One of the biggest problems with modern day lifestyle is the lack of physical fitness and physical well-being. About eight out of ten people who are above the age of 30 suffer from obesity and other related health problems.
This gives birth to more complications including high blood sugar, hypertension, cardiovascular problems, joint illnesses, and even cancer. Hence, being physically fit is no longer a choice but a necessity. Towards achieving a healthier lifestyle, you will need a good fitness band.
It helps to monitor the results of weight training programs and also helps in taking corrective action wherever necessary. It would also be helpful to have a waterproof activity tracker that you can wear anytime and anywhere. Keep reading this article to know the best fitness trackers and fitness trackers comparison and also best activity tracker in the market.
Our Top 10 Best Fitness Trackers
Moov Now 3D Fitness Tracker
Your best audio coach for running, cycling, cardio boxing and body weight. With MOOV’s real-time audio coaching that pushing you to improve on each workout, bringing your fitness and workout experience to a whole new level.
The built-in feature for swimming offers the advanced swim tracking and stroke detection facility so that you can focus on your swimming without counting laps. It tracks your sleep automatically and syncs with your phone (Android or iOS) via Bluetooth.
Enjoy the amazing battery life that will last for up to 6 months without a single charge and lightweight band gives you comfortable and breathable experience for your wrist. The lightweight Moov Now has a small button on top and when you hit then it will start your activity or sync it with your phone to make the fitness data up-to-date.
Audio and visual real-time coaching for cycling have few other features too, such as route mapping, shift assistance, and Moov power. The swimming real-time in-app coaching feature along with stroke recognition, lap counting, stroke rate, distance per stroke, turn time, and rest time is a huge supporting feature for your swimming activities backed up by this small Moov Now fitness tracker.
- Great battery life.
- Less expensive.
- No Screen.
- Lags to attract in terms of design.
- comparatively limited features.
- Sleep detection could have been better.
Garmin Forerunner 25
Save, plan, and share your fitness activities and progress at Garmin Connect through the Garmin Forerunner 25. It has automatic uploads to the Garmin Connect free online community where you can join fitness challenges.
The easy-to-use GPS running watch tracks distance, pace, heart rate, personal records, and calories burned. It resets its count every day at midnight and displays the day’s current progress towards your goal, e.g., the day’s current total steps taken, distance walked, etc.
Keep yourself on the right track with all the features that motivate you all day in working out towards your fitness goals. Be reminded and stay connected by pairing your smartphone for text, call alerts, and other notifications. Take your fitness activity to the next level and make every run count.
Garmin Forerunner 25 features a 32% larger display area than the Forerunner 15. It displays your activity statistics by using the GPS that acquire satellites quickly and tracks how fast and where your location is – even under the tree cover.
You will be motivated by the inactivity indicator when you’ve been sitting and doing nothing for too long. Count in the Connected Features along this device where you can share activity progress instantly with everyone. By paring with a compatible device, you can upload and share your activities in the Garmin Connect and share it with the world via social media.
Through the online community, you can get more details on each mile of your run and see a daily summary of your activities. Other than that, Garmin Forerunner 25 monitors activity between runs. Fitness does not stop after running. It keeps track of your daily steps too whether you are indoors or outdoors. Train more with heart up to 10 weeks in watch or activity tracking mode.
- The GPS connects in seconds and is accurate.
- The battery life lasts long.
- Easy to charge.
- Easy to use and switch between functions.
- It easily transfers data via Bluetooth to your phone.
- The screen is easy to read in daylight.
- The device’s settings are intuitive.
- This device only has audio beeps and no vibrations.
- It has a slow GPS function.
- Can’t show time and pace on the same screen.
- Might take a while to get a signal.
- Software problems might arise.
- Might encounter difficulties in charging the device.
- The screen freezes most of the time until the battery drains.
Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker
Move with speed and vigor with Fitbit Zip – a device designed to track all day fitness activities. It monitors steps taken, distance ran or swam, and burned calories. Share, compete, and turn your everyday life into a fun road to your fitness goals throughout the day through the Fitbit app.
Through this application, you can set goals, view progress, and earn badges. All the data on your activity such as the distance, steps taken, and calories burned, food intake, weight, and more will automatically sync to your Fitbit account.
Your statistics are wirelessly uploaded via computer or other mobile devices. You will be kept motivated by seeing the graphs, badges, and friendly competitions shown in the application. In real time, you will know when you’ve reached your fitness goal or if you are close to it.
Fitbit Zip features a tap display which allows you to see daily statistics and time of the day just by tapping the display. Aside from seeing the number of steps, distance walked for the day, and the estimate of calories burned, you will also see an emoji. The emoji or smiley face pops up or changes depending on how many steps you have taken.
The device is wear and water resistant. It can be worn comfortably for the clip fits securely onto clothing. Other than that, it has a wireless syncing feature wherein the statistics are being uploaded and synced wirelessly and automatically to computers and over 150 leading smartphones.
It syncs with smartphones and tablets using the low-power Bluetooth 4.0. You can dive into your activity data summaries, analyze the recorded data, and track your nutrition and more. Be motivated all day, for the whole week, and the months to come. The Zip’s batteries are replaceable and could last up to 6 months, without charge.
- It is water resistant.
- The device is small and discreet.
- Can be clipped on clothing
- Fitbit Zip works well for the fit bit app
- No charging cable. The batteries last long and are replaceable.
- Wearing the Fitbit Zip makes you more health conscious.
- The Fitbit Zip is a pedometer that is zero-maintenance.
- The little gadget inside the clip can pop out easily.
- Might not properly sync with the app.
- Might not consistently track or count steps.
- The holder might slip around easily.
Bellabeat Leaf Nature Health Tracker
Have a greater awareness of your reproductive health and cope up with stress through the Leaf. The Leaf is an activity, sleep, and reproductive health monitor that helps you cope up with stress through built-in breathing exercises.
This smart piece of jewelry tracks your health and provides insights and helpful reminders to keep you on the right path. You will never be out of fashion while working out for the Leaf can be worn as a necklace, bracelet, and clip to clothing. It is functional and allows you to be fashionable while working out.
Monthly cycles such as fertile days, ovulation, menstruation, and contraception intake are tracked down through an app. To sync the Leaf with your mobile device, turn on your Bluetooth and sync with the app. As the synchronization is established, all your data will be transferred wirelessly. The Leaf also vibrates smoothly to remind the user to be more active, based on the user’s set preferences.
The product has an all-day activity tracking feature. Activities include calories burned, distance moved, steps taken, active time, goal setting, and progress sharing. It monitors the duration of sleep, the sleep equality, wake up time, bedtime, and it wakes you up through an alarm.
It will allow you to manage stress through the guided meditation, meditation session and breathing exercises. It also tracks the activity, meditation, cycle, pregnancy, and sleep impact and stress sensitivity. Other than that, the Leaf is a splash-proof product meaning it can handle sweat during a workout.
A small amount of water would not cause the product any malfunctions. However, it is not water resistant or waterproof product so it should not be worn in the shower, bath or pool. Also, the leaf is not required to be synced daily. It keeps your information recorded in its memory for up to two weeks.
- It is not bulky.
- No charging.
- Easy to set-up.
- Three apps in one. Monthly, fitness, and stress reliever app.
- It is easy to clip and go about your day.
- It can be hidden. Clip to the bra or undershirt.
- It gives you options on how to wear it.
- It does not track heart rate.
- The bracelet accessory that comes with it cracks and frays quickly.
- It is not waterproof or even water resistant.
- Might not track accurately.
- The functionality might be lacking.
- The wristband that comes with it does not fit a large wrist.
- It might be too large and thick for your preference.
Garmin vívoactive Black
Keep having an active life with Vivoactive. Vivoactive has an 8mm ultra-thin profile that is comfortable to wear all day. It is a GPS smartwatch with a high-resolution color touchscreen that is readable under direct sunlight.
You can view your progress under the sun and even when you’re away from your phone. Automatic synchronization with the app Garmin Connect Mobile gives you a post-summary of your workout statistics. Vivoactive has built-in apps including GPS-enabled running, biking, golfing, swimming, and activity tracking.
Other training features for running includes Auto Lap and Auto Pause. The battery life lasts long for up to three weeks in watch or activity tracking mode, and up to 10 hours with the GPS on. Customize the device with free watch face designs, widgets, and apps from Connect IQ store. Swap out bands of your preferred color.
You won’t be needing a separate foot pod when running on an indoor track or treadmill. Vivoactive has a built-in accelerometer and wrist-based speed and cadence trackers plus the GPS that captures running data such as distance and pace.
It is compatible with sensors such as speed and heart rate monitors to measure your progress on training. In golf, you can pair this device with your smartphone and download course maps from its golf course database having more than 38 courses worldwide. There is no problem in swimming, sweating, or showering with Vivoactive.
It has 5ATM water rating, and its thin profile cuts through the water. You can also let the swimming app to automatically gauge the total and interval distance, laps, and stroke count. Count in the session average, interval and length pace, and, the number of strokes per length.
All of that through the Auto Length accelerometer-based technology. Other than the mentioned features, Vivoactive also includes advanced smartwatch features that allow you to control the tunes on your music player.
It also locates your phone and let your friends and family track your activities in real time with Live Track. And, you can remotely control your VIRB Elite action camera. Stay connected with your Bluetooth on as you can receive gentle vibrations as notifications from text call, Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media Alerts.
- Reading is accurate.
- The display is easy to read under sunlight.
- Good battery life.
- Very slim profile.
- Extremely light.
- Fast GPS.
- The display might be hard to read in dim light.
- Screen brightness indoors with low light can be a bit hard to read.
- No heart rate monitor.
- The step counter feature might not be accurate.
- It might be huge for your reference.
- The screen might easily crack when pressed.
- It sometimes has syncing troubles.
Fitbit Alta HR, Special Edition Black Gunmetal
Motivate yourself in reaching your fitness goals through the FitBit Alta HR. Providing you with the FitBit’s slimmest design, the FitBit Alta HR can survive all day activity tracking. The wristband is made from a flexible and durable elastomer material.
The buckle is made of aluminum, and the tracker is made of surgical-grade stainless steel. The Alta HR gunmetal tracker is made with premium PVD plating; Rose Gold Tracker is plated with 22k rose gold.
Track your sleep, and all other fitness activity all-day and stay connected with Smartphone notifications (call, text and calendar alerts). Fitbit Alta HR can be synced automatically with computers and 200+ mobile devices (Mac OS X 10.6 and up, iPhone 4s) using Bluetooth LE wireless technology.
Syncing range is up to 30 feet, and it requires Bluetooth and LE and Internet connection. Computers that do not have Bluetooth LE like Windows 10 will need a wireless sync dongle to sync.
Fitbit Alta HR features the PurePulse heart rate which automatically tracks sleep stages. Your time spent in light and your deep and REM sleep will be monitored. It helps you to understand the quality of your sleep. The product also features the SmartTrack which has an auto exercise recognition.
It detects workouts like running, elliptical, biking, and logs them to your dashboard. See your improvement by comparing your resting heart rate trends to your fitness activity. Use heart rate zones (Fat burn, cardio, and peak) to see the intensity of your workout and see the accurate measure of your burned calories.
Tap your OLED display to view your statistics, time and notifications. You can also customize your watch faces and change the bands of this tracker. Track your steps, distance, active minutes, and calories burned every minute, every day, and for a week. The battery life lasts long up to 7 days.
- Slimmer in size and is versatile.
- It auto tracks exercise.
- Battery life is good.
- The design is nice.
- The heart rate monitor/tracker is continuous.
- The screen is easy to see any time of the day.
- The wrist motion feature is excellent.
- It does not track the flight of stairs.
- Not waterproof.
- The band discolors within one week of normal wear.
- Might not track steps accurately.
- The screen might not be that responsive.
- Alarm setting might be unreliable.
- It does not record biking.
Motorola Moto 360 Modern Timepiece Smart Watch
Receive coaching pieces of advice from Motorola 360 and help yourself in becoming fit every day. Moto 360 tracks your steps taken, calories burned, and heart rate. It responds to voice and gestures. It allows you to send text, set a reminder, and check the weather by just using your voice.
The voice control makes things easily get done even when your hands are full of holding or doing other things. The product is the first circular watch to run android wear. It can also be a nifty fitness tracker and a decent watch, and it keeps you on the right way towards your fitness goals.
Motorola 360 features a 1.56 inches LCD touchscreen. It displays timely notifications based on your location and what you are doing. It also displays notifications from the weather, flight alerts, and traffic.
It also features Android apps that provide fun and productivity just right on your wrist. In general thinking, the device is used in a way wherein you can receive notifications without pulling your phone out of your pocket. Your options are almost endless and always growing.
Turn on the ambient mode to keep apps always on. Turning on the ambient mode also helps in extending the battery life while you are keeping your details ready to be viewed at a glance. Applications that are usually kept on always include maps, fitness statistics, or to-do lists.
You can view map directions on your device’s screen with just a glance on your wrist. Other than the mentioned features, Moto 360 includes drawing directly of emojis on the device’s screen with your finger.
Plus, it can be very useful while you are on your way to somewhere inside your car or in the gym; it controls music from your phone’s music player. Count in the health features including heart rate, pedometer, and calories burned monitor. You can customize your watch face and have fun with the device’s wifi feature.
- It allows you to reply with a quick message via voice.
- It charges fast.
- It has a lightweight design.
- Moto 360 last up to 12 hours with the ambient mode turned on.
- You can get all your notifications at a glance.
- The band is leather, and it fits anyone.
- Motorola 360 is durable.
- Not waterproof.
- Navigation will drain the battery faster.
- The battery has a short lifespan.
- The alarm might be just too feeble.
- Has very minimal app support and missing many features.
- Some gestures might not pick up.
- Heart rate monitor might get an inaccurate reading.
Garmin Forerunner 35 Watch
Make the Garmin Forerunner 35 your partner in getting fitter and active every day. Forerunner offers a slim and lightweight design, best for daily runs, training, racing, etc. It is a running watch with built-in GPS that acquires satellites quickly.
The built-in GPS enables the device to track your location and how far and fast you have done. Even when you are covered with tree leaves above you, it is still possible to track your location down. Other than that, it tracks your distance, pace, intervals, calories burned, and more.
Your calories burned are calculated based on the parameters you enter about yourself like age, weight, and gender. Garmin Forerunner 35 also offers an updated display which has new high resolution that is visible for indoor/outdoor viewing. The face of the watch displays distance, time, and current pace while you’re running.
It enables you to see your workout data anywhere and anytime. And, this easy to use watch gives you the option to run without a chest trap – all through the elevate wrist-based heart rate technology. It keeps tracking your heart rate all day and night.
The device has connected features you can have fun with. The features include smart notifications, automatic upload to Garmin Connect, live tracking, and music control. Forerunner 35 automatically upload your data to Garmin Connect – the free online community where there are challenges you can join and enjoy.
You can also receive insights and share your progress with everyone around the world. Be notified of the vibration alerts the Forerunner 35 offers. It alerts you of your running prompts, virtual pacing progress, fitness activity milestone, smart notifications, etc.
It pulls text, social media, and other notifications – all of that when paired with a compatible smartphone. The Garmin Forerunner 35 aside from all the features mentioned tells you when to slow down and or speed up when you run or walk.
The virtual pacer makes it possible for you to know how far ahead or behind you are from your plans and goals. Lastly, it is waterproof. Run. Swim. Bike. Race. Do anything for your fitness goals with Garmin Forerunner 35.
- The interval trainer beeps loud enough.
- It is waterproof.
- Battery lasts around five days.
- GPS has fast syncing process.
- Full charging takes less of an hour.
- The band is comfortable to wear.
- The pace reading is accurate.
- Not as customizable as some fitness tracker would.
- Not for supper runners, or triathlons.
- The screen might not be bright enough.
- It takes a while to start recording your time.
- It does not sync properly.
- Big, bulky, and uncomfortable to wear.
- Poor connectivity.
Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch
Fitbit Blaze – A smart fitness watch with advanced technology in a versatile design. Never get out of fashion, get fit in style with this revolutionary device that helps you maximize your workouts every day.
Fitbit Blaze is built and is designed to track your fitness activities, monitor your performance statistics, and gauge your progress. Other than that, it tracks steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes. Monitor your heart rate continuously with the PurePulse.
See and check through the PurePulse your exercise’s intensity during the workout. The Fitbit Blaze is a wrist-based heart monitoring device that requires no strap. You can view your heart rate readings in real-time during a workout instead of waiting to finish and see the average reading.
Stay connected with your phone even though it has been kept out of sight but just inside your pocket or anywhere near you. The Blaze send you reminders to move and helps you to stay active on your day.
It gives smartphone notifications from a text, call, and other notification alerts like from Gmail, Facebook, and others. Enhance every exercise you make with the multi-sports mode and get the next generation features on your wrist. Bring your fitness to the next level with the next generation features that include Connected GPS and FitStar workouts.
Enable your GPS and find a map to your routes and see run statistics like pace and duration, only when your phone is nearby. The FitStar offers step-by-step instructions and graphics to ensure you correctly and completely follow each move given. Use the multi-sport tracking feature of this device to track your runs, cardio, cross-training, biking, and more.
The device also features an interchangeable band and frames which gives you the option to change depending on your preference. You can as well customize clock faces on the device’s high-resolution touchscreen. Set a weekly fitness goal in the Fitbit app and check your exercise summaries on this device to see your progress.
- The screen is large.
- Battery lasts up to 5-6 days.
- The display is easy to read.
- The screen is gorilla grass that doesn’t get scratched.
- The heart rate monitor is accurate without the chest strap.
- Smart notifications are very convenient.
- With the simple turn of a wrist, the screen turns on.
- A hexagonal design may not be aesthetically pleasing.
- No built-in GPS, need to carry a phone for maps.
- Not waterproof. Can’t be worn for swimming.
- There’s no other way to keep the screen always.
- The band is not comfortable when worn while sleeping.
- The plastic wristband gets sweaty and causes skin redness.
- Raising the wrist doesn’t always turn on the screen.
Polar A300 Fitness Tracker and Activity Monitor
Every beat, every step, everything counts with Polar A300 – a functional watch that will help you to stay fit and active every day. Polar A300 monitors your fitness activities 24/7. It tracks your steps taken, sleep, distance ran or walked, calories burned, and your heart rate with the chest strap. It gives you a percentage of your sleep’s quality.
It is a waterproof fitness monitor and is customizable. Never get out of fashion and design your Polar A300 with interchangeable wristbands of different colors. Match the watch bands to your mood and the occasion.
Be guided and stay active with this device that helps you keep moving throughout the day. Stay connected with the smart notifications from texts, calls, inactivity, and other alerts. Polar A300 vibrates as you receive the notifications. Take note that you do not get notified if the watch is in workout mode.
Polar A300 has all the features of Garmin and Fitbit. More of that, in A300, your activity goal can be reached in three ways; through the intensity, exercise moderateness, and the steps. It doesn’t mean that you need to finish a specific goal only through the steps to be taken.
But if your sole activity in your fitness goal is to run, then that will work. You can keep your heart rate monitored through the Polar A300 paired with the Polar H7 chest strap. You have the options to choose the type of activity you want to do and set the watch to record.
Pausing the workout data recording on the watch to view the current heart rate, heart rate zone, the time, and the calories burned is possible. Other than that, the product does not require wrist movement to turn the display on. The time and date are always displayed on the screen. Plus, there is no need to worry about scratching a delicate screen, Polar A300 does not have a touchscreen.
- The device is very light.
- It is easy to use.
- Heart rate reading is accurate through the chest strap.
- Waterproof. Can be worn in the shower.
- The display is very visible outdoors and indoors.
- The strap is roomy, comfortable, and interchangeable.
- Battery life lasts up to at least seven days.
- Steps taken is shown only when synced to the app.
- Might have difficulty in synchronizing with the chest band.
- It gives alerts even though notifications are turned off.
- The watch does not automatically sync with the app/website.
- The strap might be a bit too long.
- The UI for the phone app is not intuitive.
- The watch slips out of the silicone wristband easily.
Activity Fitness Tracker Buyer’s Guide
Why buy fitness trackers?
Everything is becoming more technological these days, and people are becoming more health conscious. It is undeniable that technology has become a vital part of our being.
Some can’t even seem to survive a day without these particular devices they use in their everyday lives. Even talking about health, technological devices are always being involved and are produced.
In fact, a statistic forecast shows that almost 35 million units of fitness tracker devices are being shipped and distributed worldwide in 2016; and 44 million units last year.
Fitness trackers bring a lot of improvement in our health because it gets you moving. Any increase in physical activity is beneficial to yourself. Moving releases blood pressure, improves thinking, reduces stress, depression, and social anxiety.
And fitness trackers advance the way we workout. It brings convenience and motivation in a little package. From the humble pedometer that records the distance (through the steps taken) the person covers, fitness trackers of today have been evolved.
These devices are now offering a variety of features, making it more saleable. These features include heart rate monitoring, skin temperature reading, perspiration, alarms, notifications, tracking sleep patterns, calories burned, and very many more. With that, people are more likely becoming more active and motivated in monitoring and seeing their workout’s results and progress.
More of that, fitness trackers connected and synced with software applications brings you of its best and full functionality. These online fitness applications enable you to access data and analyze your performance.
You can also set goals, select training programs, as well as monitoring your weight, mood, and dietary intake. Fitness trackers can be treated as your own real-time personal trainer.
The applications offer challenges you can enjoy. In this online community, you can challenge or compete with your family and friends while having fun. You can see your workout statistics, upload, post, and share it with the world.
Other than the convenience, motivation, and fun the fitness trackers give, these trackers are predicted to become the way of the future in disease management and health promotion.
Patients want to incorporate data into their medical assessments. These data can be better read and acquired in these fitness trackers. Also, health professionals are using these devices to monitor a patient’s progress. They help in building a healthy lifestyle and develop healthier habits.
But there are different styles and offered features in every fitness tracker device. Many things should be taken into consideration in choosing the best for you. Below is a guide to choosing the right fitness tracker that best fit your needs and wants.
Things to Consider When Choosing an Activity Fitness Tracker
People nowadays are becoming more aesthetic and never want to get behind and out of fashion. We might consider fitness device trackers as a new part of our body, and it will be part of our everyday style. So in buying products, we always first consider the style and how the product looks on our body. Below are the most common structures of fitness trackers:
There are types of fitness tracker devices that do not have a screen, making it more like of a wristband rather than a watch. This kind of fitness tracker directly deliver the data to the application.
This device is best for those who do not like to have something bulky and heavy on their wrists while working out. It can also be great for those who are not used in walking around with a watch. Example of this is the Fitbit Flex 2.
Another type is slim fitness tracker devices with a screen. These look like a wristband with a small display. These kind of fitness tracker are also best for those who wanted lightweight devices on their wrists while working out. Example of this is the Fitbit One and Fitbit Alta.
Other than that, there are no-screen fitness tracker devices that are not slim and can be worn as a smart piece of jewelry – may it be necklace or bracelet. Plus, these devices can also be clipped to your clothing and even on your shoes. These kind of devices are best for those who prefer fancier fitness tracker. Example of this is the Bellabeat Leaf.
These fitness trackers look like a typical watch, but an elegant and a smarter one. These devices usually have little screen or area alongside the watch hands for the extra information. An example of this is the Withings Steel HR.
This is the most common form of a fitness tracker. If you want a glimpse of your data on your wrist, then this might be the best for you. It has a large screen, and it is a convenient way to look directly on your screen at all the data the device is reading and measuring.
Plus, other extra feature the device has can also be viewed from the screen. Most of these devices are bulky and has a clunky design that clashes with a lot of places where formal dress is needed. Example of this is the Garmin Vivoactive HR.
In choosing a fitness tracker, you must consider what your activity is, and where you are going. There are fitness trackers best and fit for use underwater, for rock climbing, or anything and anywhere susceptible to getting hit against something hard.
The durability check is best applied for fitness tracker devices with a full larger screen. But not only are the screens to be checked but the bands also. There are instances that bands can be easily loose or destroyed.
Durability check should always be considered because with just one strong impact from getting hit; you may lose in tracking and monitoring your workout’s progress.
Other than that, it might cost you more, buying another one as a replacement. Choosing a durable product gives you an extended continuous opportunity to use it without requiring an inordinate degree of maintenance.
Inaccurate heart rate monitoring and the steps taken are what most of the critical reviews are all about. And with that, how could you achieve your fitness goals if your tracker does not read your activity metrics right?
Fitness trackers’ main purpose is to measure your statistics, and it is fitting and proper that it should always be accurate. The precise reading of your workout’s stats helps you in achieving your fitness goals for today, this week, this month, and so on – making you successful in your endeavor in getting more healthy and staying fit.
In checking the accuracy of the device, reading the reviews of the product would be a great help. Testing the tracker before purchase is the best way.
In purchasing a fitness tracker, be always mindful about and consider an essential feature that every activity tracker has – the step tracking. Step tracking can encourage to compete with yourself in getting fit and losing weight.
The pedometer is the most basic sensor of every fitness tracker you can find. It counts each step a person takes through the motion of the person’s hands or hips the device detects.
Pedometers can record how many steps the wearer has walked that day and measures the distance too. However, some of the pedometers will erroneously record movements other than walking that can be recorded and considered as ‘false steps.’
Heart Rate Monitoring
Heart rate is an essential metric that most fitness trackers are measuring, calculating, and recording. Heart rate monitor is an excellent tool for monitoring and improving your performance.
It will give data about your average heart rate, and your periods of peaks and troughs. It also prevents you from overtraining and helps you in keeping your pace during a race. Heart rate monitors will tell you if you already are overexerting yourself or if you need to exert extra effort.
The primary purpose of a heart rate monitor is to help you maintain your target heart rate in every activity that you do. It helps to keep you stay within your target zone which helps you in getting the most effective workout. There are two methods for measuring the wearer’s heart rate:
This is the most accurate way to monitor your heart rate. It is fastened around your chest or torso. It wirelessly transmits your continuous heart rate data to the receiver on your wrist.
In many cases, the delivery and transmission of the data are being processed via Bluetooth connection. Basic models of chest strap time your workout and give you continuous, average, high, and low heart rate data.
There are also many advanced models that submit a coded signal to prevent data interference from other heart rate monitors. However, wearing a chest strap to monitor your heart rate might be uncomfortable at first until you get used to wearing it.
This is another way of monitoring your heart rate – via built-in optical sensors on the back of your fitness trackers on your wrist. Apparently, this approach is more convenient for monitoring all day long.
Plus, with the built-in or strapless models, you can track real-time heart rate data without the discomfort. Other than that, it prevents you from the wireless interference that is sometimes associated with chest strap models.
Take note that built-in or strapless models are more likely less in accuracy than the chest strap heart rate monitors. These also do not pair with speed and distance sensors.
Why do you need to track your sleep? In your fitness routine, good sleep is vital, and everybody knows that. There are distinct phases of sleep that must happen every night to achieve an enough and valuable rest.
Fitness trackers with sleep monitoring feature get you in good shape when your eyes are closed. Through the sleep monitoring devices, you get data about your sleep quality – whether it is good enough or you are not having enough.
It includes motion sensing to see whether your sleep is disturbed or not. It measures REM which is the fifth and last stage of sleep that occurs in the sleep cycle. REM is a period wherein dreams take place, and it is characterized by the movements of the eye muscles, accelerated respiration, and heart rate.
The fitness trackers are measuring these physiological changes and tell you about it as soon as you check your statistics as you wake up.
There are types of sleep trackers you can choose:
This kind of sleep monitoring device is worn during sleep. It can also be found as much more accurate than the non-wearable. Wearable sleep tracking devices have an excellent battery life comparatively.
There are brands that last between four and seven days. Meaning, they are less likely to run out of battery life during the night. Examples of this are the Fitbit Ionic and Fitbit Charge 2. Other than these wrist-wearable devices, there are also wearable rings that use a unique science-backed technique to help you track your sleep. One example is the Thim.
Best for people who prefer not to wear anything on their wrists during rest. This is fit for those who find discomfort wearing smartwatches or other types of sleep monitoring devices at night.
Non-wearable sleep tracking devices do not need actual or physical contact with your body. It features a measuring strip that goes under your mattress and reads physiological changes using ballistocardiography. The latter has a highly sensitive compression sensor that tracks your sleep.
Through this, you can get a vast amount of data that include heart rate, breathing rate, restlessness in bed, time spent in light, deep and REM sleep. An example of this is the Emfit QS.
There are other types of non-wearable sleep monitoring devices aside from inserting strips under your mattress. Take S+ by ResMed Personal Sleep Solution as an example.
This device sits on your bedside table and monitors your sleep and bedroom environment from a distance. However, these non-wearable are best used if you are alone on the bed, or in your bedroom. Other person’s presence might interfere the readings and give you inaccurate data of your sleep alone.
More of the types of non-wearable sleep monitor devices, a pillow designed to provide sleep analysis data has also been invented. Example of this is the ZEEQ Smart Pillow.
Fitness trackers have batteries too like any other electronic devices. It may either have chargeable batteries or replaceable batteries. The realization of every fitness tracker’s purpose depends on its life, and below are the factors that affect it:
It efficiently reduces your tracker’s battery life. Models with lots of sensors will need regular charging. Models having heart rate monitors, built-in GPS, and high-resolution screens take too much energy.
The manner of use
Another is the way you use your device. “The harder the battery works, the sooner it will fail. This means that a higher capacity withdrawal would result in a reduction of the life cycle.” – Battery Life and Performance Factors | CivicSolar
It is a significant factor in shelf life, charging and voltage control, and in battery performance. There is a chemical activity, dramatically, inside a battery at higher temperatures rather than lower temperatures.
It is concluded that the battery capacity is lower when the ambient temperature is too low. When you go out for a run under the heat of the sun, the battery life would significantly reduce. In conclusion to the thought, cold temperature is not suitable for the battery’s performance. And, a warmer temperature is not ideal for the battery life.
Given factors, you might consider those in choosing what type of batteries do you prefer, where do you exercise, and how you usually use the device’s functionality.
The screen allows you to view your data, or even just a glimpse of it while you are working out. Seeing your progress more likely motivates you in working out, making you active every day – pushing you to get moving to achieve your goals.
Some models have large screens that show almost every metric you wanted to see. And some will even relay text messages and other notifications such as call and media alerts. Small screens can look somewhat necessary, and you will have to check on your phone to see more of your statistics.
However, having a display, large or small, basically asks you to take extra care as you exercise, especially those who go for rock climbing or any activities alike.
The screen might easily scratch or worse, break when get hit especially with strong impact. Fitness tracker with screen might as well require more frequent charging. Other than that, it is also heavy and bulky, especially those who are having large screens.
No-screen fitness trackers are also available. If you prefer lighter and less bulky tracker on your wrist, you can avail one. Downside only is that you have to check on your phone every time to see whether you need to exert extra effort or you lack one. An example of this device is the Moov Now.
Smartphone Integration / Data and App
Without prevarication, fitness tracker device is just the half of the whole package. With the relative application installed in smartphones, the package becomes complete.
The application is where all the data are being processed. Transmission of data is via Bluetooth connectivity. You just need to sync fitness tracker’s data to your app through your smartphone.
Apps enable you to view the history of your workouts. Graphs and statistics are shown. It also provides fun while you are releasing sweats out of your body through its features.
Different brands of fitness trackers have compatible apps that offer various features. Some of it includes the provision of tips, map, temperature, and training. An example is the Garmin Connect. Other than that, some apps like Fitbit App offers challenges with family and friends in the online community.
You can as well log your food intake, earn badges, and others. You just need to find out what apps will work with your smartphone – may it be Android, Windows, or iOS. Plus, you need to know what features will be handy and beneficial for you. That way, your workout will be sufficient.
GPS or Global Positioning System is another feature you can’t find in some other fitness trackers. It can be built-in or not. GPS uses satellites to determine your current physical location.
The most common benefit of this is the useful and detailed instructions that may simplify everything from your daily run to your next route. If you consider yourself as an outdoor runner, you will need this feature. If not, this might not be important if you won’t be requiring directions and maps on your fitness activity.
The GPS offers the following:
- Neighborhood search – Fitness trackers with GPS feature provides the ability to search a desired route and location.
- Weather and Traffic Alerts – Your GPS may provide weather and traffic alerts, but that depends on which device you use. These alerts notify you of adverse weather and traffic conditions.
With GPS, the distance can be tracked more accurately. However, the accuracy of the GPS works well only if you do not drop your connection.
If you enjoy aquatic activities like swimming, or even if you don’t, you may want to consider how waterproof the activity tracker is. Not all waterproof fitness tracker are submersible and will survive a consistent soaking.
Some can survive in the shower but not in swimming. If you choose a fitness tracker with this feature, you might consider the following categories:
- Lightly water resistant – This can withstand sweat, splash, and rain. Meaning that no matter how much sweat you could get during your work out, you will not cause any damage to the device. But, you cannot wear when showering or swimming Example of this is the Fitbit Charge.
- Highly water resistant – This is more water resistant than others. You can shower with it or get them wet in the sink when you’re washing your hands, the dishes, or even your clothes. But, this should not be submerged in water for swimming or surfing. Take Jawbone UP3 as an example for this.
- Fully waterproof – This has the best resistance for those who are into swimming or any other related activities. Some that offer fully waterproof fitness trackers even have a feature that counts laps. Garmin Vivosmart Fitness Band is an example.
In the competitive industry of fitness trackers, many features and invention arise almost every time a new device comes out. Every brand and every device offers different features that will surely attract the consumers to purchase. New or extra features may include:
- Smart notifications directly displayed on your screen.
- Personalized guided breathing sessions.
- Ability to create emojis on the device’s screen.
- Music control using the device.
- Cardio fitness scoring.
- Reproductive health monitoring.
Some of the new or extra features will come in handy, but these may not be valuable to you, considering it’s useless. However, some are just the ones that you’re waiting for.