Garmin is doing more for female athletes with new women's health tracking

Menstrual Cycle Tracking rolling out alongside new Forerunner watches
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Garmin is following in Fitbit's footsteps by adding new female-focused tracking features to its companion Connect app.

Announced alongside its new Foreunner 45 series, Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 945 watches, the new Menstrual Cycle Tracking feature will enable Garmin users to track their cycle, log symptoms, receive predictions for period and fertile windows and get educational insights from their Garmin Connect app.

Essential reading: Best Garmin watches to buy

Garmin says the new feature was developed by women and is inclusive of all cycle types (so, regular cycle, irregular, pre-menopausal and menopausal). Connect users will receive insights based on which phase of their cycle with some insight examples including:

- “Once your period starts, you might find it easier to push yourself physically. In 2002, Paula Radcliffe broke the world record for the fastest marathon in Chicago while dealing with menstrual cramps.”

- “Your body naturally craves high amounts of protein at this point in your cycle. Lentils, seeds or lean meats are great options to keep you going.”

- “During the first 2 weeks of your cycle, your body is primed for maximum strength, speed and power. This is the best time to focus on more challenging strength training.”

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Users will also be able to track daily physical and emotional symptoms and aims to bring awareness to fluctuations in things like sleep, mood, appetite and athletic performance. Additional features can be unlocked with Garmin devices that are compatible with Garmin's Connect IQ store letting users get cycle tracking information and discreet period reminders.

Garmin's Health division is also sponsoring a research study at The University of Kansas Medical Center to examine how wearables and the data they produce can assist menstrual cycle tracking and ovulation prediction. So there's clearly scope that these features could become even more useful and insightful in the future.

The Menstrual Cycle Tracking feature will work with the Forerunner 645 Music, vívoactive 3, vívoactive 3 Music and fēnix 5 Plus Series watches. Garmin plans to add the functionality to the Fenix 5 Series, Fenix Chronos, Forerunner 935, Forerunner 945, Forerunner 645, Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245 Music 'soon'.


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Michael Sawh

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Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.


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