Unless you have the money to purchase all major types of fitness trackers – and wear all of them simultaneously as part of a comparison study – you have to carefully consider the pros and cons of each of these products. Your ability to make sense of the features and functions of these products will result in a smarter purchase of a fitness tracker that you will actually use and benefit from in the long run.
Think of a fitness tracker as gym membership in the Princeton Club: You cannot benefit from both if and when you don’t use it. You should then choose a fitness tracker and gym membership that will provide the features and functions as well as the terms and conditions, respectively, which will fit in your budget, preferences, and lifestyle. You will likely be more motivated when these are the right match for your needs and wants.
Here are the things that you must know to make sense of the dozens upon dozens of fitness trackers in the market. In doing so, you will likely enjoy the best value for your money.
Array of Sensors
Fitness trackers, also known as activity trackers, are designed with an array of sensors for monitoring different types of activities and movements, such as number of steps taken, heart beat per minute, perspiration levels, skin temperature, hours of sleep, and calories burned and consumed. The data from fitness trackers can be connected and synched with other smart devices and computers for recording and archiving (i.e., storage) purposes.
Emphasis must be made that the data provided by the fitness trackers play important roles in the achievement of fitness goals. In heart rate interval training, for example, the heart beat per minute will be used to determine the alternating periods of low and high activity. In weight loss, the calories consumed and burned data is crucial in making the necessary adjustments to the diet.
But that’s not all there is to it in fitness trackers either. Many advanced trackers even provide their users with smartwatch-like alerts including incoming texts, calls, and emails. Many trackers are also designed with motivational tools, such as badges of honor, challenges to hurdle, and online interactions, even data sharing with healthcare providers.
Virtually all fitness trackers, furthermore, has an accelerometer designed to measure steps as well as other movements including up-down, front-to-back, and side-to-side. Other sensors can also include heart-rate monitor for pulse tracking; gyroscope for measuring changes in orientation; GPS for location tracking; and barometer for the measurement of altitude, among others.
Indeed, fitness trackers provide fresh insight into the lifestyle habits that influence your physical and mental health.
Specific Design for Different Folks
While many fitness trackers are designed for use by fitness enthusiast regardless of their preferred mode of exercise, many activity trackers are also designed for specific use by athletes in their fields. You will then find fitness trackers that appeal to specific subsets, such as marathon runners, swimmers, and skiers, even weight lifters.
Making the right choice in a fitness tracker is possible by keeping the following tips in mind.
First, ask yourself about the features and functions that you are looking for in a fitness tracker. Are you looking for an effective way to monitor your daily life activities or an efficient way to level up your workouts?
An all-day tracker, which measures the steps taken, stairways climbed, calories consumed and burned, active minutes, and duration of exercise, is your best choice for monitoring your daily activities. A training tracker, which measures all of the above plus your heart rate, breathing patterns, speed and pace, and miles travelled, is your best choice for fine-tuning your workouts especially when you are in a competition.
Second, you have to narrow down your search by considering your personal preferences in the following matters:
- Fitness trackers can be worn in a variety of ways including on the wrist, around the chest, as a pendant, and clipped to a pocket, belt or strap. Choose a style that you will feel comfortable wearing the entire day or for the entire duration of the competition or workout session.
- Activity trackers can display data in two main ways – first, on the display screen of the tracker itself; and second, on another device like a computer or smartphone with an app that syncs, interprets, and archives the data. Choose which one you are most comfortable with using during your activities in terms of accessibility of information.
- Look for fitness trackers that have specific functions for the type of data you want to gather, such as a heart rate monitor strapped to your chest, for greater accuracy.
Be sure to consider compatibility of the fitness tracker with your other devices; long battery life; and durability in terms of water, heat, and shock resistance.