A fitness tracker also called an activity tracker is an electrical gadget or an application that is used to monitor and record fitness and all related human activity. These activities include heartbeat rate, distance traveled, calorie intake, sleep, and all physical activities.
It is a wearable gadget and can be a smartwatch that is connected to a computer or a remote server. They can be used to keep track of our fitness and general well-being. Why get a fitness tracker?
Fitness trackers can calculate one’s walking pace, total running time, calories expended, and heartbeat per second. One advantage of fitness trackers is the fact that they can send information to computers and smartphones for long term use.
If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.
Types of Fitness Trackers
There is a fitness tracker for everyone and for every human activity. Let’s look at some of them.
It is a simple fitness tracker that records your daily footsteps and distance traveled.
It resets each day at midnight so there’s clear data saved by it for each day and week.
This motivates you to improve your fitness goals.
It is an activity tracker that measures your daily walk steps, distance traveled, and calories expended after each workout.
The good thing is, you can synchronize your personal computer or smartphone with your fitness tracker and share your progress with loved ones.
Jawbone Up Move
This is a device that helps you to examine your sleep patterns, dietary intake, and physical fitness activities.
It is worn around the wrist while sleeping and during a workout and can be downloaded on android and apple phones.
You can also use it to link up with loved ones and check your progress with others on leaderboards.
This can also be worn on the wrist. It measures walking steps, distance traveled, sleep patterns, calories consumed and expended.
It comes with a red LED time and progress report that is shown on its special splash-proof disc.
Misfit flash has a smart button that can be used in controlling any household appliance it is connected to.
You can also synchronize it with a smartphone.
Xiaomi Mi Band 2
It is a model that records heartbeat per second during any physical activity to guarantee optimum health.
It is comfy and has features that help you improve your work-out routines.
It has a special identity ID and can be synchronized with android, Bluetooth and Apple phones.
Fitbit Flex 2
The Fitbit Flex 2 is a small device that records your walk steps, activeness, distance traveled, and calories expended.
It has a special feature called SmartTrack that can recognize records and workout. It can also be used to measure your sleep patterns.
It is one of the most popular fitness trackers, and it’s swim proof.
It is made from rubber and can be used to record your sleep patterns, distance, walking steps and calories consumed and burned.
Misfit Ray is also swim-proofed and has a LED that keeps records of progress.
It can also control household appliances that it is connected to.
Garmin VivoSmart HR
This activity tracker keeps a record of steps walked, distance covered, heartbeat per second, calories, and so on.
It can control music and can also be connected to a VIRB action camera, which controls the camera.
The Garmin VivoSmart HR can also be customized to send you notifications for calls, texts, emails, social media, and nudges to stay active.
GPS Fitness Trackers
These are trackers that have GPS to track locations and speed during work out and all physical activities.
They can measure heartbeat per second, steps, distance covered, calories expended and so on.
They are also water-proofed and can be connected to Bluetooth.
Examples of GPS fitness trackers include the Tomtom spark 3 cardio+music and Garmin Fenix 3 HR.
Children Fitness Trackers
They are made for children to keep a record of all their physical activities.
An example is the Garmin Vivo fit Jr which is made for children between the ages of four to nine.
It has water-resistant properties and a battery life of one year.
Factors to Consider When Getting A Fitness Tracker
Fitness trackers are sold for different prices depending on their features. Some are relatively cheap while others are expensive.
You must consider your budget when you want to buy one and ensure that you get the same value you paid for.
It’s important that you decide on which device to buy based on the features you want.
Do you want a tracker that monitors your walking steps around your house? Then you don’t need one with GPS.
If you need one that will record heart rate, calories consumed, distance covered and so on.
Then you’d probably need one that does this and has GPS.
You must consider if you want a water-proofed tracker, or not.
Wristbands come with different sizes so you must decide which tracker best fits your wrist.
Some come with the conventional wristwatch style that has a buckle and strap while others come with buttons.
Fitness trackers come with wristband replacement that allows you to change the material, color and fit to what you like.
Activity trackers come in different shapes and sizes.
Some models look like a wristwatch, others are so small, you wouldn’t guess what they are.
Are you looking for models that are big or small, simple or fancy, modern or traditional?
Whatever your style is, there’s an activity tracker for you.
Fitness Tracker Applications
Choose an application that is user-friendly and has great features that meet your needs.
How Do Fitness Trackers Work
They all have similar functions but with slight differences in mechanism because of their varying features.
Let’s see different technological features that make the difference.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
This feature collates data from satellites and sets your location in sets of coordinates. It records your location after a run.
It measures your rotation and orientation as you move.
They beam light into your blood vessels to measure your heart rate per second.
This measures your movement in all directions. It helps to monitor your steps.
For those that go for hiking or climb stairs, this feature helps to keep track of your altitude.
It measures sleep patterns and keeps a record of your sleep activity and rest cycles.
Video: Why Get a Fitness Tracker?
This video will show you why you need to get a fitness tracker.
Reasons Why You Need to Get A Fitness Tracker
The benefits of this device are:
You’ll know your fitness activity
Most of the time our daily routine involves going to our workplace and back home. While at work, we sit for 8-10 hours. This is not a healthy lifestyle; it exposes you to life-threatening diseases.
Studies have shown that a functioning lifestyle requires walking at least 10 thousand steps per day. An activity tracker tells you the total number of walk steps you take every day.
Knowing this, will make you conscious of your health and take the necessary steps to stay healthy. You either improve your daily steps and exercise or keep up your routine if it’s okay.
This way you’ll know your fitness activity, and this is beneficial to your health.
Records your sleep patterns
Did you know that sleep plays a role in mood, cravings, energy, and metabolism in the body? Yes, it does.
It is imperative that we get enough sleep every day. There are fitness trackers that help to record your sleeping patterns.
For example, the total number of hours you slept, the number of times you woke up in the night, and so on. Since you can’t monitor your sleep patterns while you are sleeping, you need an activity tracker to help you.
This helps you to make the necessary changes to improve your health in general.
Building healthier habits
When a fitness tracker gets information on your lifestyle and habits, it gives suggestions on necessary steps to take to improve your health and meet your goals.
These goals help you to build healthier habits to incorporate into your everyday routine.
For instance, it can remind you to eat a healthy meal or remind you to take a walk after hours of no physical activity.
This way you build healthier habits that will form your daily routine. Fitness trackers also show your progress and add more routines as you go.
You Can share your fitness goals
Nobody said keeping fit is going to be easy. The aim is to consistently follow the instructions and maintain healthy habits irrespective of how you feel.
Fitness tracker helps you share your progress and goals with your family and loved ones via social media platforms. This keeps your motivational fire burning.
It also has features that you can use to create a fitness group with people that have competitive goals. Do you know what they say about people with the same goals?
Your friends’ fitness progress automatically inspires you to make more moves.
Apart from keeping track of your physical activities and sleep patterns, fitness trackers help you watch your diet.
It does this with its special features that allow you to record each food you eat. They give you the total calories just right for you each day.
So, whenever you eat any food, you log it into the app. It calculates calories ingested and leftovers for that day.
Note that this depends on the type of fitness tracker and app installed on your phone or personal computer.
We gain weight most of the time by eating whatever comes our way or whatever food we like. In the process, we consume too many calories than our body needs. Consequently, we gain weight.
Diet check helps you to monitor what you eat at all times and tells you the calorie content of each meal.
With time, you will eat healthy food, and this makes your keeping fit goals easy and achievable.
Monitors your progress
It helps you to monitor your progress as it shows you how much work you’ve done and still need to do to meet your goal.
For example, it can tell you how much calories you’ve lost and how many steps you need to take to burn the remaining calories in your body for each day. This is something you won’t know by yourself.
Also, you see your work every day and week. This helps you to know if you are meeting your goals and helps to monitor your progress.
Changes your behavior
Fitness trackers also tell you your current lifestyle while helping you to build healthy habits. If you take this positively, you will start changing your habits consciously.
This is so because you have learned that your current lifestyle is not good for your health.
You will take steps to change your sleeping patterns, food intake, physical activity routine which in turn help you get your desired energy and goals.
Your accountability increases when you decide to stay healthy and work more.
Fitness trackers make this possible by helping you to make good choices in your diet, sleep and overall physical activity.
This is because you are aware it records everything. So, you work out more and reach your set goals.
Provides free workout training tips
Fitness trackers do the same work any gym instructor will do and even more because of its features. It will tell you what you need to do daily to achieve your goal.
Some even have a different range of trainers that can help you to work out at your own intensity. For example, you can choose whether to use the easy, intermediate or hard mode.
This way you don’t have to do research or crack your brain on activities to engage in for your work out activities. You will save money and at the same time get better results.
Aside from keeping track of your walking steps each day, fitness trackers also do the following:
i. They record your heartbeat per second.
ii. Prepare meal plans.
iii. They help to measure health parameters like Body Mass Index (BMI)and so on.
iv. Using these features, fitness trackers monitor your general wellbeing and health.
Everyone needs fitness trackers to help them live a healthy lifestyle.
If you find it difficult to stick to a routine, then you need to get one for yourself.
Look for one that suits your budget and has features that meet your needs.