What Are Fitness Trackers And What Do They Do?
Fitness or activity trackers come in a variety of styles and sizes. Used consistently, they can improve your overall health by tracking activity, fitness levels, sleep, and calorie consumption. By understanding these trends, you can monitor and adjust behaviors that influence your overall health and well-being.
Fitness trackers are a form of wearable technology. They come in a variety of form factors, including bands which strap to the chest, others which resemble bangles, or even makeup cases. The most popular designs nowadays are ones you wear on your arm, like a wristwatch, or clip to your clothes like the Fitbit One.
These devices are an aid to wellbeing, by allowing you to monitor your activity, calorie intake, sleep patterns and general fitness level. By gaining knowledge of these factors you can keep an eye on and change behaviors that have a bearing on your overall health.
How Do Fitness Trackers Work?
Usually fitness trackers work by tracking the most important factors that affect your wellbeing during the day. Various sensors in the band will gauge your activity, including walking, running, sleep habits or calorie intake. The activity tracker will then sync to the devices’ supporting app, usually automatically via Bluetooth or Wireless connection, and send that information to a computer or a smartphone which has the tracker’s supporting app installed, for analysis.
Some trackers, like the Fitbit Flex, feature a display or other interface which offer immediate insight into stats or provide feedback, without having to access a smartphone or computer to do so. Many, such as the Fitbit Charge, offer a silent alarm to wake you gently, without disturbing your partner. The Withings Pulse O2 is a fitness wristband which will even monitor your blood oxygen level and elevation. Perfect for mountaineers, or those who like to take the stairs.
How Do Fitness Trackers Compare To Smart Watches?
Fitness trackers are usually dedicated to the task of just capturing biometric data, where smart watches can also perform many other functions usually associated with a computer or smartphone. Like sending and receiving emails, surfing the web, playing music or making phone calls. Activity trackers can also come in a variety of different form factors not resembling that of a watch, although some also do tell the time.
What About Compatibility Issues?
Before deciding on which fitness tracker to buy you should consider two things. What operating system to use and which version of Bluetooth your existing smartphone or computer are compatible with. Most activity trackers are designed to operate with a specific operating system, usually Apple iOS or Android. The safest option is to choose one that works with both, as this offers the greatest flexibility for the future. Some fitness trackers are designed to work with a particular version of Bluetooth, like the Jawbone UP24, which can only sync with version 4.0 of Bluetooth.
What Is It Like To Wear One?
Most try for a feel like resembling that of a wristwatch, but some achieve this aim better than others. The most comfortable fitness wristband, from all the user comments we’ve read, is the Misfit Shine activity tracker. Light and slim, it even looks like a watch. Probably the “least comfortable” is the Up 24 by Jawbone, but only due to it being slightly bulky. However it does more than make up for it in its simplicity of design, durability and ease of use. But don’t misunderstand us, they are all comfortable enough to wear for the task they were designed for.
How Much Do They Cost?
One of the better individual fitness bands will cost you around the same price as a good everyday watch. If you get one that also tells the time, like the Misfit Shine, then you can junk your day to day watch too. Some activity wristbands like the Polar Loop and the Garmin Vivofit also come with optional heart rate monitors (HRM), which are worn strapped to the chest. These bundles cost a bit more, but often attract a large discount, making this combination of fitness wristband and HRM attractively priced.
Which Should You Buy?
The fitness activity trackers we have reviewed here at Best Fitness Trackers 2015 are, we believe, based on countless numbers of reviews, the best available in the market today. They all do exactly what they were designed for. Monitoring your activity and motivating you to rise to your ultimate fitness goals. You can check out their individual reviews, right here on this site.