If you’re looking to get in shape this summer, a wearable fitness tracker could help keep you motivated. Wearable monitoring is now a $1 billion dollar industry and, with dozens of options on the market, it can seem overwhelming to find the right tracker for you. To help, we put together a list of our five favorites and the unique features of each.
1. Garmin Vivoactive
First up, we have the Garmin Vivoactive. It’s on the pricier end of the wearable technology market and operates as more of a smartwatch than a fitness tracker. The design is reminiscent of the Apple Watch and comes with a lightweight silicon strap and color 205 x 148 pixel display.
The Vivoactive syncs with your smartphone to deliver alerts, but a big consumer complaint is that it won’t allow you to respond to texts or calls. However, in terms of fitness, it’s highly customizable to fit your lifestyle and allows you to set your own daily step goals.
It’s also capable of tracking your sleep cycle so you can see how restful your patterns are when you close your eyes. Just make sure you enable the Do Not Disturb setting on your phone before going to bed so this feature can work without interruptions.
To help track your fitness goals, the Pop uses Bluetooth to sync with the Withings Health Mate app on your iPhone or Android device. The app helps you monitor your daily goals and see how close you’ve come to reaching the 10,000 step/day goal.
The Pop is also water resistant and can track your progress as you swim, rather than simply monitor land activities. One of its greatest praises comes in the fact that you don’t have to worry about constantly charging the tracker. The battery on the Activité Pop lasts an admirable eight months.
3. Fitbit Charge HR
The Fitbit Charge HR is touted as offering the most accurate feedback on your daily fitness levels by using continuous heart rate monitoring. It uses the heart monitoring to tell if you’re asleep as well, so it knows to track this behavior instead of what you’re doing when you’re awake. It can track several physical activities during waking hours, but users have complained that it doesn’t have an imbedded GPS, so it won’t accurately track cycling or running distances.
The data the Charge HR gathers links to the corresponding smartphone app, where you can see daily recaps, food tracking, and food plans. And, as we’re gearing up for swimsuit season, you might like to take advantage of the Charge HR utilizing IoT tech to sync with Fitbit Aria scale so you can track of your weight loss goals.
This Fitbit comes in an array of colors and its thin design is far more appealing than some of its bulky competitors. Despite its visual appeal, some reviewers registered complaints about skin irritations derived from the band’s textured rubber clasps.
4. Jawbone UP3
The Jawbone UP3 uses bio impedance sensors to provide wearers with information on resting heart rate, breathing, body mass index, hydration, and perspiration. One of the most impressive features is the UP3’s ability to differentiate between light, deep, and REM sleep. It takes this information and establishes the ideal time during your sleep cycle for you to get up and then gently and gradually plays an alarm to wake you.
The device pairs with the UP smartphone app to give you an analysis of all the data it has collected. You’ll have a personal Smart Coach on the app to help you develop your health goals and motivate you to stick with them. This great wearable device has several great features and users rave about the adjustability of the Jawbone UP3, as it will fit any size wrist.
5. Jawbone Up Move
If price is your biggest concern, it might be hard to beat the budget-friendly Jawbone Up Move. At $49, it’s the most affordable fitness tracker on our list. The Up Move is the little brother to the UP3 and isn’t exactly a watch. It comes with a belt clip so you just snap it on the top of your jeans. If you prefer to wear it on your wrist, they do offer a wristband accessory you can purchase separately.
Instead of offering up every type of tracking out there, Jawbone Up Move is basically a pedometer that tracks your steps. It’s simplistic and perfect for anyone wanting to track their fitness goals without being inundated with unnecessary buttons and controls. If you sync it up with the Jawbone Up app, you can track your step counts and fitness progress, as well as take part in daily challenges to keep you motivated.
You can’t really go wrong choosing any of the wearables listed above, but make sure you find the one that best fits your lifestyle and will do everything you want it to do before making an investment.
Written by Hillary Johnston
A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more