Fitness trackers are increasingly gaining popularity as a means to stay active, with wearable devices from Apple Watch, Garmin, Amazfit encouraging people to keep tabs on their health. It's time for "New You", therefore take time to invest in a tracker.
The devices offer various functions including sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring and other different exercises. Their accuracy is still improving, but many offer a path to a more active lifestyle.
How to buy a fitness tracker
Fitness trackers can monitor users daily step count, sleep, heart rate and activity levels. Picking the right one will depend on what you plan to use it for, whether you want some casual step counting or a detailed breakdown of a workout.
You may also plan to use it as a timepiece. Not all fitness trackers are like wristwatches and many come in the form of small, lightweight bands like the Xiaomi MI Band 3. Others are simple dongles that can be clipped onto items of clothing.
Don't forget the apps
Most fitness trackers work alongside an app built for smartphone and other devices. The solid software support makes the task of keeping track on your activity faster. Apps such as Garmin Connect,
A fitness tracker works alongside an app built for your smartphone and other devices. Having solid software to support the fitness tracker will make keeping a tab on your activity far easier. The app, such as the Fitbit, Garmin Connect or Apple's Health app, can be used to log activity targets and keep a tab on your progress.
What activities can they track?
Most fitness trackers will only be able to break down relatively simple exercises, such as running or cycling, and calculate your calorie burn from this. Many cannot adapt to analyzing different lots of types of sport or activity, although some trackers can include walking, running, cycling, weights, elliptical, boxing and swimming.
More advanced fitness tracking devices come with a GPS built-in, others instead link up to your smartphone to provide a breakdown of location data. This can help monitor running, but adding a GPS can add to the price and weight of a fitness tracker.
Fitness tracker checklist
- Watch or no watch? While some fitness trackers come with a built-in watch face or touchscreen, others are simple dongles or are built to work only with your smartphone for fitness tracking.
- Heart rate monitor: Most fitness trackers have a heart rate monitor.
- Sleep monitor: Sleep monitors helps in checking sleep quality, hours etc.
- Sedentary reminders: Most fitness trackers have sedentary reminders for calls, text messages, Facebook and other social media apps.
- Battery life: Fitness trackers have excellent battery life, from anywhere between several days to six months.
- Accuracy: Fitness trackers are best for incremental improvements and encouraging activity, and less an exact measure of your daily calorie burn. However, it's worth noting that we have seen significant improvements so please be on the look-out as we bring you the most advanced trackers.
- Waterproofing: If you are a keen swimmer you will definitely want to look for watches from Garmin, Xiaomi which normally come with added water resistance.