Fitness trackers are wearable devices that keep track of how many steps you take, calories you burn, and distances that you travel while exercising. They can be a useful tool in increasing your daily activity and helping you stick to your health goals. But with so many brands and options on the market today, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one is best for your lifestyle.
Here is an overview of the different fitness trackers available today and how to choose the right one for you.
Categories of Fitness Trackers
The most basic of all fitness trackers are pedometers that calculate the distance that you travel for walking and running. One step up from this is the heart rate monitoring tracker, which calculates your heart rate and calories burned based on your activities.
There are also heart rate monitoring fitness trackers with GPS capabilities that communicate with satellites to locate your position on a map. Certain fitness trackers focus more on movement throughout the day with periodic reminders to get moving, while others focus on weight loss, hydration, sleeping habits, and training for a big race.
Fitness Tracker Brands
There are a few leading brands in the fitness tracker industry that you might want to familiarize yourself with before heading to a store or starting to shop online. Apple, Garmin, and Fitbit are top fitness tracker brands. But you can also find fitness trackers made by Casio, Coros, Samsung, Google, Amazon, Oura, and other companies. Some people are more drawn to a particular brand because of other devices that they already have, such as an iPhone or Android phone.
Choosing Your Ideal Fitness Tracker
Among the first questions that you should ask yourself before buying a fitness tracker are what your health goals are and what activities you would like to do more often. If you only plan to walk and run, a more basic fitness tracker may suffice for your needs and be more cost-effective. But if you have varied outdoor interests, such as paddling, rock climbing, and cycling, you will want to choose a watch that has settings to accommodate those activities.
Keep your budget in mind as you browse fitness trackers, but also know that these devices are designed to last for at least several years, so it is a long-term investment that can benefit your health. Choose something that has a level of technology that you are comfortable with and that addresses your specific health goals, such as overall health, hardcore training, or something in between. Also, some fitness tracker watches have a sportier look, while others are more casual and may go better with the clothes that you normally wear.
Current Top-Rated Fitness Trackers
Although there are dozens of great options to choose from when you are shopping for a fitness tracker, here are some of the most popular highly rated devices available, along with a short description of the type of user they may be well-suited for:
- Apple Watch Series 8 – all-around fitness tracker for iPhone users
- Google Pixel Watch – fitness-focused smartwatch for Android users
- Fitbit Versa 3 – affordable fitness tracker for first-time users
- Coros Apex Premium Multisport GPS watch – long distance trail running tracker with great battery life
- Garmin Fenix 7S/7/7X – great for hardcore outdoor athletes
- Amazon Halo – affordable fitness tracker for mild and everyday activities