The Mio Alpha 2 is designed to give you all the benefits of heart rate training at your wrist without having to connect to an external heart rate monitor. Commit, connect, monitor and improve your training intensity with this heart rate sports watch.
In the Box
The watch comes in a small white box like all the rest of the Mio family and is equipped with the watch itself, your quickstart guide and foldable USB charger. You need to charge the battery before you can use your new watch, but this is very easy to do. The battery can last up to 24 hours in training mode or up to three months of life in regular mode.
Mio Alpha 2 Boxed
The Alpha 2 look is quite clearly a sports watch, with its digital face and silicone strap. Its chunky design can be a bit unsightly on your wrist, but the strap features breathing holes which double up as fasteners so you can adjust it as much as you want. The large LED screen is clear and easy to read at a glance during activity.
Once it’s charged, you press and hold any button to activate your Mio Alpha 2. Whilst this may seem simple enough, I feel it is important to mention that the buttons are so well integrated into the side of the watches design that I found them hard to find at first. I also had difficulty with the screen and button sensitivity. The buttons are quite hard to select, for example, the screen says it takes just two firm taps to activate its backlight, but it seemed to take multiple taps when I tried.
Once your watch is activated, the user enters basic details such as age, weight, and gender in order for the watch to calculate your training zones. Once I got used to the watch's sensitivity, the integration of the buttons actually became one of the watch's strengths as there was no opportunity for me to accidentally start workouts or hit buttons while in the middle of training, which I have experienced with other trackers.
Strapless Heart Rate Monitoring
To enter into heart rate mode with the Alpha 2, Mio recommends you wear the watch slightly higher up your wrist than you usually would for regular wear. When you are ready to work out, you simply press and hold the timer button until the watch beeps and flashes ‘find’ and the watch then begins its heart rate hunt. In my experience, this hunt can last anywhere from 20 seconds up to a few minutes, so it's worth starting the find a few minutes before your warm up to ensure your watch is ready to track when you get started.
Once you begin training, the watch automatically picks up your heart rate and shows you which training zone you are working in throughout your session. BPM is displayed throughout the workout in this setting and a small LED light flashes colour coded responses as you enter each of your different training zones. During training, users can read their heart rate with a simple glance, or select the mode button to scroll through their time, calories, pace, distance, heart rate and timer.
Alpha 2 Set-Up Screens
I was impressed by the accuracy of the heart rate for a wrist-based watch. The heart rate seemed to keep up with me and match my level of exertion throughout training. The second way the Alpha 2 can be used for heart rate recognition is in single zone mode. Here the user sets up their desired heart rate target zone using the app and then begins training. If their heart rate goes above or below the desired zone, the watch gives a vibration alert, so the user can move back on target.
Mio 2 Heart Rate Zones
Lap Timer, Pace, and Distance
Despite its lack of a GPS tracker, the Mio Alpha 2 does have a distance tracking feature.The watch also has a lap timer and pace monitor, great for tracking the average speed of your run or challenging yourself to beat the last lap. A single press of the heart rate button during training marks ‘go’ and commences your first lap, pushing it again will start lap 2 and so on. The watch is also waterproof to 30m, so you can take your laps to the pool, or run without a worry in the rain.
Mio Alpha 2 Searching for Heart Rate
With 24 hours' worth of workout data stored on the watch itself and your week's training easily accessible on the app, this watch is sure to enhance your training. I would recommend this watch as a first heart rate tracker for runners, or for those who don’t want to sift through lots of data as the watch's feedback is simple and precise. Though the watch may not do as much as what other fitness watches, that's what makes it perfect as a beginner's training watch.
You don't need a gym membership to get fit! Bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere and with no equipment, so there are no excuses.
What are body weight exercises?
There are two types of body weight exercises. Callisthenics refers to gymnastic-style exercises which are often performed with bars, gym rings, or parallets. These exercises include pull ups, muscle ups, triceps dips etc. These exercises work on the principle of using your body weight to perform a high-intensity move and to push your body to develop new skills including balance and power.
The second type of body weight exercises is low-impact exercises which don't use weights, such as air squats and press ups. These exercises do not use any equipment whatsoever and therefore can be performed anywhere. They are not quite as effective as callisthenics as there is no external force causing the body to need to adapt and get stronger, but you can maintain a decent level of fitness with these low-impact moves.
Are body weight exercises effective?
Body weight exercises are hugely effective in helping to build muscle and burn fat. A lot of calisthenic moves are highly challenging and physically demanding and require a lot of balance and coordination.
Examples of body weight exercises
Handstands are a classic gymnastics move and require a lot of core strength and balance. It takes a lot of time and patience to master the handstand, but once you do, you can work your shoulders and core to the max. Increase the intensity by performing handstand push ups or handstand walks.
Chin ups differ from pull-ups due to the position of the hands. You work the biceps and back as well as the core. They are very tough and you may need assistance before you can do one with full body weight. Most gyms have assisted chin up machines or you can ask a friend to hold your feet.
Triceps Dips are the perfect exercise for targeting the triceps and can easily be adapted to make the move easier or harder. Add weight for an extra kick or perform bench dips to lift less of your body weight.
Another classic exercise, this move works the chest, shoulders, and core. Perform chest and shoulder workouts in order to improve your press ups and try adding these as a superset to increase the burn during at upper body workout.
Basic squats, sumo squats, split leg squats and perhaps the toughest of them all pistol squats are all body weight exercises which focus on developing leg strength.