Are you looking to purchase your first fitness tracker but you aren't sure where to start? Check out our top tips and advice below.
What Does a Fitness Tracker Track?
Your fitness tracker will help you to track several aspects of your fitness. This includes: - Sleep - Steps - Workout Sessions - Heart Rate (if your tracker has a HR monitor) - Walking/Hiking/Cycling Routes (if your tracker has GPS built-in)
Weight Loss and Calories Burnt
All fitness trackers have a margin of error when it comes to tracking burnt calories. While it may not give you an exact number, you can still monitor your progress over time. If you do a workout for one hour your watch may give you an estimated calorie burn of 400. If you do the same workout the next day and you burn 420 calories, then you know you pushed it a little harder. The numbers may not be accurate, but you can see that you managed to put in a bit more effort than the day before. If you are using your fitness tracker to help reach a weight loss or weight gain goal, then it is worth noting that the device is likely overestimating your daily calories burnt. You should consult a doctor or nutritionist if you are unsure about what calorie range would best suit your goals.
Fitness Tracker or Smartwatch?
A smartwatch has all the tracking functionality of a fitness tracker. It will also have smartphone notifications, music control, contactless payment options and some can even answer and make phone calls. When deciding whether you should invest in a smartwatch or fitness tracker consider what you want to use your device for. If communication and phone notifications are a must, then a smartwatch is worth the investment. However, they can be considerably more expensive than a fitness tracker. If you just want to use your device to monitor your exercise, steps and fitness goals then a fitness tracker is perfect for you. These trackers can vary in price also, depending on what features you are looking for. Typically a fitness tracker will have longer battery life in comparison to a smartwatch as it isn't constantly syncing to your smartphone to check for updates. You may need to charge your smartwatch every 1-3 days depending on which model you choose. Some fitness trackers can last 2-3 weeks before needed to be recharged. So, if you are someone who forgets to charge their devices regularly than a fitness tracker may suit your lifestyle better than a smartwatch.
Entry Level If you just want to keep track of your steps, sleep and record your workouts than an entry-level fitness tracker will meet your needs. You can pick up the Huawei Band 4e B9 for €29.99. This tracker will monitor steps, sleep is waterproof up to 50m and has a two-week battery life. So, it's perfect for anyone with a busy schedule who is always on the go.
Mid-Range The mid-range fitness trackers are usually more style-focused; they often have bigger screens and will usually have a heart rate monitor. The heart rate monitor will help to give you a more accurate calculation of your exercise and sleep. It's also a good way of understanding the varied intensity of your workouts. As you become more aerobically fit you will notice your average resting heart rate will lower. A resting heart rate of 60-80 beats per minute is optimal, depending on your weight and age. A well-trained athlete can have a resting heart rate as low as 40 BPM. You can use this metric on your fitness tracker to monitor your fitness levels see how you are improving.
The Fitbit Charge 4 is a feature-packed mid-range tracker. It has a heart rate monitor, built-in GPS, Spotify control, Fitbit Pay, smartphone notifications and quick replies, Smart Wake and a Sleep Stages & Sleep Score feature. It is also waterproof up to 50M and has a one-week battery life.
Premium When choosing a premium device, it is important to consider which software you use regularly. If you use an Android or Apple smartphone then this may affect your final decision.
The Samsung Galaxy smartwatch is one of the more stylish models on offer. It has the look of a watch rather than a fitness device which is perfect for anyone who plans to use the device instead of a watch. The straps are interchangeable, so you can keep the silicone strap for exercising and have a leather or metal strap for work and going out. The watch can accept and make phone calls, track individual workouts, monitor your stress levels, send push notifications to remind you to move throughout the day and it has an integrated barometer and altimeter. The screen is fully customizable. You can pick your favourite watch face and tweak the widgets, depending on how you want to use your device. The Samsung Galaxy is suitable for Android and iPhone users, but iPhone users may experience reduced functionality. We put the Galaxy smartwatch to the test, check out our test of the Galaxy Smartwatch here.
Versa 2 is suitable for Apple and Android users. It is a water-resistant smartwatch with handy voice control features, some voice features are restricted to android devices so be sure to check this before you purchase if you are an Apple user. The Versa 2 has a large colour screen and has a five-day battery life, which is longer than the Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch. The Versa 2 is slightly cheaper than the Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch but it does have a few fewer bells and whistles in comparison. If you are looking for a fitness tracker with enhanced communication capabilities than this is a good option for you.
The Apple Watch will only be an option for iPhone users, unfortunately. You cannot use this device with an android phone. The Apple Watch Series 5 is a stylish smartwatch which integrates seamlessly with your iPhone. The standout feature of the Apple Watch is its ECG and Noise Level app. The ECG function will check your heartbeat for any irregularities. The noise level app lets you know when your surroundings are getting to a decibel level that could damage your hearing. It even has a built-in compass!