It is April of 2015 and you still haven’t made use of that gym membership you signed up for on January 2nd. There is nothing to be ashamed of. We know how hard it is to head to the gym after work and it is common knowledge that diets can ONLY start on Mondays. However, we’re so busy catching up on Mondays that we forget we have to start our new diet and we gorge on Pop Tarts and Popeye’s. Well now the whole week is ruined so your Tuesdays and Wednesdays are filled with sweet treats and quick meals to go. Again, absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, but have you considered getting a fitness tracker? Have you thought about downloading a fitness application that can be easily synced using your tracker? Trackers have been reported to help boost motivation and spark behavior changes that lead to good, healthy habits. You can now use trackers and applications to track your dreams, spy on your dogs, find inner peace, and even monitor your baby’s breathing. We do live in the future so let’s get down to the business of the trackers. Are you a runner? Maybe a swimmer? Perhaps you’re just trying to hit 10,000 steps a day? Well, the following is a breakdown of the top 5 fitness trackers on the market. Which is the right fit for you?
The overall best tracker is the Fitbit Charge HR with a price of $149.95 from Fitbit.com
By using continuous heart rate monitoring the Fitbit Charge HR can offer more accurate feedback on your activity and calorific burn than its rivals, and it comes in three handy sizes for different wrists. The OLED screen will show off your daily stats, as well as caller ID from your smartphone.
Unlike the smartphones on the market, the more features your Fitbit has, the bulkier it gets. The Fitbit Charge HR has more features than its predecessor (the flex), but the size is much larger and is not waterproof, so be careful to not take it in the shower!
The best tracker for runners is the Fitbit Surge with a price of $249.95 from Fitbit.com
Again with the continuous heart rate, the Fitbit Surge is built for multi-sports. As well as the usual running and cycling, the Surge is also great for the gym, enabling you to track cardio workouts that are the foil of most movement-based trackers. Not only that, but the full OLED screen will display calls, texts and notifications in full, making this a fitness super watch.
Just as with the Fitbit Charge HR, the surge has more features than its predecessor, and the size is much larger. The Surge is water resistant, but not swim-proof. Fitbit also recommends taking off the Surge before showering to keep your wrist clean and the tracker dry.
The best tracker for sports is the Basis Peak with a price of $199 from mybasis.com
Continuous heart rate monitoring is the name of the game apparently, and the Basis Peak uses some \ advanced technology to do it all right from your wrist. The watch will auto-detect when you’re running and produce some pretty detailed and accurate heart rate information on your sessions into the Basis application, and enable you to monitor your vitals while you’re out hitting the pavements. The tracker is also swim proof for up to 50 meters!
The cons of the Basis Peak have more to do with aesthetic and compatibility issues than features. The Peak only comes in black and white and only one wrist size. It also can only run on the iPhone 4S and up and Android 4.4.2 BLE and up.
The best tracker for sleep monitoring is the Misfit Shine at $99.99 from misfit.com.
The Misfit Shine has some of the best sleep tracking in the business, providing excellent detail on your nightly deep, light and REM cycles. All importantly, the Shine automatically knows when you’re asleep so there’s no missed data (an issue that some Fitbits have). The low profile means it’s comfortable to wear at night. The aircraft-grade aluminum disk is just 27.5 mm in diameter and 3 mm thick, and weighs 10 grams. The out face is ringed by 12 LED lights, which shine through tiny laser-drilled holes that are so narrow that water can’t get through, meaning it’s safe to swim or shower while wearing the Shine!
You have to take the data you get from Shine with a grain of salt. Shine provides the highest estimate of daily calories burned when compared to the other 4 trackers and the Shine does not auto-detect when you’re doing different exercises.
The best tracker for those on a tight budget is the Jawbone UP Move at the low price of $49.99 from jawbone.com
Jawbone has entered the affordable fitness tracker market with the Jawbone UP Move. It offers most of the features of the previous UP family, has a 6 month battery life, and allows you to use the Jawbone UP App. The Jawbone UP move can also be worn as a clip or a wristband so you can still track your steps while you’re out on the town in your fancy evening wear.
Some might say the UP move is “unattractive” and there is no on-device display. The jawbone UP move also requires an iOS or Android device because there is no computer syncing. Another downside is that the battery is not rechargeable. The battery is stated to last at least 6 months and then the user must replace the coin cell battery.
What fitness tracker are you thinking of purchasing? Already have a fitness tracker? Let us know how it works in the comments below.