If you want to gain the health benefits of exercise or are training to achieve a specific goal, fitness and activity trackers can increase your motivation by monitoring improvements and helping you set incremental goals.
With apps and a phone that’s Bluetooth enabled, most fitness trackers allow you to send data to other devices to monitor your stats and access custom activity programs. They also allow you to share data with others and benefit from the social side of activity – extra motivation and inspiration through shared goals, competition and targets.
Using a simple pedometer, these trackers record your daily steps, distance travelled, and periods of rest so they can estimate the calories you burn as you go about your day. Using your current activity levels as a baseline, they then assign attainable daily goals to progressively increase your level of fitness.
Pedometer to track daily movement
Sleep tracker to monitor sleep cycles
Inactivity notices to prompt you to move
Nice-looking designs to blend with office attire and everyday clothing
These types of trackers are designed for people who have a good fitness foundation and want to improve their results for a specific activity or meet a specific goal. They often include a heart rate monitor for more accurate calorie tracking, to use target heart zones for training and to provide more precise metrics and analysis. Most also include smart notifications like vibration alerts for important moments or text messages displayed on screen.
Features found in health focussed trackers
Heart rate monitor to track target zones (some even have built-in optical heartrate sensors that measure changes in blood volume under the skin, just above your wrist)
Accurate calorie tracking
Styled like sports equipment to blend with workout wear or casual clothes
If you have a specific athletic pursuit or a race goal in mind, a tracker with sport-specific functions might be what you need. Track your lap times for running, improve your swim times and stroke count, or use a cadence sensor to monitor output on your bike. These trackers provide very accurate data and precise settings that let you fine-tune your workouts and hone in on your performance goals.
Features found in health and athletic focussed trackers
Internal GPS for precise tracking of speed and distance
Automatic lap timing using the internal GPS
Sport specific functions
Pause function for extended training or multi-sport sessions
Statement-making style that looks like high-end sports equipment
Top photo credit: Dustin Leader