Guide to buying a fitness tracker

Fitness trackers are flooding the market, so finding the right product for your own needs can be difficult.

Not every fitness tracker is the same. There are a number of well-known brands dominating the market at a variety of costs. Their popularity is often credited to their ability to teach you how to move more and be healthier. Depending on your workout style and budget, you will need to do some research. Here are so key points to keep in mind.

Define your goals

Before you even begin to look at types of fitness trackers, take time outlining the current activities you do and activities you are expecting to pick up. Set yourself some goals of what you want to achieve in the next six months to a year.

For those who are new or more unfamiliar with exercising, you may only be interested in a basic step-tracker and calorie calculator. If you like swimming or more uncommon forms of exercise, you will need to search for a tracker designed specifically for those activities.

Design

A majority of popular models are made to be worn all day. Therefore, you will want to find a design that suits your overall look and feels comfortable. Depending on the model you may only be able to access insights and data via a computer or smartphone application. Others have been created to be interactive, built with larger touchscreens.

Water resistance

If you are intending to wear your tracker all day, investing in a water-resistant model may help the longevity of device. If you enjoy swimming and are wanting to track your stroke and distance, investing in a tracker will transform your routine.

Key features

A basic tracker will typically record the number of steps taken as well as approximately how many calories you have burned. Most will also record distance travelled and quality of sleep. Some users may be interested in recording how many flights of stairs they climb each day. Devices with a built-in altimeter and a standard accelerometer will monitor your flights.

More expensive trackers will also include optical heart-rate monitors. These typically categories your workout based on how high your heart-rate is and therefore measure how hard you had to work.

Trackers with inbuilt GPS features are sort after by runners, cyclists, hikers, and serious athletes. GPS devices will allow you to track your workout using your pace, intervals, and elevation.

Notable brands include Garmin, Fitbit, Nokia Go, and Moov Now. Although, you will need to evaluate your needs and budget to find the perfect fit for you. Or you can skip the fitness trackers altogether by investing in a WiGait — a fitness tracker that doesn’t need to be worn.