goal (argh .. fuzzy photo but I’ll have to try to remember to replace it tomorrow!)

The watch, by default will track the steps that you take within a day, comparing that to the goal that you set for yourself when you first setup the watch (NOTE: I set my goal at the highest level for myself so I have to work a bit harder to make my goals!).

One of the watch faces will show a bar along the bottom (as shown in the image to the left), giving you a quick view into your current steps for the day.

If you want more detailed feedback, you can easily go into the menu to see how many actual steps it has logged for the day, how much active time you have had, and also an estimate on how many calories that you have burned for the day.

Additionally, the Polar M400 will tell you how much of each different activity it will take for you to reach your daily goal (i.e. XX minutes of walking, XX minutes of jogging, etc) as shown in the screenshot to the right.

Inactivity Monitor:

When you are inactive for an extended period of time you can set the watch to alert you to get moving! This is great for people who have jobs where they are sedentary for long periods of time (like my day job!). It will beep at you and give you a message, gently nudging you to get moving!

When it beeps at me while I’m at work it’s always when I feel like a drone in front of my computer, and could really use the walk, so I am enjoying the nudge to get moving!

Additionally, Flow, which will will talk about later, keeps track of your inactivity alerts so you can see when you were idle, and also how that hopefully improves over time.

Smart Calories:

As shown in the image above, approximate calories burned are also tracked on the Polar M400 based on your daily activity. These are great to give you a rough estimate on how many calories we expend in a day through our daily activities, whether it’s sitting, walking, or exercising.

Sleep patterns:

Screenshot of Polar Flow, showing the breakdown of activities
Screenshot of Polar Flow, showing the breakdown of activities

So, this is nice!

Coming from the fitbit world, in order to log your sleep you had to tell the Fitbit One when you were going to bed and then tell it when you woke up. Guess what happened? I logged my sleep twice and never since. I’m lazy!!

On the Polar M400 it will realize your are asleep automatically based on your inactivity. That is fantastic!

If you look at the image to the left, taking a sneak peek into the mobile app it breaks down my different activities, from sleeping to vigorous exercise.

Are you asking what those hearts are? I thought you were. Those are the times I used the Polar M400 with my heart rate monitor in order to track specific exercise.

Since there are no other icons on the screen that means that I have not have any inactivity nudges today .. woohoo! … … although I suspect that I’ll get one soon as I’m sitting here writing this 🙂

So, that is a nice overview of the daily activity tracking on the Polar M400. Expect more talks to come soon as we will look at what else it has to offer! I’m also going to start blogging about the Polar A300 as well, so be on the lookout!

If you have any specific topics that you’d like me to cover, please let me know in the comments! Also, if you’d like to see all of the blog posts I’ve written on the Polar M400 I’ve made an easy tag for that! (I’ll be adding more soon!)

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to follow me on social media!


Joining Team Polar as an Ambassador for 2015

We all love great news, but I especially love great news when it shows up on a not-so-great day.

I have joined on as a Polar amabassador for 2015!

Working part time in the fitness industry, along with constantly Polar Ambassador 2015training myself, I am a huge advocate for heart rate training. Knowing your numbers, knowing where your body is today, next week, and next month can make huge differences in the results we see in our training.

When it comes to heart rate training, in my opinion (which happened long before joining this!), Polar cannot be beat.

This gives me an opportunity to not only provide the people in my classes with more knowledge and education on heart rate training but also reaching people through this blog.

So, be on the lookout .. we’ll stay the course on our regular discussion but we will also add in more talks about heart rate training, knowing your numbers, and using them to reach your fitness and health goals!

I am so excited to get started with this!

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to follow me on social media!