How to choose a fitness tracker
Coach editor Sam Downing gives Today’s Lisa Wilkinson and Ben Fordham tips on choosing a fitness tracker.
Whether it’s at the gym or out in the real world, you’ve definitely seen people sporting fitness trackers.
Some of them make stylish accessories but they can also be powerful tools to help meet your fitness goals — if you commit to using one long-term. (Like a gym membership, it won’t do you much good if you use it for a week then abandon it.)
There’s a huge array of trackers, and you can spend as much or as little as you like on one. Here’s a rundown of features and key differences to look out for.
Opt for a simple fitness wristband if all you want to do is find out how many steps you’re taking, how many calories you’re burning, what your sleep is like, and your heart rate. (Note that the heart rate monitor on any wrist tracker is only likely to be accurate-ish, and you’ll need to pair it with a chest strap for better precision.)
These are all pretty standard features, as well as reminders to get up and move if you’ve been sitting too long. (There’s nothing quite like being nagged by your wristband.) Some of the main fitness band players:
Fitbit Flex 2 ($149.95). “Fitbit” has become more or less synonymous with “fitness tracker”: if you spot a wrist adorned with a plain band, it’s likely a Fitbit quietly tracking everything its wearer is doing. This type of tracker is particularly good for light exercisers who mostly want to monitor their everyday activity.
Garmin Vivosmart 3 ($229). The next step up from the bracelet-style trackers are ones like the Vivosmart that have a simple display, which you can glance down at for an impression of your heart rate.
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro ($329). Some fitness bands are designed with specific activities in mind, such and running, cycling, or even weight-lifting (which they measure with varying degrees of accuracy, and usually not as well as the manufacturers claim). The Gear Fit2 is made in collaboration with Speedo for swimmers, and claims to track laps and strokes.
These sorts of bands pair with an app on your smartphone that rounds up all the data collected by the band and puts it in one place. As an added feature they’ll also usually sync your phone’s notifications — handy because you can see who’s messaged you without interrupting the flow of your workout by picking up your phone.
Aside from looking more like a traditional watch, obviously, fitness watches (aka smartwatches) typically come with more built-in features than a standard band — notably built-in GPS and altitude-tracking, which will precisely reveal how fast and far you’re moving about. If you’re a runner or a cyclist, you’ll need these features to more accurately track your training.
Other standard features include water resistance, Large and vibrant touch screens, saved music, and contactless payments so you don’t need to tote your EFTPOS card around for that reward coffee at the end of your workout.
Some of the big fitness watch players:
Apple Watch (from $459). The perfect companion for your beloved iPhone — the two pair seamlessly, and the Watch has so many apps that its uses go far beyond fitness. The killer feature of the latest Series 3 watch is standalone cellular connectivity, so you can leave your phone behind when you head out to exercise take and receive calls and messages.
Fitbit Ionic ($449). The Ionic is one of Fitbit’s first forays into the smartwatch market. Its big advantage is its connection to Fitbit’s smartphone app, which is one of the most useful and polished in the field.
Garmin Fenix 5 ($799). Some smartwatches look a little reminiscent of that digital Casio watch you received for your 10th birthday. The Fenix 5 is the sort of gear you can credibly describe as a timepiece, with the added bonus of deeply tracking just about every fitness activity you can think of.
Huawei Watch (from $599). The latest Watch 2 also connects to cellular networks without relying on a phone, which is handy if you take it out for a run and find yourself in a spot of bother (or if you just, you know, want to summon an Uber to take you home).
Oh, and all these smartwatches also tell the time right on your wrist. Isn’t modern technology amazing?!
Published at Fri, 06 Oct 2017 04:47:03 +0000 from Google News