Fitness trackers are becoming increasingly popular amongst athletes, sports enthusiasts and those looking to get a little fitter.
Having a device that allows you to track your steps, your travelled distance and much more, allows you to monitor your progress in your training and dieting plans. Fitness trackers are also considered to be great motivators for physical exercise because you can see results that you can't always see in the mirror.
It isn't just the fitness tracker device that needs to be considered, but the software application that it comes with. This is vital for keeping your records, showing your progression and helping you tailor your training plan to improve your weaker areas. Most fitness devices come with their own built in software, but many users also sync up their data with additional platforms.
One such platform is Strava - which not only allows you to keep a record of your rides and individual route sections, but also enables you to share your progress with friends for some moral support, or healthy competition for those QoMs.
These devices can often be worn like a watch, or clipped onto your clothing to track your progress throughout the day, or just for your training session. What with the ongoing fight for balance of style and function, many fitness trackers are being streamlined to be as discrete as possible.
Every brand and model will vary in features, software and prices. So to decipher the tech jargon and select a few of the best, we've done the hard work for you...
Fitbit Charge HR
Established for nearly 10 years now, Fitbit have been at the forefront of wireless personal fitness technology in hopes to inspire healthy living with a more active lifestyle.
Their Charge HR model is a one-stop-shop for all your fitness features. It's able to track: steps, calories burned, distance travelled, moving/stationary time and even your heart rate. This nifty device can detect when you're exercising and begin recording, and you can set training modes for your workouts. It even records your sleep patterns!
With the wireless feature enabling you to sync up to your phone and other devices via the Fitbit app, you'll never be far from your physical stats at any given time. Fitbit's software allows you to log your food intake, see your historical information and even encourages you to work harder in order to earn badges.
Colours: Black / Plum / Blue / Tangerine / Teal / Pink
Sizes: Small / Large / X.Large
The top model in the brand's UP range is the Jawbone UP3 fitness tracker. It looks sleek and stylish, so you wouldn't even know it's a tracker if you wanted to be discrete.
In addition to the basic steps, calories and distance counters that are recorded, the UP3 will analyse your active life and create training advice and helpful hints on where you can improve. An idle alert will let you know when you've been a couch potato for extended periods of time, and the bioimpedance sensors measure both your Resting Heart Rate and Passive Heart Rate.
Colours: Silver / Black / Ruby / Sand / Teal / Indigo
Garmin Vivoactive HR
Many of us will have a Garmin product locked onto the front of our pedal machines to record cycling performance. However, the new Garmin Vivoactive HR is designed to be worn by you, and monitor a lot more than just pedal strokes.
The unit sits firmly in the upper end of the price scale, but not without reason. The high resolution colour touch screen is one reason to splash out a little extra, but the GPS tracking, interchangeable faces and built in widgets are bonus luxuries for this ultimate fitness device.
The Garmin Connect app is very user friendly, enabling you to clearly see your training sessions and vital stats. The device can also be linked up with Strava accounts so you can share with your friends and earn those QoMs.
Colour: Black only
Sizes: Regular / X.Large
Microsoft Band 2
Whether you're a cyclist, runner or just a sports enthusiast, the Microsoft Band 2 has features that will keep you on top of your game.
The curved display allows you to swap between faces for various recordings, while the device has 11 built in sensors to provide output readings for temperature, heart rate, GPS and even UV index.
The Microsoft Band 2 can be synced up with your phone and electronic devices so you can access emails and have notifications sent to your tracker while you're out on the bike.
Sizes: Small / Medium
Misfit Flash - Cyclist Edition
If you're looking for something a little more simple and affordable to track your blood, sweat and tears then the new cyclist edition of the Misfit Flash may be just for you.
One novel thing about the Flash is that it's always on, and it's totally waterproof. Just like a regular battery powered watch, you can easily buy and replace batteries when needed. The good thing about this is that you're constantly receiving data outputs on your movements, calorie burns and workouts. This provide a more overall picture of your lifestyle, rather than just the active bits.
The device can be worn fitted into a wrist strap, or a clothing clip so you don't have any interference with your training session.
The Cycling edition has built in cadence capabilities so you can monitor your pedal performance as well. You can see your rides cadence, distance speed and map via the Misfit app on your mobile and electronic devices.
Being able to track your fitness, see results and assess your progress is a great motivational tool as it keeps your active lifestyle at the front of your mind.
There are plenty of fitness trackers out there, so it's best to shop around for the one that suits your needs and what you want to get out of it.
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