Every now and then, there are new discoveries and advancements in fitness trackers. Several companies make changes to the features of already existing models.
They also produce new fitness trackers that surpass every other model that had been previously launched. Hence, there is a need to know how to choose a fitness tracker.
There are several models out there that are built to suit a metric or parameter. For example, there are those best suited to monitor the total number of steps per day, heart rate, sleep, and so on.
Others are built with special features such as GPS trackers, water resistance, calories check, and so on. In addition, they have specifics as to where they are to be worn. They are either worn on the wrist or chest. There are some non-wearable fitness trackers that can be downloaded as fitness applications.
As a result of this, it becomes painstakingly difficult to choose an activity tracker, but there is a way around it.
In this article, we are going to look at various ways to choose fitness trackers. We will consider factors like their features, our needs, budget, and others. There is so much to learn here, so keep reading.
If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.
How to Choose A Fitness Tracker
There are several factors to consider when choosing a fitness tracker that is just right for you. Let’s go over them one by one. Shall we?
Video: Fitness Tracker Buying Guide
Watch this video to know all about fitness tracker buying guide
This is a major factor to consider when choosing a fitness device. What’s your budget?
There are several new models with great specifications that can be gotten at affordable prices. There are others that are relatively expensive but come with more features that meet your needs.
Meanwhile, the older models that might not have these specifications may be cheaper.
For example, models like the Misfit flash and Xiaomi Mi 4 band can be gotten for a lesser price. If you are going to choose from those with great specifications like the Garmin fitness trackers, you will have to pay more.
Then there are devices that function as both fitness trackers and smartwatches like Apple watches. They are more expensive.
The whole idea is to consider your budget and decide on which of the devices can be purchased to meet your needs.
It’s okay to say that you will pay more for any specific model and feature you want.
Fitness trackers measure parameters such as distance, steps taken per day, calories burned and other physical activities. They always help to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Others come with GPS trackers that help to calculate the distance traveled and your location. These ones come in handy for those that love hiking or cycling.
The latest models are also built to track sleeping activity. Because of how important sleep is to us, many fitness trackers have been built to measure how many hours you sleep and how many times you woke up at night.
Some even come with alarm systems that wake you up without disturbing the neighborhood.
There are those built to measure other parameters like body temperature, heart rate, and ultraviolet exposure. For example, Vivosmart 4 can calculate the oxygen level in your blood.
What about those that act as your gym instructors?
They keep track of all your physical activities and recommend work out sessions. They also draw out plans that are just right for you.
So, it’s important to get an activity tracker that calculates various parameters during your favorite physical activity or work out.
There are different types of fitness trackers and they have varying shapes, sizes, and styles. Test the fitness tracker before buying it if possible because you will always need to wear it. See if it’s a model you are comfortable with.
Fitness trackers like Garmin and Fitbits are simpler. They are made of rubber bands for sport while others come in the form of smartwatches like the Apple Watch. Another type of fitness tracker is the type that looks like a high-quality watch or some piece of jewelry, like the Misfit phase.
Consider getting a design that is comfy and you are sure you can comfortably wear frequently. Just so you know, some fitness trackers in the form of running watches have limited features. They can’t keep track of distance covered, heart rates, and speed.
Remember you need a fitness tracker for keeping track of your progress all day. So, it’s important you get a design with a good display – LED lights, color display, or black and white design. There are lots of designs to choose from using this factor.
Alternatively, you may decide to get a design with no display to avoid constant checking of numbers on your wrists for data. But you will have to check your web interface or smartphone to see how you’re doing. The choice is yours.
How flexible is it to use? What are the technicalities involved in its usage? How do you charge it? How does it keep a record of your data? How does it synchronize? Does it work automatically or manually?
These questions will help you know which model you should get. Also, some fitness trackers come with touch screens while others are used by simply tapping the device.
You should also consider how information and data are displayed on the device. Ensure that your choice of fitness tracker has applications that are simple to use. Also, the information should be relevant to you and your lifestyle.
As a result of the work activity trackers do for us, it’s imperative to keep them powered always so they can carry out their functions. However, they all have different battery life.
Some need to be charged daily like the Apple smartwatch while others need to be charged every week like the Garmin model. Misfit takes six months or even more before the need to charge it arises.
It is easy to use fitness trackers that have disposable batteries, which is a good thing. But you must change these batteries every few months or yearly.
A lot of rechargeable trackers come with a USB port for charging with different charging duration. Get one that charges faster so your device will not be disconnected for a very long time.
Water Resistance Properties
While there are water-resistant fitness trackers, there are no waterproofed trackers. So, you must consider this before buying yours. Some fitness trackers with GPS can get their signals interrupted when plunged into the water.
Can you swim with your trackers? How long can you be in the water? Find out from the manufacturer or product manual for more information on this.
Global Positioning System or GPS
Are you a runner or do you love to hike? Then you need a tracker with an in-built GPS system to calculate distance covered and your location.
GPS built-in trackers keep track of all your runs. This is what makes them expensive. Some display your workout information on their own so it can be viewed on the screen. Others must synchronize your smartphone before this information can be assessed.
Hence, you must go with your phone every time you are out running. Smartphones with fitness apps can also monitor heart rate and keep track of your steps.
However, using smartphones with your GPS trackers may drain your phone battery fast. Your phone will also be exposed to different weather conditions.
This might not be convenient for you. As a precaution, you may have to get a protective case to protect the phone. You can also carry a holster in the form of armbands or waist belts.
This is because it’s not easy to hold a phone while working out as it can be tiring.
Heart Rate Detector
You may not need a GPS tracker if you are not zealous about running, follow the same track every day while running, or exercise remotely in a gym.
This monitors the heart rate per second. Most of them let you synchronize it with smartphones, personal computers, and fitness applications.
This helps you to monitor your activities, save, and share your progress with friends and family.
There is a need to check the heart rate during any physical activity especially during work out. Sadly, a lot of people don’t know what their heart rate is or its normal beats per second.
In recent years, most fitness trackers have been built with heart rate sensors. They monitor heart rates during a workout and after work out. Trackers such as the Fitbit Charge 3 have heart rate sensors.
There are two types of heart rate detectors. They are chest-strap monitors and strapless monitors.
Chest Strap Monitors
They consist of a chest strap that is firmly worn around your trunk. They send a steady heart rate per seconds’ data through a transmitter on the wrist. This transmission is a wireless one.
Simpler models monitor your workout sessions and give a steady increase or decrease heart rate input and average. Advanced monitors send a well-encrypted signal to block other monitors from impeding the data.
Also, they can also be connected to a footpad that is fixed to your shoes to monitor distance covered and speed.
Some models have GPS sensors that help them to monitor speed, elevation, and distance covered. They also note the region and save former workout information.
Strapless Heart Rate Detectors
Strapless monitors help to monitor your heart rate per second. They store data devoid of interferences of the wireless system connected to chest strap types.
They are worn on the wrist and measure heart rate, adopting a special sensor that is in-built at the back of the device’s case or the wrist strap.
However, they are less accurate with their data collation compared to chest-strap monitors. They don’t pair with distance and speed sensors that can keep track of your distance covered and speed during work out.
The Extra Stuff
Fitness trackers are now known to do more than just monitoring human activities. For example, some trackers synchronize with your smartphone and send you social media and email notifications.
They also send you text messages and to-do reminders about work out sessions as well as other special appointments.
Also, they send positive feedback in the form of badges and congratulatory notifications and emails when people meet their daily goals.
This plays a motivational role and helps to track people’s progress. Not all fitness trackers work like this, if this is what you want then you need to get those models.
How to Choose A Fitness Tracker – The Best Trackers for You
People love to keep track of everything happening around them from food consumed to weight loss and so on.
Keeping fit is not enough, people need to keep track of their progress and share with loved ones if possible. There have been technological advancements in this regard.
Activity trackers have been invented to handle these needs and many more. There is a tracker made just for you, feel free to check out the one that meets your needs.
As an athlete (men and women alike), you need fitness trackers that have precise step counters to keep track of your steps. They should also have a chest strap heart rate detector to measure and record your heartbeat per second.
They should also have features to help you keep track of your progress and share them.
Polar A300 is a water-resistant tracker that is best suited for athletes. It has the features discussed above as well as fitness tests, vibration feedback, and long-lasting battery life up to a month.
As a result, you won’t worry about constant recharging or replacement of batteries.
For swimmers either professionals or those that swim for recreational purposes, you need a device that is water-resistant and can track how you’re doing after that plunge into the water.
This helps to improve your skills and speed and fitness level in general.
Moov HR is a wearable fitness tracker that can track each lap, turns, and strokes underwater. It also helps swimmers (professionals and non-professionals) to monitor and improve their swimming skills inside the swimming pool.
It also acts as an instructor by dishing out tips to perfect your skills as you start.
We all want to lose an extra pound and keep fit.
Getting a device that can help to monitor calorie intake, calorie expended, weight, exercise, body fat and other parameters like body mass index.
This serves as first-hand information on how you are doing, your output, and gets you results in a short while.
Fitbit Aria is a tracker that helps you work out by engaging you in exercises for the sole purpose of shedding some fats and keeping fit.
It can be synced with the Fitbit application and used to record your food consumption, body fat, weight and body mass index over time. It can also prepare a meal plan for you to get a faster and better result.
People get fitness trackers mainly to help them keep track of the number of strides they take daily.
If you don’t want to monitor your sleep patterns, calorie intake and so on, then you should get any device that does what you want.
Why get a fitness tracker that you don’t have a need for? That’s wasting your money. You should get a device that will meet your needs.
Omron Pocket Pedometer is a small simple device that helps to keep track of your steps accurately. It can be worn anywhere and has a 7day memory and is quite cheap.
Are you an athlete that wants to increase speed and be aware of when to slow down a little or give it all? Maybe you are one of those whose heartbeats are irregular or are recuperating from an injury and don’t want to stress their body.
The Gomore Stamina Sensors will serve you well. They have heart rate detectors that use medical-technologically categorized gadgets. They frequently measure lactic acid build-up and energy reservoirs in the body to make sure you don’t move too fast or too early.
It can be synced with your smartphone. Hence it can send data to your phone to track your output and progress in the long run.
If you love styles and fancy designs, then you need a fitness tracker that’s like a smartwatch and can be synchronized with your iOS device, iPad and Android smartphones.
It’s easier to keep track of your fitness and health using such devices.
The Cogito Classics is one such device. It records your steps each day, calories expended and pops up phone calls, text messages, and email notifications.
This smartwatch is a multipurpose watch that allows you to make/receive calls, send text messages, social media and keep track of your fitness activities.
Its activity application gives a visible snapshot of your everyday activity, keeps track of calories expended, speedy walking and exercise, and your daily lifestyle in general.
Now you know that fitness trackers can form part of our daily activities and be a report card for our health. We hope you know how to choose a fitness tracker just right for you.
Before you embark on any fitness routine, do endeavor to visit a doctor who will help you develop a program that is good for you.
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