Buying A Fitness Tracker is the Best New Year’s Gift For Yourself. Find Out How to Find the Best Fitness Tracker

Buying A Fitness Tracker Is The Best New Year Gift
Photo: Eric Thayer / Stringer / Getty Images

If you’re determined to keep fit in 2017 by eating healthy and staying active, a good fitness tracking device will help you follow through with that resolution. We’ve got the lowdown on how you can buy the best fitness tracker for your needs.


Getting healthy and fit is always one of the top New Year’s resolutions for most people, and we’re sure 2017 will be the same. To make sure your resolution to be healthy doesn’t fizzle out after the first week of 2017, you can invest in a fitness tracking device. These will help keep your promise to lose the holiday weight and get in shape. But there are so many brands and different prices. How do buy the best fitness tracker for your needs? There are certain factors to consider while purchasing a fitness tracker. The following guide will help you decide how to buy a suitable activity tracker for your 2017 fitness goals.

Why Do You Need a Fitness Tracker?

There is a dizzying variety of brands and models available, and each one has different features than the last. So how do you navigate this sea of fitness tech? First, you need to decide what you need an activity tracker for.

Fitness trackers largely track your daily activities by tracking your steps, the total distance you walk, how many calories have you burn and consume, and even how well you slept. You decide how active you want to be, how much weight you want to lose, and all of your other fitness goals, and the wearable fitness tracker will tell you how successful you are in reaching your fitness goals.

Fitness trackers have certain limitations to consider. For those who like swimming, pilates, and Zumba, the tracker can only give general statistics like how many calories were burned and heart rate. Don’t expect a breakdown of your performance during each session. In activities that track distance, you need a device with a GPS to get an accurate report of your activity.

Choose the Right Design

Different brands and models offer different features in their fitness trackers. Besides sleep-tracking, step tracking, and other basic features, newer models come with GPS, increased sensors, waterproofing, upgraded software apps accompanying the device, better battery life, and smartphone notifications.

When buying a fitness tracker, also consider the right design for your activity. While wrist-worn fitness trackers are most common, there are also clip-on versions. You can clip the fitness tracker to your clothing, making it more convenient than the bracelets. Misfit has a selection of trackers that can be worn on the clothing, and even a model that can be accessorized as a necklace.

Choosing a bracelet-style or clip-on fitness tracker is personal preference. When buying a tracker, consider the kind of display you want. A built-in display in a watch-style will tell the time, but the display will add to the price.

Buy a Waterproof Tracker

Another important feature you should look for in an activity tracker is its waterproofing. Very few models are suited for swimming. The Misfit Shine 2 will help track your lengths in the pool. The Withings Go can record the calories burned and the duration of your swimming sessions. Fitbit also dove into the latest trend of water-resistant fitness bands. The new Fitbit Flex 2 comes with waterproof tracking and swimming metrics.

Avid swimmers should opt for a Moov Now which is specially designed for water sports. The tracker can detect your strokes and give data on techniques to improve your aquatic workout. But it won’t detect heart rate in the pool, so you’ll have to use a sports watch for that.

Find the Data Reading Suited for You

Different brands have varied types of heart rate tracking, meaning you need to decide which kind of reading suits you best. Heart rate tracking is one of the basic features essential in a fitness band, which enables a more accurate record of calories. Garmin Vivosmart HR tracks the resting heart rate progress. The Jaybird Reign is the only tracker that measures heart rate variability.

The Fitbit Charge 2 will give you data on your improving health by recording your resting heart rate when you wake up and also tracking your heart-rate 24/7 or even on a timed session. Considering this feature and a lot of others, the Fitbit Charge 2 is the best tracker money can buy. But it is not waterproof, therefore inadequate for swimming. It is, however, water-resistant, so it can handle getting a little wet.

Accuracy in the data is never going to be perfect no matter how good fitness trackers get. The technology can only give you the closest accurate reading. To get a better reading, trackers with heart rate recording and GPS are good, but also more expensive. If you don’t have GPS in your tracker, use the fitness band as a motivational record of improving health, rather than a source of accurate data.

The Accompaniments are Just as Important

Fitness trackers work with two very essential accompaniments; the software app and the battery. The mobile app that comes with the tracker is important to record all the data, analyze it, and help you set your fitness goals. Ensure the app is compatible with your phone, otherwise the tracker will be nothing but an accessory strap on your wrist. The brands’ apps can differ in their features between the Android and iOS. So choose a tracker whose app works with your phone.

Battery life is obviously important when it comes to a device that will record your fitness data. A longer battery life is important, or you’ll find gaps whenever you charge the tracker. Some trackers need to be charged weekly, while some can last months without charging. While Fitbit, with its multiple features, needs to be charged every few days, Misfit and Jawbone work on watch batteries that need to be charged every six months.


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