Thinking about getting an activity tracker to help you reach your health and fitness goals? Activity trackers are a fast growing trend in the emerging world of fitness and health technology. As someone who has experimented with a few of the top brands, I wanted to give you a quick overview of my thoughts on the devices, as well as what each brand has to offer in hopes that it will help you understand the many benefits. Of course, with so many products on the market presently, and new ones launching constantly, this is only meant to be a quick summary of my favorite top products as of Summer 2015.
I have personally used Fitbit, Withings, and Body media (which has recently been acquired by Jawbone) devices in the past. I found all of them easy to use and mostly reliable, however there are lots of factors to consider when picking out a device that will work for you, so lets get started!
Fitbit has the most options for activity trackers. Their most basic product, the Fitbit Zip is $59.95 is your everyday activity tracker, and their most sophisticated tracker, the Surge sells for $249.95, and does everything including caller ID, text alerts, music control, heart rate monitoring, and GPS tracking. The Fitbit Flex is my favorite pick! It counts steps, calories, distance, sleep tracking, active minutes, has a silent alarm, and a nice price point at $99.95. It also has tons of super fun colored bands to choose from, and Tory Burch has an entire jewelry line designed to hold the Flex. Major bonus if you are a fashionista that wants to keep tracking; you can definitely do it in style with the Flex.
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Next up is Jawbone! Besides activity trackers, they also sell nice speakers, headsets, and an activity monitor for your dog called the Whistle. Bonus points for them…I would love to know how active my dogs are, especially when I’m not around! Their most basic human activity tracker is called the Up Move, which sells for $49.99, and the UP 2, 3, and 4 are all stylish wrist devices ranging from $99.99 to $199.99. My top pick is the Up3 at $179.99, as it also has heart health monitoring and advanced sleep tracking utilizing heart rate and skin temperature collection, in addition to all the basics including steps, calories, smart alarm, and an idle alert. https://jawbone.com/up/trackers
Withings is an up and coming company that carries activity trackers, a wifi scale, a sleep system, blood pressure monitor, and a few other cool items. The Withings Pulse O2 for $119.95 is their most basic activity tracker, however is far from basic with all the data it can collect! It collects steps, running distance, elevation, calories burned, tracks sleep, and has pulse oximetry technology, which allows you to collect heart rate and oxygen level in the blood. Withings also has a line of activity trackers called Active that look like, and actually are regular watches ranging from $149.95 to $450.00. Bonus points for swimmers and divers, as they are waterproof up to 5 ATM!
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Currently I am using a Withings Pulse O2, and have a Withings wifi scale as well. I will say it is nice having a system that integrates all of your data in one place on your Smartphone, and automatically updates via wifi and Bluetooth technologies. I love the app on my iPhone and look at my data daily, especially the sleep data. I will admit that I definitely do not collect HR and Pulse Ox data very often since you have to take it out of the holder in order to do so. Also, it is definitely not a cute wristband, and comes in plain black silicon. I bought some colorful clips to put it in, but also rarely use those as I’m afraid I’m going to either accidentally forget to take it off and ruin it in the washer, or worse drop it in the toilet….yes, this has actually happened to me before unfortunately, but don’t let that discourage you! I think those are hazards of anything you clip on your pants or put in your pockets.
There are lots of choices out there, so I recommend taking a few minutes to do some research and find the one that’s right for you. When you are trying to get healthy, it’s always a good idea to have some data to work with. Most health care practitioners (myself included), recommend a goal of 10,000 steps a day in addition to regular exercise, 7-9 hours of sleep, and a personalized nutrition plan, as part of a healthy lifestyle. An activity tracker can help keep you on track and on your way to achieving your health goals.