In this era of smart technology, exercising has never been easier. Sure, you still need to put the work in, but wearable fitness trackers have made the whole process of setting goals, staying on track, and measuring progress almost like a game. From tracking calories burned and distance traveled to monitoring your sleep cycle and heart rate, the fitness trackers listed below take the guess work our of exercising and can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your resolution to get–and stay–fit.
Fitbit Charge HR Fitness Tracker
Fitbit is a specialist in the fitness tracker category with a number of options available depending on your needs. My favourite of theirs is the Fitbit Charge HR Fitness Tracker. Similar in style to the vast majority of fitness trackers out there, the Fitbit Charge HR is a slim band that fits over your wrist just like a watch would. However, unlike other fitness trackers that monitor heart rate, the Fitbit Charge HR is quite slim and doesn’t require a chest strap. It also comes in three different sizes to accommodate different weights and frames.
Intended to be worn day and night, its bright OLED display shows you how many steps you’ve taken, how far you’ve traveled, how many minutes you’ve been active and how many calories you’ve burned. What’s really cool though is its integrated SmartTrack, which automatically recognizes the type of activity you’re engaged in and records it in the associated Fitbit app, so you have an accurate snap shot of your activity at all times. The Fitbit Charge HR also monitors your heart rate and shows you simplified target heart rate zones so you can optimize your workouts for the best results. Add to that the fact that it monitors your sleep patterns and wakes you with a silent alarm at the ideal time, and this fitness tracker is really all about helping you achieve your optimal health.
Garmin vivosmart Fitness Tracker
Next on the list is the Garmin vivosmart Fitness Tracker, which is one of the few fitness trackers on the market that serves double duty as a smartwatch, but when you first look at it you wouldn’t think that was the case. Meant to fit around the wrist, the Garmin vivosmart is really just a plain rubber bracelet with a hidden display that lights up when you double-tap it. In fact, it’s design is so minimal, it doesn’t even feature a USB port for charging, but instead has little pins on its underside that connect to a cradle.
As far as function is concerned, the Garmin vivosmart does everything you’d expect a good fitness tracker to do. It measures your steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled, and sleep patterns to give you an overview of your activity levels and help you achieve your goals. It’s also water resistant, so you can wear it while you sweat, shower or swim. But that’s where the vivosmart’s fitness tracker duties end and its smartwatch duties begin. Not only does it show you the time of day, but it pairs with your compatible Bluetooth device to send notifications when you get calls, emails, texts, and social media alters, so you can keep connected no matter what you are doing without needing to be glued to your phone. For people like me, that means a lot fewer missteps on the treadmill while I’m running and trying to navigate through my phone. While it does come with a heart rate monitor, it is compatible with them, so you can add to it if you’d like.
Jawbone UP3 Fitness Tracker
The Jawbone UP3 Fitness Tracker looks less like a traditional fitness tracker, and more like a bracelet, which is a nice departure from the norm. It comes in a variety of colours including Sand Twist (pictured), Black Twist, Indigo Twist, Silver Cross, Red Cross, and Teal Cross so there are options for almost every taste, but aesthetics aside, the Jawbone UP3 does a great job of keeping you on point when it comes to your health and fitness goals. Said to contain “multi-sensor technology that adds breadth and accuracy to your health data collection” the UP3 counts your steps taken, monitors your activity and heart rate, tracks calories burned, and when wore at night, logs your stages of sleep and suggests ways to maximize your rest. That’s all relatively standard in a fitness tracker, but what makes the UP3 different is that you can log your meals into the Jawbone app, and its Smart Coach will score your meals, make helpful suggestions, and even deliver insightful data. You can even use the app to scan barcodes and search a food database that includes popular restaurant menus.
One thing to keep in mind with the UP3 though is that it is not intended to be a tracker that you interact with throughout the day. Instead, it collects data and sends that data to your phone so you can analyze your activity through the app on your phone.
Bellabeat LEAF Fitness Tracker
The Bellabeat LEAF Fitness Tracker takes a completely new approach to fitness trackers as it is designed as a piece of jewelry for the ladies. I for one love the idea that I could wear it as a necklace or bracelet, or even clip it to my sports bra when sweating it out at the gym. Like the other fitness trackers mentioned above, the Bellabeat LEAF monitors your daily activity, including steps taken, calories burned distance covered, and sleep quality. However, it also helps you manage your stress levels by monitoring your breathing and then providing breathing exercise suggestions via the LEAF app, and also monitors your ovulation, premenstrual and period days so you can view how your cycle affects your health. It’s really part fitness tracker and part life coach as the app is all about monitoring your activity and providing suggestions and advice for improvement. Available in silver (pictured) or rose gold, this tracker is pretty, unique, and will definitely help you stay on track!
Fellow Best Buy blogger Lucy Woodhead reviewed the Bellabeat LEAF in October—read it here.
Getting and staying healthy and active can often be a challenge, especially when you are just starting out, or are getting back into it after a bit of a hiatus. But now that the turkey coma has likely subsided, it’s time to get moving and a fitness tracker will definitely help you do just that so you can stick to your resolution this year.