What Can Fitness Trackers Do?
What can fitness trackers do? Let’s look at your typical day to find out:
You spend most of your lit day sitting in for lectures at school, at a desk job or driving. You pretty much aren’t sure what in the dark you do in the night part of that day. Your food regimen is more of takeout that you’d care to admit. Then there’s that little guilty admission you can’t get out: you rarely workout.
Is that you?
If you are looking at this from a gauche angle and thinking, ‘that sounds so much like someone I know, but so not me’, chances are this is indeed you. Admit it. Then think of ways to work out the couch potato situation, literally. Here’s how an activity tracker will help you become fit.
What Can Fitness Trackers Do?
The ordinary activity tracker appears to look like a wristband, so it’s worn on the wrist—there’s an explanation for that. But a few ones can be clipped anywhere on your body—armband, bra, pocket, waist, belt and even on a lanyard. Those include pedometers such as the Omron HJ 320, Virgin GoZone HealthMiles, and Fitbit Zip—all of them selling below $50 (GBP 38).
Nowadays, you’ll be spoilt for choice if you need one that doubles up as a fashionable wrist accessory—a variety of bright and deep colors, swappable bands, and good-looking displays. All vendors such as FitBit, Jawbone, Misfit, Garmin, Basis, and TomTom have particularly emphasized on the ‘look’. But how do the innards measure up?
The regular activity tracker counts steps you take in a day, distance covered and calories burned. These extend from the regular pedometers you’ll find stocked at the nearby drugstore to modern ones that come with a venerable 3-axis accelerometer sensor, latest GPS tracking tech integration, smart mobile app accompaniment, and dazzling optical heart rate monitoring ability.
These features help make them more accurate at gauging body vitals and at reporting the stats to you in an easy-to-understand way, so you can use the figures to figure out your health status. The accompanying mobile apps do this, and Jawbone has arguably the most comprehensive platform around.
Integrated Sleep tracking
Some basic ones (and most expensive ones) will measure how much sleep you are getting per night and whether it is the kind you need to gain rest (quality sleep), or the kind that’ll mess the rest of your day the following morning (the restless kind). Some have smart coaching so can teach you how to get a good night’s sleep, including about a wind-down routine. Those include the Fitbit Flex and One (GBP 68), Misfit Flash (GBP 15) and Jawbone UP (GBP 26.38) Move.
Heart Rate Monitoring (HRM)
Even more costly health trackers pledge to help measure your heart rate and define your “zone”—apparently, that spot where your pulse rate is pounding at a rate that helps you smoke the most calories without burning yourself out.
For example, FitBit has an advanced PurePulse Heart Rate technology platform—one of the more accurate optical HRM tech platforms on an activity tracker compared to the highly accurate chest strap alternative means.
You’ll find decently precise HRM features on devices such as Fitbit’s Charge HR (GBP 113), Jawbone Up3 (GBP 70), Basis Peak (GBP 146.99) and Garmin Vivosmart HR (GBP 113) and Vivofit HR GPS (GBP 226).
Then there are those that are more smartwatch than anything ‘wristband’. The ones on the higher echelon of this spectrum come with inbuilt GPS modules for tracking specific locations and altitude. This can be effective if you need to ascertain say, running routes and at what altitude—slightly elevated running courses are excellent workout grounds for your mammalian heart.
Also, if you need to dig out new tracks from a map (to help exorcise boredom or comfort zones) for biking, running, hiking, climbing and other elevation-oriented workouts GPS tracking ability is a worthy addition to having in your ideal activity tracker.
They come in many forms, too. And choosing the best activity tracker can be intimidating—a thoughtful, almost yoga-like, high-level thinking experience.
Do you get one with a full touchscreen, standalone GPS (so you won’t need to carry your phone to workout sessions)? Or do you want one with smart features such as mail, SMS and call alerts, social media notifications, and stopwatch features? Do you get a Huawei Watch (GBP 263.88), Moto 360 2 (GBP 226), Apple Watch Sport (GBP 230), Sony Smartwatch 3 (GBP 99), FitBit Surge (GBP 188.44) or the Polar M400 for GBP 118, etc?
In fact, if you freak out that you might drench your little, wristband mate while taking a shower, washing the kid, pet or dishes, or wash the lights off of its face in sweat or while swimming, or getting pounded in the rain, why forfeit a waterproof activity tracker—for a little more cash, of course.
These activity trackers (and others not mentioned) will help you get off that lazy rut and workout. Notice how we’ve mentioned on here that the ordinary activity tracker MEASURES your body vitals’ data. The best activity tracker in the market right now will not kick you in the butt to force you to move, no. The best health band for you is the one that motivates you enough to get up and get moving. Yet it can only go so far, and you are the one to take the initiative to get fit.