How to pick the perfect fitness tracker?
Tip 1. Consider your daily activities and exercise style
Even if an activity tracker has high-tech features, this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the most effective one for you. One of the most important things you need to think about first is your lifestyle — then find a fitness tracker that is compatible with this.
Keeping this in mind, the first step we suggest is to think about how you stay active and write these activities down in a list. This will help you get an idea of your most common activities, which will then allow you to consider a device with features that are suited to these.
Tip 2. Decide what features are a priority for you
Once you have listed your typical activities, you can then work out what features should be a priority for you when looking for a fitness tracker. Look at your list of regular activities and think about the features that might suit your lifestyle best — what exactly do you want the tracker to do for you?
For example, if you wrote down that you like to swim or be in the water a lot, it will be important that your device is waterproof. This factor alone will eliminate a number of alternatives so it’s important to consider this.
Number these features in order of most important to least and put a star next to the features that are a must-haves. Then you can research these online, read reviews and focus only on the trackers that have these features.
Nearly all activity trackers now include steps taken, as well as a calorie tracker. Other device features to look for include:
- Distance tracking (based on your steps are taken).
- Heart rate monitor: this is not a feature in all fitness trackers so be mindful if you wish to track your heart rate throughout the day and during workouts or you are looking to purchase this for your loved ones (elderly parents)
- Sleep tracking: this allows you to monitor your sleep time, as well as the quality of sleep.
- Battery life: this can vary between devices and is an important feature to be mindful of. Most fitness trackers have rechargeable batteries that can be powered through USB, while others require user-replaceable batteries.
- Waterproof/water resistance: Even if some trackers state that they’re waterproof, it’s usually only to a certain depth. Be mindful of this when making your decision.
- Achievements: this can be really useful if you are motivated through incentives. The tracker will let you know when you’ve achieved a particular goal. Some devices also allow you to compete with your friends!
- GPS: This might be a priority for you if you want to track your performance for activities like running. If it doesn’t have this feature, it won’t accurately report your pace or distance.
- Alarm: Some trackers have bedtime alarms, while others have more complex ones, such as inactivity alarms. If you desire a specific alarm feature, it is well-worth researching as different trackers offer varying alarm features.
Tip 3. Decide whether you want a smartwatch or a fitness band
This decision largely depends on what you’ve decided your needs are and if you wish to have access to phone features, as well as additional apps. While fitness bands focus primarily on tracking health and fitness goals, smartwatches include a range of additional features, similar to a smartphone.
Features such as text messaging, email access, and the ability to download and use third-party apps are often possible on smartwatches. If this is important to you, this option might be the most practical for you.
Alternatively, fitness bands are good if you want to keep things simple and have your phone data separate to your activity tracking.
Tip 4. Choose a style that suits you
This isn’t just about how it looks! If you choose a device that is too bulky and gets in the way, you might be less likely to wear it. The same applies if the interface is too hard to read and understand. Do you want a tracker that you wrap around your wrist like a watch? Or would you prefer one that you can clip onto clothes? Some can even be worn as a pendant around your neck! As this market expands, the way you can wear your activity tracker is also becoming more versatile, so choose one that suits your lifestyle and activities best.
Tip 5. Make sure the fitness tracker is compatible with your phone
This is an important one! Most trackers include a smartphone app that you need to download. These apps let you look at your stats, set goals and get a more detailed understanding of your progress from your phone. Some fitness bands only work with certain brands of the phone though, so be mindful of this before investing in a fitness tracker!
Fitness is an important part of a healthy lifestyle — it has the ability to transform your life and empower you! Trackers can be a great tool to motivate you and help you achieve your fitness goals if you choose the right one for you.