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(Pocket-lint) - Garmin is adding three new features to its high-end sports watches, with the Fenix 6 series, Marq and Enduro all in line for the upgrade.

The trio of arrivals includes the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), Improved Intensity Minutes and Improved Fitness Age, which all appear to forward the company's aim of interpreting your fitness levels, and add to current features such as Body Battery and Recovery Time.

RPE is a fairly simple change to the post-workout process, allowing users to record how hard an exercise felt and how it felt. These subjective ratings are then uploaded to Garmin Connect as part of the activity, allowing users to go back, view and compare to other activity sessions.

Improved Intensity Minutes, meanwhile, is a bit more technical. Essentially, it allows the compatible watches to decipher how and when daily intensity minutes were earned. They can also be viewed during activity in the form of a data field.

Garmin is using the American Heart Association's recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week (or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise) as a framework, with Improved Intensity Minutes allowing wearers to now view this automatically.

Credit for this metric can also be gained in two ways; either heart rate is compared to typical resting heart rate, or the average number of steps per minute is analysed. Outside of these methods, recording activity will contribute to Improved Intensity Minutes credits, too.

Improved Fitness Age is the final new feature arriving on devices, also working behind the scenes to give an estimation on your true fitness level. In fact, Garmin says this is essentially just a reworked version of VO2 Max in order to make it more relatable to the wearer.

The result is a much less prohibitive figure, with users given an estimate of the body's fitness age through an interpretation of their actual age, activity levels, resting heart rate, BMI and body fat percentage.

Garmin won't just leave you hanging with a disappointing fitness age, either, with suggestions on how to lower it (and therefore boost VO2 Max) also included within the feature.

So, all in all, these are some small but positive improvements to Garmin's top-tier models. 

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Given the fact that these features tend to eventually trickle down to the Forerunner, Approach and other mid-level models, too, it's also encouraging news for those who don't own one of these current compatible sports watches.

Writing by Conor Allison. Originally published on 17 August 2021.