Three Things to Know Before You Buy a Fitness Tracker

The more you know about your body, the easier it will be to get yourself back in shape (and stay there!). Fitness trackers are great aids for helping you track progress toward your goals. Here’s are three things to consider before you buy one.

Running on the road toward snowy mountains
Want to get in shape? A fitness tracker will help keep you moving toward your goals.Photo by Andrea Leopardi on Unsplash

With hundreds of models of fitness trackers out there you can’t just pick one at random and expect it’s going to have all of the features you want. From size and weight, to ruggedness and smart watch features, varying metrics, and battery life there’s a ton of variety out there. Narrow your search with these three factors, though, and you’ll be on the fast track to a healthier life.

Metrics

Fitbit Inspire HR Heart Rate and Fitness Tracker
This lightweight band tracks your heartrate 24/7, as well as your steps, hourly activity, calories burned, and sleep, and it waterproof for swim tracking.Fitbit

Let’s start with what you want to track. If all you’re really interested in is counting your steps then something simple will do. That said, you can get a much more detailed picture. Some trackers support 24/7 heart rate monitoring, which gives you a more accurate picture of your true daily caloric burn. Sleep cycle tracking may provide a better look at the quality of rest you’re getting. If you’re into working out, you might one that can track swimming and cycling, or maybe one that is waterproof to track your swims.

Style

Letsfit Smart Watch, Fitness Tracker with Heart Rate Monitor
The large 1.3” color touch screen includes all-day heart rate tracking, female health tracking, 50 meter waterproofing, and displays notifications from your smart phone.Letsfit

Obviously, these bands only work when you wear them, so you want to pick one that you’ll actually want to have on. Take a look at the color options available and decide what kind of statement you want to make (subtle, or eye catching?), and if it will go with stuff you wear. You’ll also want to choose between the classic fitness tracker band or if you want something that looks a bit more like a smart watch. The smart watch-like models may pack in additional features, like expanded notifications from your phone, but they’ll be a little more prominent on your wrist.

Battery Life

LETSCOM Fitness Tracker HR, Activity Tracker Watch with Heart Rate Monitor
Don’t be fooled, this fitness tracker packs in a lot of features beyond basic pedometer stuff, including heart rate monitoring, text message notifications, and even remote camera shooting.LETSCOM

Fitness trackers have come a long way when it comes to battery life. You used to have to recharge them every few days. Now we suggest you stick to ones that will last around a week or more. The reason is simple: The more you wear it the better your data will be, and you can’t wear it while it’s charging. This is especially important because most people recharge their devices at night, and you don’t want to miss out on that sleep-tracking data, do you?

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