There’s never a bad time to enjoy exercise in the great outdoors. But when you’re out there, whether in the wilderness, in the water, in the snow, in the mountains or on the road, you need to know exactly what time it is – and much more. And those who train in sports like running, cycling and athletics and want to achieve peak fitness need a watch that tells them exactly how fast and effectively their body is working.

So, if you enjoy the great outdoors or want to train at the highest level, you need a reliable watch that is not only sturdy and keeps time accurately, but is also equipped with the features that will allow you to get the maximum satisfaction from your chosen pursuit .

Intrepid adventurer

Luckily, the days when the intrepid adventurer had to rely on his antique watch and rickety old compass are over. Likewise, the serious athlete no longer has to be content with a primitive stopwatch. The market is now teeming with watches that have Outdoor been specially developed for outdoor adventurers or athletes and offer more functions than a Swiss Army knife.

Outdoor activities and more traditional sports disciplines have different needs. So what should you look for first in a watch for activities like mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, mountain hiking, mountaineering and the myriad other outdoor sports?

Well, along with good, accurate timing and a clear display, you ca n’t go wrong with your A,B,C . We’re not talking kindergarten here – it’s the term specialist manufacturers like Suunto use to describe the three main features of a top-of-the-line outdoor watch: altimeter, barometer and, of course, compass.

An altimeter is of course essential for activities such as mountaineering and mountain hiking and can also be helpful for skiers. A barometer is useful for any outdoor sports enthusiast as it is vital to stay one step ahead of the weather. As for the compass, anyone who has ever embarked on an outdoor adventure without a compass can attest to its importance – provided, of course, they made it home to tell the tale!

And while we’re on the subject of navigation: an outdoor watch with a GPS system can be a lifesaver – in the truest sense of the word!

A sports and training watch does not have to have such life-saving properties, but high precision and quality features are essential if the athlete wants to achieve his goals.

In addition to a multifunctional stopwatch, a heart rate monitor (HRM) that provides training zones is a must to keep track of health and fitness so athletes can work in the right heart rate zones for optimal training.

Computer compatibility

Likewise, computer compatibility can be a real boon for those looking to measure their performance effectively. For example, there are Suunto watches that can download exercise information to a PC and also connect to other devices to show details of speed, distance and similar data on the watch. The T4 model goes one step further with the Suunto Coach feature, offering the user a training plan tailored to past performance.

But let’s not forget another important aspect of any outdoor or training watch – it has to look good! Face it – the all-singing, all-dancing features are important, but you also want your watch to be stylish. Luckily, these days there’s no shortage of strap and case designs and color combinations to choose from.

So what are you waiting for? Go shopping! You don’t even have to venture into nature, because the World Wide Web is a great place to start your search – provided your (internet) navigation skills are up to scratch . Your time begins… now!