Garmin VS HR+: Zone Alerts

The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ (VS HR+) is the perfect fitness watch because it measures GPS, Heart Rate, steps, Intensity Minutes, floors, and pace. The purpose of this post is to explain workarounds for things that the Vivosmart HR+ does less than perfectly. You can tell your watch either the zone you want to be in or the zone you don’t want to be in. Here is how to set your zone alerts:

Getting Alerts When You are not in Your HR Zone

  • Problem: The Garmin VS HR+ can tell you when you are not in the correct zone for your activity. However, if you are outside your zone, your watch will vibrate about every 15 seconds with a warning such as “Heart Rate Too High.”
  • You may want your VS HR+ to tell you when you are in your zone. You select User Settings. Then you pick your desired zone. Assume that you want to stay in Zone 3 while exercising, so you select Zone 3. Your Garmin will vibrate every 15 seconds whenever you are in Zones 1, 2, 4, or 5. If you can maintain Zone 3, you will get very few warnings. If you can’t maintain Zone 3, your watch will be annoying with its vibrations. This setting is only appropriate if you can maintain a steady pace with a steady HR. You want to know if you have inadvertently deviated from their desired pace.
  • You may want your VS HR+ to tell you when you are out of your zone. Again, you select User Settings. Now you pick a customized zone. Assume you don’t want a heart attack, so you don’t want to be in Zone 5. Assume that your Resting Heart Rate is 45 BPM and your Zone 5 begins at 150 BPM. Then you could customize a zone of 40-148 BPM. Your Garmin will vibrate every 15 seconds whenever you are in Zone 5. If you can maintain Zones 1-4, you will get very few warnings. If you can’t exercise below Zone 5, your watch will be annoying with its vibrations. This setting is only appropriate if you can avoid a very low or very high HR. You want to know if you have inadvertently stressed your heart.
  • A warning is appropriate only if you truly are out of your zone. You may sense that you are in your zone even though Elevate is telling you that your heart rate is too high. That is, you may be able to talk or sing yet get a warning. The solution is to take off your watch while running. This is awkward, but you can do it. You continue to get your steps and miles, but your HR will be inaccurate (counterintuitively, your bpm might go up higher when you remove your watch). If you have a tissue, clean the Elevate sensors with your tissue. After a minute or so of holding your watch, re-buckle it. Your Elevate will find the correct bpm and maintain a good HR reading for the remainder of your run.
  • Setting your own zone is a great Artificial Intelligence aid for monitoring dangerous heart zones. While this post tells you how to do it, you may need to experiment to get a good zone. Your Garmin watch will vibrate annoyingly whenever your bpm exceed your maximum safe level.
  • Conclusion: Your Garmin can keep you in an optimal zone or keep you out of a dangerous zone. When set correctly, the alerts can help you exercise efficiently or safely.

Tags: Garmin; Vivosmart; HR+; TrueUp; step count; stride; recording an exercise; edit the exercise data; setting a heart-rate zone.