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Using Your SmartWatch Smartly

Running is a solo sport. We mostly run by ourselves on desolate trails and roads often at wee hours. It is important to keep safety in mind first always. It is especially important for young children and women to always be aware of their surroundings and seek help when necessary.

If you are a first-time smartwatch user, remember to set up an emergency contact. For most watches, it is set up automatically when you first time configure the app on your mobile phone. If you don’t remember setting it up or if you skipped it during set up, review your information, and make sure that your emergency contacts are up to date.

Setting up Emergency Contact

For Garmin watches, go to Garmin Connect app on your mobile phone, and select three dots at the bottom right. Then, Select Safety & Tracking->Safety Features->Emergeny Contact. Verify the contact information if already exists, or add one by selecting the Plus button.


For Apple Watches, you have to set up your Medical ID.

Read here for detailed instructions on how to set it up.

In addition to setting up the emergency contact, familiarize yourself with how to activate it in an emergency.

For Garmin watches, follow these steps.

To activate, hold down the top-left button (power button) for approximately 7 seconds until the watch vibrates three times. This action will send a message with your real-time location to your preloaded emergency contacts. If the Alert Tones in your watch's System > Sounds setting is set to "On" the watch will make a loud beeping noise while sending the alert. Set the Alert Tones to Off if you would like to be able to send emergency alerts silently.

This method should work for most Garmin models. Refer to this document for further information:

While Garmin watches send information to emergency contacts, Apple watches go a step further. These watches can call emergency services e.g. 911 on your behalf.

To activate press and hold the side button until the Emergency Call slider appears.

Drag the Emergency Call slide to activate the call to emergency services and notify your emergency contacts.

Read here for more information.

Pay Attention to Running Surface

Runners running on trails, sidewalks/pavements, or streets with potholes are at a higher risk of tripping and falling while running. Be mindful that your shoelaces are well-tied and double-knotted so it doesn't become a trip hazard. Those who run in semi-lit conditions, be extra careful of the running surface. Listening to podcasts or music may be a great distraction while running but be cautious that it doesn't come at the cost of taking your attention away from the running surface.

Fall Detection Feature

Most modern watches offer fall-detection features. Watches can detect if you fall or are involved in a crash. Apple calls it Fall Detection while Garmin calls it Incident Detection. Understanding how it works might come in handy when you are in need.

Read more about Garmin’s Incident Detection Feature and Apple’s Fall Detection Feature.

In conclusion, you have a great piece of technology on your wrist. Understand its functionality and make the best use of it for a safe and joyful running journey.

Happy Running!!

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