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Polar FA20 Activity Computer

Gear Review: Polar FA20 Activity Computer

My friends at Polar sent me a couple of heart rate monitors to test, and the FT40 and FT60 models did not disappoint. In fact, I've become pretty attached to the FT60. It was kind to include another fitness gadget, the FA20 activity computer ($120) that doesn't monitor your heart rate, but does some other cool stuff that motivates me to move.

The idea behind this gadget is to show how everyday activities, like walking your dog or choosing the stairs, can improve your overall health. The FA20 records your daily activity and gives you feedback about what kind of day you're having, letting you know if you've been lazy, active, or somewhere in between. It reminds me of a super-fancy pedometer, since it measures your calories burned, too. While the computer will do its job and monitor your total active time during the day without pushing extra buttons, you can set up targets during training (like how many calories you want to burn) and during training you can see the distance you've covered, steps taken, and calories burned.

I loved how the device kept track of my every move and it motivated me to fit in more steps when possible, like walking up six flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator. My only source of frustration with the FA20 is that it only records steps. This makes it ideal for walking or running, but I didn't appreciate being told I was having a lazy day when I took a strenuous strength training class and the gadget told me I hadn't burned any calories.

I would recommend this product to anyone looking for everyday motivation to improve their health and fitness. When you've made the choice to walk instead of drive, it's encouraging to look at the little screen on your wrist and see that you're benefiting your health. You can buy the FA20 here.

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