One of the main reasons to purchase a fitness tracker is because it’s an excellent tool for motivating yourself to live a more active and healthier lifestyle. , a fitness tracker can turn exercise into a goal-directed activity with a sense of accomplishment. Here are a few things to look for when purchasing a fitness tracker.
Some fitness trackers track steps, calories burned and heart rate while others have GPS and can measure distance and your location. Trackers with GPS have the most accuracy and those without should be used as a motivational aid instead of a precise measurement.
Most will be able to track your specific workouts such as swimming or cycling but you’ll have to manually input the type of activity you are doing. Get a device with an altimeter if you want to keep track of how many stairs you’re climbing per day.
Some wristbands like the Garmin Forerunner 235 and Apple Watch Series 2 use LED lights and in order to measure your heart rate. This will suffice for most users but it isn’t as precise as one with a chest strap like the Polar H7.
Bands vs Smartwatches
Some fitness bands include basic smartwatch features while others simply track fitness data. Smartwatches tend to include a touch screen display whereas fitness bands are more streamlined and less bulky. Bands can be more convenient if you plan on doing a lot of physical activity as they are much lighter.
One the other hand, smartwatches come with hardware and a processor making them more powerful. Most will be able to sync with your phone and allow you to receive notifications. If you want a device that has a lot of power and options, including the ability to use different apps opt for the smart watch. If your main concern is tracking calories, steps and heart rate you may want to go with a fitness band.
A new breed of smart bracelets are now available which incorporate the convenience of a band with “watch-like” features. For example, the Savfy Fitness allows wearers to use Whatsapp Push notification functions all while tracking steps, heart rate and calories.
Not all apps are created equal and it’s important to pick one that will fit your needs. Make sure that the app will work with your phone. Some apps offer more features for their iOS version to the dismay of Android users. Read online reviews from app users before making a final selection.
Some bands need to be charged once a week with a USB cable while others come equipped with a cell battery with a life of 6 months. Garmin’s trackers and the Fitbit Alta HR require regular charging. The Misfit and Nokia Go both only need to be changed every six months. If you have a very busy lifestyle you may want to opt for a device that won’t need charging on a regular basis.
Getting motivated to live a healthier lifestyle can be challenging and a fitness tracker or band may just be the device to keep you on track.