What is Polar Flow?
In a way, that’s like asking “what is the internet?” Sure, you can come up with a description like “the internet is a place where you go to see funny cat videos” but we all know that’s only a tiny part of a much bigger picture.
Similarly, we could say that “Polar Flow is the online window into your training, daily activity and sleep” but that would be missing the point entirely. It’s not really about what all these services are but what you can do with them.
So, what can you do with Polar Flow?
As it turns out: a lot.
A brief introduction to Polar Flow
Polar Flow is the place where you can see, analyze, and understand the data that you’re tracking with your Polar product. Polar Flow is a powerful tool that you can use to:
- Gauge your current fitness level
- Find the right balance between activity and rest
- Plan your training
- See how you progress
- Track your sleep
- Manage your weight
- Relive your best moments
- Socialize with likeminded people
We have two Polar Flow platforms you can use
The Polar Flow web service can be accessed at flow.polar.com and the Polar Flow app is available for download with either Android and iPhone.
Some features and views are available only on the Polar Flow web service. So, if you don’t see something in the app, have a look at the web service.
Obviously, to track your stats and get insights from them with Polar Flow, you’ll need a Polar product to track your activity and training with – either on your wrist or on your bike. Take a look at our products that work with Polar Flow, if you don’t have one already.
To get you started here are seven ways you can use Polar Flow. If you want to jump right in and create an account, you can do that here (it’s free!).
Tip #1: up your running game with Polar Flow
Running is one of the world’s most popular sports. It’s easy to start, you don’t need much of an investment up front and you can do it basically anywhere. For tracking your runs with Polar, you’ll need a Polar product (with GPS preferably). Once you have that, tighten the wristband, put on your favorite running playlist, and hit the road.
One of the most powerful features Polar Flow has to offer to runners is the Polar Running Program. While running is easy to start, it’s also very easy to quit. Some might even say running sucks (but only if you’re doing it wrong).
This is where the Polar Running Program comes into its own. With it, you can set up a distance and a date (5K, 10K, half-marathon, or a full marathon) and the program makes you a personalized running plan. You can sync the training sessions to your Polar product, and follow the guided runs.
It’s like a virtual running coach. Read more about our adaptive and personalized running plan.
Furthermore, Polar Flow is designed to answer any questions that runners may have. Below is a table of some of what Polar Flow has to offer.
|PROBLEM||HOW POLAR FLOW HELPS YOU|
|I don’t know how much or how often I should run||Set up the Polar Running Program|
|I don’t know if I’m improving||Keep an eye on your Running Index report|
|Should I rest more?||Have a look at your Recovery Status under Diary|
|I need motivation||Join a Polar Flow group and get support from your new friends|
One thing to keep in mind is that what you see in Polar Flow depends on what Polar product you have. For example, the new Polar Sleep Plus™ is available for Polar M600, Polar Vantage M, Polar Vantage V, Polar M430, Polar A370.
Tip #2: Track your Activity with Polar Flow
Activity tracking is one of those powerful features of Polar Flow whose scope you don’t necessarily comprehend the first time you see it. The best way to describe the Activity tracking is as an iceberg. At the top of that iceberg, we have the daily activity goal (the bar on your watch), which is very easy to grasp: getting to 100% is good and you can and you should fill up your activity bar by being active throughout the day.
However, if you want to delve deeper into your activity stats, you can log in to Polar Flow and analyze your daily, weekly, and monthly activity and see the health benefits of that activity.
This is your insight into your daily activity, the basic unit of activity analysis. However, don’t be afraid of the word analysis, as this insight will give you a very easy-to-understand view and spell out the health benefits too. Among other things, you can see your:
- Daily activity goal and how well you’ve reached it
- Total calories burned (including basal metabolic rate, activity and training sessions)
- Active time (time spent being active enough to improve your fitness)
- Daily steps
- Inactivity stamps (if you sit for too long, you’ll get an inactivity stamp)
- Sleep time
Your daily activity graph takes up most of the screen here. It’s a handy tool to gauge how active you’ve been during the day and if there’s something you could improve. The darker the color, the more active you’ve been. The higher the curve, the more active you have been.
If you’re an office worker and spend most of your days sitting down, it’s a good idea to stand up from your desk, take short strolls and work standing up every once in a while. By looking at your daily activity graph you can see that ‘oh yes, I am sitting too much’ and make changes accordingly.
Tip #3: Track your sleep with Polar Flow
With the introduction of Polar Sleep Plus™ (available for Polar Vantage V, Polar Vantage M, Polar A370, and Polar M430), Polar Flow becomes an even more comprehensive tool for tracking the duration, quality, and timing of your sleep. See last night’s sleep stats or have a look at whole weeks to spot trends in your sleep schedule. If you want to know more about Polar Sleep Plus, we’ve got you covered with this introduction to tracking your Zzz’s.
Tip #4: Keep a training log
What did you do on June 28, 2015?
Well, officer, I went for a run. 6.3 miles, average heart rate 143, 710 calories burned. Here’s my route, and as you can see, I didn’t go anywhere near those pancakes with cashew butter that were reported missing.
Polar Flow is the ultimate training log. If you track your training session, you can find it in Polar Flow whether it’s the following day or two years from today. Our memory is notoriously fallible but your training stats don’t lie.
Here are some ways you could use Polar Flow as a training log:
- See how much training you did the whole year
- See what sports you did
- Count how many calories you burned
- See what heart rate zones you trained in
Tip #5: Understand a single training session
One single session can reveal a lot about your fitness level. Especially professional athletes or coaches can go deep into a training session to analyze, for example, heart rate, distance, pace, and power numbers in order to reach peak performance.
In addition to single training sessions, the new Training Load Pro™ and Recovery Pro™ features on Polar Vantage V also show the long-term training load and recovery status.
The training view shows the different graphs (such as heart rate, power levels, elevation) on separate rows. You can zoom in closer to a section or a lap to get a better look. See the video to learn more about analyzing a single training session:
Tip #6: Polar Flow for community and togetherness
The best things in life are made better by sharing them with someone. Even pancakes with cashew butter.
Polar Flow is many things. It’s a training log, an adventure map, a weight-loss companion… but it’s also a community. Follow your friends, comment, and like their activities.
In the Community tab in the Polar Flow web service, you’ll find Flow groups, Flow clubs, and Flow events.
Anyone can start a group in Polar Flow. There are groups for running for weight-loss, for different countries and different sports and much more. And if you don’t find a group you want, you can create one. Within the group, you can see what others have been up to, get, and give support and work together towards a common goal.
Find your fitness club, see classes and schedules, and share your sweaty successes.
There are a bunch of events in Polar Flow so if you’re planning to sign up for a race, you can join the event on Flow, see how others are training, get tips, make some friends and arrange a meet-up once you get there… And after the event, you can see everyone’s results in the name of a little friendly competition.
Sharing our collective wisdom
We have only scratched the surface here. Polar Flow is a very powerful tool and how you use it depends on what you want to achieve.
That’s why we’d like to hear what Polar Flow means to you and how you use it. So when you share this article on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, add your insights, and let’s start spreading that collective wisdom.
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.