Fitness Trackers: What’s Good, What’s New

It seems that more and more companies are bringing out fitness trackers, or wearable tech as it is often called. While large companies like Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin are well known for their products, a number of newer companies are entering this fast growing market.

If you’re just thinking of buying a fitness tracker, it’s important to decide what you want in a tracker:

  • Looking for small and unobtrusive? Small trackers like the Fitbit One can sit in a pants pocket or attach to undergarments. (of course, this also means they are easily lost-I went through three before switching to a bracelet style!)
  • Making a fashion statement? Most trackers are worn as a bracelet. They come in a variety of finishes and bracelet colors – with many aftermarket strap options available for popular models.
  • Are you looking to track heart rate? Several models, like the iWatch and Fitbit Charge 2, have heart rate monitoring. I’ve tested the Charge 2 against a Polar strap heart rate monitor and they track within a beat or two of each other.
  • Are apps and cellphone integration important to you? iPhone owners may be interested in an iWatch due to the seamless integration between devices.

Here are two references to help you consider your options:

Finally, as much as I love my bracelet tracker, there are times when I wish for something a bit less obvious as a tracker and more like jewelry. Newer companies in this space are designing some creative solutions. Bellabeat (www.bellabeat.com) offers a tracker that is more jewelry-like and can also be worn as a pendant. One that I’m excited about is a new ring tracker design, the Motiv, that will be released in Spring 2017 – preorders for the iPhone compatible version are being taken at http://www.mymotiv.com, with the Android version still in development. It remains to be seen how accurate a ring design will be in tracking, but it looks very interesting.

Whichever tracker you choose, these fitness tools are useful not only for tracking but to spur you to increase your exercise and walking steps. Many of the apps have social features so you can compete with friends. It’s a great way to make sure you get your walking or workouts in!

To your good health,

Coach Heather

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