They’re everywhere: your friend has one, your brother, your mom, your next-door neighbor. Everyone seems to be counting their steps or tracking their workouts!
I bought my fitness tracker at the beginning of this year (typical, I know) so my buying considerations are still fresh in my mind.
To walk you through my thought process while choosing a fitness tracker, i’ll tell you about several things I considered. It may be helpful as you browse through different options and think it over! I also linked popular trackers for a few different exercise lifestyles. Skip to a heading that applies to you for quick, targeted info!
If you need to, take these questions and write out your answers to help yourself, especially if you tend to get overwhelmed by having too many choices!
What physical activities do you want to track?
A big factor in my decision was the physical activity that I wanted to track. I like to mix up my routine and do a variety of activities, so I wanted something that would track my lifestyle.
How do you want to track your workouts? What sort of progress do you want to track over time?
With these questions, i’m referring to whether you want a heart rate monitor, manual logging, and/or automatic logging features. Heart rate monitors are becoming more and more common in fitness trackers. I wanted one in order to know how hard i’m working, and to track my cardiovascular fitness progress over time.
What type of smartphone do you have? What apps/trackers are compatible with your OS?
Some trackers work better with Android, and some work better when paired with Apple. There are also various apps that you can pair with a fitness tracker, so take into consideration what kind of apps you like to use.
What is your desired budget?
Pick a number you can afford and stick to it! Also think about the bands or accessories you want or need to buy for your tracker, and include these in your budget if necessary at the time of purchase.
What do the reviews say?
Check out the reviews! Does the tracker malfunction when used with small wrists? Is the distance or step tracker inaccurate? These are details that you can only find out by reading others’ experiences with the tracker, so comb through those reviews for more in-depth knowledge.
How comprehensive is the accompanying app?
Make sure that the app tracks what you want to track, is not too buggy, and has recent updates. Generally, the more popular the fitness tracker, the better the app will be. Look into this to see how yours stacks up against other tracker apps.
What other features & functions do you want?
Some fitness trackers have screens and send notifications. Some allow you to have alarms in the morning. Some track sleep. Decide on a feature set that you want, and prioritize which features are most important to you.
For a running tracker, you’ll want independent GPS tracking that does not require an simultaneous phone app. You also want reliable distance and step tracking for an accurate depiction of your running performance no matter the terrain.
Garmin makes excellent running watches that come fully loaded with the features customized for a runner’s needs: stopwatch, GPS, mile splits, and more. There are various models that have different specs and technology, so feel free to do more research into the different models if this is up your alley. The app is kept updated quite well.
My recommendation for the average runner is the Garmin Forerunner 35. The watch provides data on all the essentials, tracks heart rate for V02 max progress, and also has limited smartwatch functionality.
Cross-training (HIIT, weight training, cardio machines)
You want the ability to track various exercises, with an emphasis on heart rate monitoring. This is important if you do a lot of circuit training (HIIT) since the movements are not as standard as steps, and the best indication of effort will be your heart rate.
I recommend the Fitbit Blaze for this lifestyle. If you spend time in the gym frequently doing a variety of exercises, this is perfect for you. It allows you to pick several common activities through the app, and track the exercise on the watch face as you begin.
Triathletes (cycling, running, swimming)
You need the waterproof functionality, with accurate HR tracking for your bikes and runs. It’s important that you have accurate distance tracking, as well. This is another Garmin recommendation. The company produces sturdy products with high functionality and great features.
For this type of lifestyle, I recommend the Garmin Vivoactive. It’s adept at tracking all three exercises and it’s waterproof! Again, the app is handy and well-equipped to provide the data you care about.
These are my recommendations based on various lifestyles, but make sure to do your own research too! You know your needs & wants better than I do, after all. Hopefully these questions will help guide your decision-making process as you narrow down your options.
Check back for my video review of the Fitbit Blaze, which will come in the next week.
Thank you for stopping by, & have a blessed day!