What you need to know about Fitness Trackers

Polar H9 strap runner treadmill

Fitness trackers are becoming an increasingly popular way to remind runners to increase their daily movement and get healthy.

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to finding the  best fitness tracker that suits your needs, ConsumersAdvocate.org conducted weeks of research and created a guide on how to find the best fitness tracker that fits your specific needs.  Their research compares 11 different brands on their features, connectivity, cost, and customer experience.

Each brand has their own strengths and drawbacks, and as this is a product that will be attached to you – whether on your wrist or wearing it for most of the day, it’s important to prioritise what are the key features you need, and what are those you can live without? For example, are you a hit-the-ground-running type of daily goer who needs durability, long-lasting battery life, and long-term customer support, or are you interested in the analytics and sleep and stress features? All aspects are important to consider!

No matter which you choose as your go-to wearable device, there are some common features that are available in almost all products, such as:

·       Heart rate monitoring sensors

·       Sleep monitoring

·       Exercise recognition/modes

·       Smartphone syncing

Note that there is a difference between smartwatches and fitness trackers –many smartwatches often have fitness tracking capabilities (but not the other way around!). And those hybrid watches that offer both functions will usually have the steeper price tag to show it.

Back to choosing your wearable device: it’s important to consider what exercises you perform and cater to those needs. For example, if hiking is your go-to activity, you may consider one with GPS; if you’re swimming laps in the pool, you’ll need one that’s waterproof (more on that later).  On the contrary, if you’re seeking a device to remind you to move, something with longer-lasting battery and metrics may be more your style. Having daily challenges and winning the daily goals are small victories that are always worth celebrating and will likely keep you moving! Lastly, consider your budget and the long-term investment in your device.

One last note about the fine details of choosing your wearable, it is important to understand the terminoogy.

Water resistant vs. waterproof.  While you may be able to shower with your fitness tracker on, swimming with it might not be recommended.  For those that are swim-proof, consider the depths to which it will function (i.e. if it drops to the bottom of the pool or lake, it might not come back functioning properly).

Lastly, while the physical tracking numbers are fun to compare over time, understand that these data point numbers are estimations that a fitness tracker alone will not be responsible for weight loss. As most of these products consider steps, movement, stand time, heart rate, etc., accurate results are not always guaranteed. Remember that a wearable device is meant to help remind you to stay active and change your mindset on physical activity, not to get too focused or obsessive with the metrics.

This article was written as a summary of ConsumersAdvocate.org’s Best Fitness Trackers.

To view the full article, see here: https://www.consumersadvocate.org/fitness-tracker