A fitness tracker helps us to find and sustain the motivation to move more and live a healthier life. This Fitness Tracker Buying Guide outlines the key things to consider when weighing up different fitness trackers so choosing the best fitness tracker for your needs is easier.
1. What are the key factors for you?
The type of fitness tracker that’s right for you will depend on:
Different fitness trackers have different capabilities for tracking different types of sports
Do you specifically want to use it to track walking, running, swimming or cycling?
Do some research to find out which physical activities different models are able to capture
Which types of devices it is compatible with: You need to know if you can sync the fitness tracker to your smartphone, tablet or laptop
Do you need a fitness tracker that’s compatible with Android devices or Apple devices?
Syncing your fitness tracker to your device allows you to track your progress using the app
How much you want to spend?
Basic fitness trackers track your steps and calories burnt and are the cheapest to buy
More advanced fitness trackers have features like heart rate monitors and a higher price
The design and style
Fitness trackers come in different colours so you can choose the colour that suits your style
Do you prefer small and discreet or are you happy for it to be bigger with more features?
2. Which features do you want?
Different people want different features so consider which of these are important to you:
Steps – records how many steps you take and allows you to set goals for yourself
Calories burnt – tells you how many calories your physical activity has used up
Clock – shows you the time so you don’t have to wear a watch as well as a fitness tracker
Sleep – tracks the quality of your sleep
Silent alarm – vibrates at the right time in your circadian rhythm and doesn't wake anyone else
Distance – tells you how far you’ve travelled whilst exercising
Speed – tells you how quickly you’ve been moving whilst exercising
Heart rate – records your heart rate so you can see monitor increases as you exercise
Touch screen – allows you to track your progress on the screen without having to open the app
Phone notifications – shows you your text messages and who’s calling on the touch screen
GPS – tracks your location and speed for running, cycling and hiking (relies on having a signal)
It’s important to think about the apps that go with the different fitness tracker options:
Different brands have different compatible apps you can use to track your progress
The apps use visual aids like pie charts and bar graphs to show you your progress towards goals
Some apps allow you to set up family and friend groups so you can compete and stay motivated
Read online app reviews so you know what each app can do and can choose the one you want
4. How long will the battery last
It’s important to find out how long the batteries in different models will last before you need to charge them so you know upfront and there’s no surprises after purchasing your fitness tracker.
Some fitness trackers can be synced with other fitness devices like weighing scales to help you achieve your goals on your healthy living journey.
6. Caring for you fitness tracker
Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions so your fitness tracker lasts as long as possible
If your fitness tracker is not waterproof or water resistant keep it away from water at all times
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