Fitness Tracker Buying Guide
Fitness Trackers 101
Heart Rate Monitors
Pedometers & Accelerometers
Personal Round Timers
Fitness Tracker Buying Tips:
• Wrist or armband trackers are more sophisticated
• Clip-on trackers offer basic functions and can be carried out of sight
• Look for easy-to-use software with clear language, not jargon
• Bluetooth wireless capability enables easy data transfer
• An easy-to-read display screen can be a real motivator
Fitness Tracker Features
Distance Tracker +
Accurate distance tracking is a minimal and basic requirement of any fitness tracker. If you have ever used a pedometer then you’re going to love the sheer amount of information and precision available from the latest devices. For example, many fitness trackers allow you to create a personal profile that includes your stride length and stride rate. This permits the device to track your distance with greater accuracy. You also get key data about your average speed, top speed and elapsed time. If your workout regimen includes stair-climbing, look for a device with a stair-tracker feature.
Calorie Tracker +
Most fitness trackers include a calorie tracker, which monitors the amount of calories burned during an exercise session. Some models will also track how long it takes you to burn a given amount of calories. Armed with that information, you can make further observations about which activities burn the most calories and what is the most efficient form of exercise to help achieve your weight-loss or other goals.
Meals and Calorie Intake +
Tracking calorie intake is a fundamental part of your plan to get and stay fit. The best way to do it is to keep a digital log of everything you consume. Some fitness trackers provide this functionality, while others may require you to download a calorie app. Either way, you enter your meal information to calculate the total calories consumed, and compare them with your total calories burned to achieve a good balance.
Sleep Tracker +
You know only too well how you feel in the morning after a poor sleep. With a bracelet-type fitness tracker, you can capture data during the night that will help you develop healthier sleep patterns. Once connected to your smartphone or tablet, the tracker generates a visual snapshot of your sleep in the form of a bar graph or flow chart. Armed with this information, you can adjust your sleep habits and start getting the deep, healthy sleep you need.
Wireless Synching +
Once your fitness tracker has collected all the data from your most recent activity, you need to upload it to your phone, tablet or desktop computer. You want to be able to study your results and save them for future reference. The fastest and most convenient transfer method is wireless (most devices support Bluetooth). This makes it simple to synch your tracker with your hardware of choice.
Fitness Apps and Tools +
Most fitness trackers come with a software program or workout apps to not only record your workout log, but also to analyze and store it. This is the online personal trainer that measures your progress, enables you to meet and reset your training goals, and motivates you to stick with your plan. Maybe you already have some preferred exercise apps loaded onto your handheld device or computer. In that case, make sure that you buy a fitness tracker that's compatible with your existing apps and operating system.
Goals and Rewards +
Let’s be clear: a fitness tracker won’t reward you with a bowl of ice cream for meeting your training target. What it will do is provide you with encouragement and validation by confirming that you successfully completed the task at hand, whether it's running, walking, riding or rowing. It will congratulate you for achieving a personal best and help you establish new goals as you surpass each threshold. Achieving your fitness goals takes dedication, persistence and the support of both real and electronic friends to cheer you on.
Challenge Friends +
There’s nothing like a little (or a lot) of friendly competition to keep you excited and motivated about exercising. Some fitness trackers enable social networking, so you can notify your virtual running partners that you were first across the finish line, or just set a personal best time. Members of your fitness circle can revel in your progress and use it to motivate their own efforts. Getting fit can be a lonely activity, so you should seize upon any chance to share your experience with others who share your passion and have similar fitness goals.
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Fitness Tracker Maintenance Tips:
• Remove your clip-on device from clothes before laundering
• Regularly upload data to your smartphone or computer
• Recharge daily or as often as required
• Make sure clasps and closures are snug and secure
• Follow product instructions for correct placement on body