Not only is it a fantastic form of cardiovascular exercise, but due to the fact that water is much more resistant than air going for a swim is also a great form of resistance training. For this reason, it is a great way to meet your fitness goals including muscle toning, weight loss and general all round fitness.
And, if that wasn’t enough you also get the added benefit that anything you do in the pool or water has minimal impact on your joints so it’s a great way to keep active for people of all ages.
Many people, including myself try to incorporate swimming into their fitness routine. You venture down to your local pool at a time when there are no kids and attempt to get a certain number of lengths in. It’s great fun and I love to do it. The problem is I always lose count of what length I’m on. It can be a bit frustrating.
So I started to wonder if I could find any waterproof fitness trackers that would help me record my swimming pool session which I could also use to measure my progress over time.
Is there a waterproof fitness tracker?
When I first started to look waterproof fitness trackers were something of a rarity and often needed third party companies to add waterproof capabilities to your tracker. Because water and electronics are a notoriously bad combination it has been a slow burn.
However, it seems like manufacturers are putting more and more into research and development and there are significantly more water resistant (nothing is officially waterproof) trackers are coming to the market all the time; Fitbit, Apple, Garmin and Samsung now all offer water resistant fitness trackers.
Using a fitness tracker for swimming
Making a water resistant tracker is one thing but making it so it can track your swim is another. Because it is technically challenging to use accelerometers to accurately identify all the different movements, strokes and techniques which are intrinsic to swimming it has taken a while to catch up with trackers for other activities like running.
Manufacturers have been required to closely examine various swimming styles and swimmers to generate millions of data points which have then been incorporated into the algorithms so that we now have trackers capable of identifying swimming specifics such as stroke types, lengths and flips.
What makes a fitness tracker suitable for swimming?
If you want to use a fitness tracker in the pool you should make sure it has been designated as suitable for swimming by the manufacturer. You also need to check the IP rating which gives an indication of how well the tracker stands up to dust and water. Our recommendation for a swimming tracker is a rating of at least IP68
I stands for Ingress and the P stands for Protection – a 2 digit number which is a measure of how much protection is offered from foreign object like dust (the first number) and water (the second number).
For example an IP68 watch would be seen to be dust tight and protected for complete submersion in the water. Be sure to check out this article if you are curious about IP ratings.
Officially, you are not allowed to say that a watch is waterproof. Instead watches are measured again an international standard ISO 22810:2010 which is used to determine how water resistant a watch is.
To get the rating each manufacturer has to perform a series of tests.
The manufacturer placing the watch in a pressurised chamber for around 10 minutes. Each chamber is pressurised using a measurement know as ATMs; 1 ATM = 10 meter. So if a water resistant fitness tracker can survive at 3 ATM it is said to be water resistant to 30 metres.
However, these tests are a bit like the MPG tests on a car they are performed in near perfect conditions and might not be indicative of real world conditions. A fitness tracker with a rating of 4 ATM and above will be good for swimming in a pool.
How can you use a fitness tracker for swimming?
Setting up drills with rest periods
Some of the more advanced watches like the Garmin Forerunner 735XT allow you to set up the tracker to do intervals. You can set it up simply so that you press a button after so many laps and you will get a pre-defined period of rest. Or, you can set it up to repeat at a fixed time. The idea behind the fixed time is that the faster you swim the more rest you get. For example, if you want to swim 4 x 25 metres every 2:15 it will repeat every 2 minutes 15 seconds. If you manage to do it in 2 minutes you will get 15 seconds rest, 1 minutes 45 you will get 30 minutes rest and so on. The idea being the faster you are the more rest you get.
Tracking your stats and measuring progress
One of the main reasons to get a waterproof fitness tracker is to see how you are doing in meeting your swimming goals and pushing you on to greater and better things. For example you might be asking
Am I any better than last time?
How long can I swim without a break? Has it gone up?
Is my lap time for this stroke in this pool improving?
And of course there are many more that you could come up with tailored specifically to your personal needs.
What can be tracked?
Every watch differs and you will need to decide what mix of functionality you think is best suited.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but it is good to use for comparisons. Most fitness trackers you would use when you go for a swim should include some or all of the following:-
Time / swim duration
Flip / turn time
Stroke type using automatic stroke detection
SWOLF (swim golf)
Continuous swim – how far you can swim without a break. The aim is to improve this measurement as your endurance, technique and stamina get better. A great way to see how you have improved.
SWOLF – short for Swim Golf it is calculated by adding together the number of strokes per length and the time it took to finish the length. So for example, in a 25 metre pool a length that takes 30 strokes in 25 seconds would be a SWOLF of 55 (30 + 25).
The general principle is the lower the score the more efficient you are.Ergo, improvement in SWOLF means you are getting more efficient at the stroke.
The best way to use SWOLF is to compare yourself against your current SWOLF score for different stoke types and track how you are progressing.
Downsides of fitness trackers you can swim with
It is fair to say that making a decent swim ready fitness tracker is not an easy task. Introducing the element of water makes components not work as they do on dry land. For example, touch screens really struggle to interpret whether a drop of water or a touch. The way most manufacturers have got round this is by introducing a screen lock.
Other problems arise if you are keen on measuring your heart rate whilst you are in the water. The current generation of optical heart rate trackers don’t really cope well, which means you will probably need to get a separate heart rate monitor like this one from Moov.
Apps and websites to track your swimming data
As more trackers became capable of tracking swimming it became natural to want to be able to record swims and track progress. Hey, if the runners can have it why can’t the swimmers.
My Swim Pro load the My Swim Pro app on to a compatible tracker and you can load up training plans specific to your needs and monitor your progress against them.
Speedo On – synching with your Garmin, Apple Watch 2, Misfit Shine, Samsung Gear Sport or Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro tracker. The platform allows you to log and analyse swims, communicate with fellow swimmers and set-up and follow training plans
Getting the correct size of tracker for your wrist is important. You want the tracker to fit so that if it measures accurately and features like an optical heart rate monitor work effectively. Equally, you don’t want it so loose that you are in danger of it falling off or getting lost. In this post we hope to help you get the right size for you.
In general, you want the fitness tracker to sit flat on your wrist. Most manufacturers provide a sizing guide or you can use a piece of string to measure your wrist and buy the appropriate one for your wrist size. There’s a photo above showing what a good fit should look like. Of course, some people like to wear watches and bands a little looser. It’s a personal choice.
Getting the correct tracker for your wrist size
Where to wear
If you want the tracker to measure your sleep the chances are that you will be wearing it all the time. As such it is really important to get a comfortable fit. In general, you want to wear your fitness tracker as you would a normal watch, which means it needs to be worn around 1-3 finger widths from your wrist bone and lay flat.
What size do I need
The key to getting the best fit is wrist size. Below we have listed average wrist sizes at various ages to give you a guide.
Average wrist size (inches)
Average wrist size (cm)
18 months old
> 5 < 7 years old
> 9 < 12 years old
6.5 – 7
16.5 – 18
> 13 < 19 years old
7 – 7.5
18 – 19
> 19 years old
Of course these are just averages. Numerous factors can mean these are way off and it makes much more sense to measure your own wrist.
There are 2 sensible ways in which this can be done
1) Manufacturer sizing guide
If you have in mind the manufacturer of your fitness tracker they sometimes provide a handy sizing tool. You then use these to measure your wrist and identify what size from that manufacturer you need. We have linked to some of the more common ones in a table below
2) Measure your own wrist
There are 2 ways you can do this. Get an old fashioned tape measure and wrap it around your wrist or get a piece of string / shoelace and wrap it around your wrist then measure it with a ruler. Ideally, you need to measure the wrist on your non-dominant hand.
So if you’re left handed your right wrist and vice-versa. You want to make sure that it is secure and not too tight so it can get the best readings when you exercise. Also if you are on the boundary of two sizes always get the better one. It will be easier to adjust a larger one to make it smaller. Not so much the other way round.
Once you have your wrist size it should translate to a size in the tracker of your choice. Different trackers can have different sizes. As such you need to make sure you check the manufacturer’s websites. However, for illustrative purposes we have included some examples.
Although not as important as the size of the band the size of the actual tracking unit should come into consideration also. Make sure that you get one that you are
comfortable with. Some of the more modern smartwatches and trackers come with all sorts of tech wizardry like GPS and contactless payments. This can all add to the size of the unit itself so be sure to take it into consideration when you are considering what size to buy
Some but not all fitness trackers have replaceable straps. These are great if you’re not sure or you have lost or gained a bit of weight. Simply order a replacement band or band extender to meet your needs and you’re good to go
If you’re the kind who doesn’t like to wear things on your wrist maybe size won’t be an issue. There are other fitness trackers such as the Fitbit Zip, Misfit Ray and which can be worn on your body or inside special jewelery
The size of your fitness tracker you need is dependent on a number of factors. You need to take into consideration the circumference of your wrist, the manufacturers recommended sizing and whether your wrist is likely to be losing or gaining inches over the time you have the tracker.
Once you have all that information you can look at trackers that you like, that match your size and needs. The only thing we would recommend is that if you are on the cusp of 2 size brackets always go for the larger size.
As well, don’t forget that if you go for a tracker with interchangeable straps you could potentially mix and match the bands to get your own custom size.
If after all that you are still unsure don’t forget that many local stores have Fitbits for sale and you can go and try one on for fit.
The Versa is one of Fitbit’s main competitors to the Apple Watch in the smart activity tracker market. If you only look at it quickly you would be forgiven for mistaking the Versa for an Apple Watch. The question is are the good looks also matched with the same levels of functionality. There’s only one way to find out as we do a review of the Fitbit Versa.
What’s in the box
As you would expect from a major brand trying to compete with Apple the packaging is well done. Your Fitbit Versa comes with
The tracker unit (dimension and weight here)
2 x bands (1 large and 1 small)
1 x USB charging cradle
Quick start guide
Setting it up
As ever with electronics as soon as I’d taken the Versa out of the box I wanted to put it on my wrist and get it up and running straight away. Not so fast! The model that came to me was equipped with the small band. Way to small for me, I needed to change it to the provided larger band.
Size of bands
The bands that are in the box are typical of many activity trackers in that they are made of a flexible elastomer material which should survive the stresses and rigours of your workouts. The 2 provided bands are:
Small will fit a wrist between 5.5 – 7.1 inches (140 – 180 mm) in circumference
Large will fit a wrist between 7.1 – 8.7 inches (180 – 220 mm) in circumference
Changing the band took was more difficult than I expected
If like in my case you need to change the strap it is in theory quite simple but not being the most dexterous person in the world I struggled.
At the top and bottom edge of the tracker there is a metal pin which secures the strap in place and also releases it. It took me a good few minutes of messing around to work out how to do what I wanted which was quite frustrating. On the positive side when I had swapped it and since the strap has felt very secure with no signs it will fall off
If you haven’t owned a Fitbit device before you will have to download the Fitbit app to your mobile or tablet. From there you begin the setup which in my view seemed to take a long time. The initial set-up will ask you to enter quite a bit of detail including age, sex, height and weight. This detail is important as it allows your app and tracker to be personalised to you. For example, by choosing Female you would open the Female Health tracking features. Entering the correct height and weight will allow the software in the app and device to calculate the correct stride length and calorie burn for someone of your stature. This in turn will help with the accuracy of your Versa.
At the end of all this set-up you will have a Fitbit account providing you access to their ecosystem where you can join challenges and share achievement and a Fitbit dashboard tied to your device. The dashboard is where you can view all your daily stats like resting heart rate, sleep, weight etc.
In my typical use the battery life is around 4 days. For the level of features it has the battery life is pretty good and definitely an area where it excels over the Apple Watch product line.
Having a long battery life makes it much more useful as a tracker. The Versa is also quite well versed in giving you details about how much battery life you have left. You will be notified of low battery life via notifications in the app, an e-mail and also a message on the device itself. And if that isn’t enough you can also check on the device itself by swiping up from the clock screen. This displays a small battery icon in the top left with an indication of how much juice is left. The display and the tracker make changes accordingly as battery life goes down:-
Red battery icon less than 24 hours battery remaining
Flashing red battery icon less than 4 hours remaining
Battery < 25% charge wifi is disabled
Charging itself is quite simple as you simply place the device into the provided USB cradle. Typically, you can go from low charge to a high percentage quite quickly so it is a pretty straightforward process. One of the main frustrations I have with the charging is that you have to use the proprietary cradle and there have been occasions when it wasn’t with me and wished I could have charged with a standard USB cable.
The main screen is an LCD touch screen which most commonly can display a clock face which can be changed from within the app. When it is not in use the touch screen turns off to preserve battery life and it requires a flick of the wrist to reactivate it. I’ve found that flick of the wrist doesn’t always work and requires some vigour to get it response. Your mileage may vary but I have ended up pressing the screen more often than not.
As with most touch screens you navigate around the options by pressing and swiping. From the clock face screen swiping to the left will show you which apps you have installed either default or ones that you have added and it is possible to reorder them. Swiping up from the bottom brings up your stats for the day after a little delay. These are the stats that are continuously being monitored such as calories burned, steps taken, distance covered and heart rate and your 3 most recently tracked exercises. Within each of the tiles that are displayed you can see some little dots which you can swipe through to see even more details about that particular stat. This works quite well considering the amount of options available to you, although it can be a challenge to remember what is where.
There are 2 button to the right of the tracker and 1 to the left for navigating through the various options. You can configure what these buttons do within the app so that for example pressing the right button will open the exercise app. Long pressing the left hand button will give you access to settings and music controls.
You have the ability to set up to 8 different silent alarms with the option to choose it to go off every day or on specific days. This can be quite useful if you get up earlier on a specific day which is how I use it when I go to the gym. Each one of the silent alarms vibrates gently at the time specified. I find it extremely useful and it helps me not wake up my partner but I am not convinced that the vibrations would wake up any deep sleepers. The other thing of note is that on my device the touch screen is slow to respond when the alarm is going off – maybe that is a deliberate choice. Of course you also have the option to snooze which you can do by pressing the zzz button or if you ignore the alarm for one minute. Either of those actions will put the alarm into snooze for 9 minutes.
Stopwatches and timers
The Versa is equipped with both a stopwatch and a timer accessed on the device and they can be used at the same time as each other
One of the main reasons to buy a fitness tracker it is to monitor how much activity you are doing. In this regard the Versa is well equipped and has numerous different functions which are going to delve into a bit more.
First things first, the tracker unit has the capability to store 7 days of tracking stats onboard the device between syncs, although Fitbit do recommend you sync at least once a day. These stats will include things such as steps, calories, distance, sleep stages and all the other exercise data that has been collected.
Out of the box your Versa is set-up to check when you are inactive and ask you to move every hour. If you haven’t do 250 steps in an hour it will remind you at ten to the hour to get a wiggle on. If you do meet the target you will get a celebratory message on the device. Personally, I’ve not found this functionality this useful, it’s not practical for my work and it has also continues to be displayed after I’d already done 25000 steps in day. That being said I can see how it would be useful but not for me. Thankfully, it can be turned off in the settings.
To get the most out of the heart rate monitoring be sure to wear the tracker in the place recommended by the manual. The Versa comes equipped with a continuous optical heart rate monitor and Fitbit’s PurePulse technology. This gives you the ability to view your heart rate on your watch in real time. However, if you so wish you can turn if off by going into the settings.
The heart rate metric is available in 2 places:-
In your today stats – swiping up from the clock screen will give your stats which include your current heart rate and also your resting heart rat
When working out – a heart symbol will be shown with different colours for different zones so you can easily view that you are working out at the correct intensity.
All of these metrics are available to view in the Fitbit dashboard where you can further analyze time spent in different zones for each of your days / exercises. By default it uses the American Heart Rate Association recommendations of 220 – current age to get a theoretical maximum heart rate (MHR). Percentages of MHR are then used to identify zones Out of Zone ( <50% of MHR), Fat Burn (>50 & <69% MHR), Cardio (>70 <84% MHR) and Peak (>84% MHR). To train for something specific you are also able to set custom zones in which case the heart icon will display as solid whilst you are in the zone and as an outline when you are not.
Cardio Fitness Score
Fitbit have taken the heart rate monitoring one step further with a metric known as Cardio Fitness Score which gives you the ability to track a metric known as VO2 and also compare your heart rate to your peer group.
Many fitness tracker can measure how you sleep and the Versa is no exception. In fact, I would say that overall I have been quite impressed by its sleep tracking capabilities. It is never going to reach the heights of a full on sleep study but I feel that it is broadly representative of how much sleep I feel I have had. My main frustration is that anything to do with sleep is not available on the tracker and you have to go into the app.
To use sleep tracking you have to wear your Versa in be whilst you sleep. If you do so, the Versa will track your time asleep and decipher how much time was spent in each stage of sleep. As the data accumulates you can go into the app and look in more detail as well as set things like reminders to go to bed at a certain time and send you sleep hints. By default the recommended sleep is 8 hours and you can check how well you are doing over periods of 1 month, 3 months and 1 year.
If during the course of your day you do any continuous movements of at least 15 minutes the SmartTrack feature will kick in and give you credit for exercise in the Fitbit app. Whilst this is useful, I have found it best to go into the exercise app on the device and start and stop what you are doing manually, The Exercise apps allows you to choose from the following:-
Run – for the best results you can use connected GPS from your phone as the Versa does not have an integrated GPS
The Versa gives you the option to receive notifications on your device when you receive a call, text, calendar event or what’s app message. The support varies between ios and android devices so you will need to check what is possible. When I have been using it on my Huawei phone I have found it to be a little inconsistent. When it works well, its great but when it doesn’t it can be frustrating.
In terms of music the Versa offers a few different options. You can:-
Download music / podcasts to the device itself using the Fitbit desktop app. Their is capacity for around 300 songs
Stream music from services like Deezer (you get 3 months free trial from Fitbit)
Remote control the music on your phone via bluetooth
Regardless of which method you choose you will also need a set of bluetooth headphones as you the device does not have a speaker or headphone jack.
Whilst not as fully featured as an Apple Watch the Versa uses Fitbit’s expertise to concentrate much more on fitness tracking aspects. It does have some smart watch functionalities such as onboard music and notifications but I don’t think these have quite reached maturity just yet. That being said I think some of these will be ironed out with firmware updates. Overall. if you are on the lookout for an affordable fitness tracker with smart watch capabilities and you can live with a few niggles the Versa is definitely worth serious consideration.
Fitness and activity trackers are available to monitor the biometric feedback from just about every area of the body while performing almost any activity imaginable. Look hard enough and you’ll find an app or tracker which will analyze the data of your favorite sport or activity and supply detailed reports on how your health is affected.
A fitness tracker in combination with a strong set of goals and a clear exercise plan and diet is one of the most reliable ways to guarantee total wellness and weight loss for those who need it. Once you have the information needed to fine tune your workouts and nutrition you’ll soon see a rapid rise in your health.
A wealth of data is always welcomed but the sheer number of choices at your disposal when picking a fitness tracker can be overwhelming. Here we’ll be taking you through a complete look at how to pick a fitness tracker best suited to your needs, lifestyle and budget.
The Different Types of Fitness Trackers
Fitness trackers come in countless forms. A good tracker will be lightweight but durable while delivering performance and health information on the areas which you need. Certain trackers are better suited to specific purposes but you can find fitness technology wearable across the entire body. Here’s a look at the most common types of fitness trackers can expect to find.
Fitness tracking wrist bands deliver everything from basic pedometer step-counting and calorie-burning information, to detailed metrics on the motions performed by your body during exercise, reaching all the way to breathing patterns, rep counting for boxing and other contact sports, and activity monitoring for almost any general workout.
Shop around and you’ll find a wrist band to match the function that you need and your budget. Leading wrist band fitness trackers will have heart rate monitors, multi-sport modes, coaching and guidance, and personalized adaptive training.
Ankle band fitness trackers are less common than wrist bands but are also less expensive and more purpose-driven. Trackers such as FlyFit are designed for your ankle and deliver information concerning your leg movements more accurately than other trackers. Ankle bands may be the best option for you if you are a runner or cyclist. If you have noticed any irregularities with your existing tracker keeping record of your movements due to issues such as handlebar grip strength then look for an ankle band instead.
As the most popular but typically more costly option, fitness tracking smart watches give you the best of both worlds. With features to rival a phone and designs which can withstand the most taxing outdoor adventure, smart watches can exhibit fitness tracking features which equal that of devoted trackers.
Leading smart watches such as the Garmin Vivoactiv 3 incorporate robust activity tracking, GPS and GLONASS, and heart rate monitoring with sports apps. With advanced reporting such as this available fitness tracking wearables are ever-increasing in popularity and should always remain a consideration.
Devices such as the Motiv ring have revolutionized the fitness tracker wearable space. Smart rings such as this now incorporate fully featured fitness trackers which rival bands and watches. You can currently find smart rings which are waterproof and ready to monitor the activities of a range of sports.
Rings such as the Motiv have a built-in optical heart rate sensor, sleep tracking, and full connectivity with smartphones. If you must have wearable tech on the cutting edge, consider getting a fitness smart ring. It’ll set you back quite a bit, but its features will surprise you.
Clip-on wearable fitness trackers are quickly gaining in popularity. Discreet fitness tracking solutions such as the Bellabeat Leaf Urban track vitals just as well as any fitness tracking strap while devices such as the Nokia Go even feature automatic detection of workouts and a visual display of your goal progress.
Certain clip-on fitness trackers deliver a higher accuracy of tracking for specific workouts and activities such as sprinting, jogging, cycling, boxing and rowing. With fitness tracking jewelry on the rise, keep your eye on clip-on trackers. You may find one perfect for your lifestyle.
What to Look for in a Fitness Tracker
Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of all of the features which you can expect to find integrated into your prospective fitness tracker. Always careful compare features between various models to find the best tracker for you while keeping these key points in mind.
Here’s a look at the various sensors commonly found integrated into leading fitness trackers and smartwatches with fitness tracking features. Always ensure that your tracker has the right range of sensors to help you stay on top of your fitness area of focus.
The accelerometer is the most basic sensor which is found in all fitness trackers. It tracks your distance traveled in any given direction. Most modern accelerometers are 3-axis accelerometers, the industry standard. A good accelerometer will track your motion in any direction all of the time, tracing whether you are stationary, walking or running and the speed at which you are moving. These sensors also track the orientation of your body, its tilt and inclination as well as inertia.
Another common feature to most fitness trackers is a 3-axis gyroscope. A gyroscope measures angular velocity along three orthogonal axes. It is used by numerous reporting facilities and is a highly accurate means of orientating. The gyroscope improves the performance of exercise tracking features in conjunction with the accelerometer.
An altimeter is a sensor which detects and tracks changes in height. Fluctuations in atmospheric pressure are detected which allows your fitness tracker to monitor information such as final step count, flights of stairs ascended, and it helps your calorie output’s accuracy.
Ambient Light Sensor
The ambient light sensor of a fitness tracker detects the time of day by converting light to a digital signal then sending the metrics through the sensor’s processor. Most devices with this technology present auto-adjust the brightness of the fitness tracker’s backlight relative to the surrounding light level in order to improve both ease-of-use and overall energy consumption.
Heart Rate Monitor
There are many different types of heart rate monitors available as a part of various fitness trackers. Many units require an additional chest strap however this is less than optimal. Dedicated heart rate trackers are often sold removing the need for anything other than a small, lightweight strap, whilst most leading sports trackers and feature-packed fitness monitors all have accurate heart rate monitoring technology built in. This is a feature which is conventionally essential to athletes, fitness fans and those looking to lose weight as it allows you to accurately track your performance, endurance and the intensity of any given workout.
A bio-impedance sensor measures the resistance of electrical tissue with organic tissue which in turn translates to valuable information concerning a range of physiological signals. Fitness trackers using impedance sensors typically use them to track heart rate, sleep cycles, respiration, hydration and even skin galvanization. You’ll also find these sensors in smart scales.
A built-in GPS is a huge advantage to a fitness tracker allowing you leave your phone at home and still track important distance and route data. You should however keep in mind that devices featuring a GPS or GLONASS typically have lower battery life so consider keeping a power bank or similar charging solution handy for those times when you’ll be pushing its limits.
Aspects of design listed below will at times come down to personal preference however always take the time to determine which functions your tracker has to have, sorting according to priority and budget. Here’s what to look for.
A large screen size may not always translate to a clear readout. Keep a keen eye on the resolution and amplified brightness. Industry standards set the resolution of most fitness tracker touch-LCDs at 300 x 300, while the higher the amplified brightness the better allowing for crystal-clear readouts in any lighting conditions or underwater when reaching 1,000 nits such as is seen on the Fitbit Versa.
Not all trackers come with a screen. Smaller, more limited devices such as are common to tracking individual fitness activities such as running and cycling at times sacrifice a display complete in favor of a series of activity lights. If this is the case, familiarize yourself with how your tracker gives readout before buying one rather than becoming frustrated after you’re stuck with it.
You also want to determine whether you want a tracker with a screen that stays on permanently as opposed to one which senses your motion and switches on. The latter comes at a higher cost but the improvement to battery life is immense.
One of the downsides to most large-sized displays, especially on smartwatches with fitness tracking features, is the gaudiness and difficulty matching some designs to popular attire. It doesn’t help that your tracker does everything but it’s hard to wear, standing as a huge attentional-drawing gadget on your arm.
A good fitness tracker needs to be rugged enough to withstand the knocks and shakes of high-paced outdoor sport and the onslaught of the elements when hiking while remaining sleek and stylish enough to track your vitals on a day-to-day basis. As a device which will most likely be worn 24/7, you want your fitness tracker to be extremely lightweight and open to customizations.
The best smartwatches and fitness trackers available with come with tons of strap choices, face options and ways to personalize their look.
Ease of Use
While the most compact fitness trackers will feature only buttons, a capacitive touch screen does add an immense amount of practical value to any tracker. Touch screen functionality makes it easy to operate and configure the device however this does not mean that fitness trackers without such features should not be considered.
Trackers such as the Moov Now band has a long-lasting battery and tracking which can identify to such detail that it knows what type of punch you are throwing. Regardless of the feature set, make certain that your fitness tracker is logical and intuitively designed. Any buttons present should never pose an obstruction in any way while motion and activity sensors should always work responsively.
Always compare the battery life of your fitness tracker to other competing devices in its range. At times you will be shocked at the difference in performance. For example, the Fitbit Versa far outperforms the powerful Apple Watch 3 in terms of battery life giving an impressive four days on average in constant use, far outperforming Apple’s one to two days maximum.
Dedicated lightweight fitness trackers also have vastly different battery performances ranging from weeks to months. Every good fitness tracker will have its batteries easily available from all reputable retailers at a low cost, while some trackers even come with rechargeable solutions.
Single-purpose trackers often forego all on-device visible reporting features such as lights and screens in favor of data-only storage which is then retrievable via a smartphone or computer. If you don’t want on-the-move info at your hands then this is the optimal choice for you as these devices boast batteries that last for many months, at times years.
Storage only becomes a factor if you plan to load your wearable tech with custom applications and music. Many fitness trackers forego any sizeable amount of storage space in favor of battery life, instead interfacing with your mobile phone to provide music listening and voice command functionality. However, for those who have to have their music preloaded on the tracker itself, be on the lookout for devices giving at least 4GB of storage.
Any less, and you are limited to less than 300 songs on average, which is far less than most playlist collections take up. As it is, most fitness trackers only allow you a limited percentage of your total storage space for apps and files. Be sure to check this If you buy a fitness tracker which has a dedicated GPS; then you need to make sure that your device has the capability to handle a range of custom maps, markers and waypoint information.
Your fitness tracker should always be able to interface with your smartphone via Bluetooth at least. While not all trackers come with Wi-Fi, it does make connectivity to an existing network for syncing metrics much easier. Only the highest-end fitness trackers will feature an NFC chipset although given the limited amount of current applications it is only select users who will need such functionality. The most important aspect of connectivity is your device’s sync accuracy.
Fitness trackers are notorious for having issues with cross-platform synchronization. When such problems do occur, they are typically patched via software updates for the fitness tracker itself. Before buying any device, make sure that you know of any potential issues and the steps that may need to take to overcome any latent bugs.
Depending on the exact purpose of your individual fitness tracker, a waterproof rating will range from your tracker being tough enough to withstand the rain and being submerged briefly in water to resistance all the way to 90 feet for water-purposed devices. If you plan to use your fitness tracker to measure and record your performance while swimming, boating or any other activity where you will be under the water for prolonged periods, then make sure that your device has a high accuracy.
At times, sensor accuracy drops drastically as soon as certain fitness trackers are submerged even though they report accurate tracking of swimming data. Always do your research to ensure that your tracking features work properly underwater.
Most good fitness trackers will be capable of connecting to your mobile phone via Bluetooth. At the least, you should look for the ability to make and receive calls while possibly interacting with a voice assistant such as Siri. AI-driven voice assistants vastly expand the capabilities of your search-driven data and should always be considered.
Be on the lookout for audible alerts at goals and audio notifications for heart rates and other reporting features. The very best fitness trackers will offer coaching as either a stand-alone feature or assisted by your mobile phone. The side-by-side app for Fitbit devices is a great example of how mobile connectivity can expand the potential uses of your fitness tracker. Keep a close eye on what platforms are supported. In the case of Google Fit, mobile connectivity becomes essential and a great asset to the range of apps available.
Workout Auto Detection
Every good fitness tracker should feature automatic workout detection which begins to record the appropriate data to the appropriate application or reporting function of the device. Always compare the metrics provided by any given workout capturing feature of your prospective fitness tracker to other comparative devices. At times there are vast differences in accuracy while more reputable devices have found ways to supply more in-depth statistics regarding data captured. Instead of reporting basic metric only, data concerning every individual aspect of your sporting or exercise routine should be reported.
Sport tracking features should be one of your prime considerations prior to buying a fitness tracker, especially if you are an avid athlete. While a device may not always come preloaded with all of the sports-tracking functions which it can perform, you should make sure that your prospective fitness tracker has an app available to provide detailed reporting.
Always double check which activities a fitness tracker is suited to being used for. You don’t want to find your tracker damaged or malfunctioning during climbing, camping, hiking or adventure sports. A lightweight affordable tracking solution may carry all of the functions that you need but it won’t be able to sustain the knocks and weather most hiking watches are typically put through.
Similarly, if you are cycling, skating, running or performing any other activity where speed and agility are imperative then you need a fitness tracker which is feather-light and packed with metrics. Always buy according to what you’ll be using your tracker for. The best sports watches with fitness-tracking features have the ability to track over 80 different exercises.
As an addition of most high-end fitness trackers, coaching features are either loved or hated. Nonetheless, they are a prime factor of consideration for anyone that likes a bit of extra motivation. AI-enabled coaching assistants can use the information obtained by your fitness tracker to intelligently suggest adjustments to your training routine and diet while keeping you motivated with inspirational prompts.
Most devices featuring training assistants give advice towards goals but if you want the leading edge of this technology, buy a fitness tracker with a real-time audio voice assistant. The inter-personal coaching is far preferable to basic prompts on your device or phone. Most devices have a dedicated companion application for coaching; for example, the Suunto 3 Fitness features Adaptive Training Guidance which creates and adapts a seven-day training program from your individual data, changing it optimally if you skip days or make changes to your workout.
With advanced coaching for every discipline available, it is best to shop carefully for a new device.
Never underestimate the insights revealed by sleep reporting. Actigraphy, or sleep tracking, is provided by a range of fitness trackers. Fitbit and Jawbone fitness trackers are renowned for their actigraph components and the metrics obtained. Sleep deprivation has an effect on every last process of the body. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your metabolism is not working properly leading to fewer calories burned and less of an overall gain from your nutrition and exercise. Pay close attention to the data provided in your sleep cycles and adjust your workout, diet, habits and sleeping hours until you have reached a restful sleep state consistently. The rewards are far reaching.
The greatest selection of downloadable apps is found on the Apple store making their watches the clear winner in the app variety category; however, this does not necessarily mean a better user experience. Outstanding examples of superior app design include the range of tools provided with the Fitbit Versa and the great layout and functionality of Garmin’s Vivofit and Vivosport’s built-in apps.
Ultimately, you want a range of software which gives reporting and information in a clear, concise manner. When possible, try to see the device in operation first-hand or via video so that you can better gauge what each app provides. At times the built-in apps and limited operating systems such as Fitbit OS have apps which outperform any available on public app stores.
Given the highly competitive state of today’s fitness market you can find trackers with a plethora of handy functions and tools, from fitness tests to on-screen exercises, sporting tips, breath coaching, social alerts and communication, metric sharing and group goals, comparative heart health info, and real-time weather with forecasts.
Choosing the Perfect Fitness Tracker
Now that you have a complete overview of the features which you can expect to find, here’s a look at what questions you should ask yourself to ensure that you buy a fitness tracker which is best suited to your needs.
What is Your Budget?
Your budget largely determines the feature-set which you can expect. This being said, only dedicated fitness fans normally find themselves spending over $100 dollars on a tracker alone. Given the recent addition of highly affordable stylish wearable technology such as the Versa, Vivofit and Misfit Shine, one could always extend the budget closer to $200 to reward oneself with a fitness tracker which not only looks great but is packed with features too.
What Will You Be Using Your Fitness Tracker for?
Just because the fitness tracker which you have in mind lists your specific sport or activity this does mean that it specifically provides tracking for it. Always compare the accuracy and intricacy of any specific activity tracking which you plan to use. A simple fitness band for running may be enough for casual joggers but sprinters or other track athletes may prefer more dedicated hardware such as an ankle band or clip-on delivering more detailed results.
Is Your Fitness Tracker for Yourself or a Child?
If you need a fitness tracker for a child, then it is generally far better to buy one which is specifically designed for children. There are many fantastic choices out there such as the Fitbit Ace and Garmin’s outstanding Vivofit Jr.
Delivered in a range of Disney-branded designs and packed with features, these waterproof fitness trackers encourage kids to stay active through fun facts and interactive goal setting. For even younger children, a Leapband is a great choice doubling as a game and activity tracker. Regardless of your preference for education or your child’s age and interests, there is a fitness tracker perfect for them which will not only record their vitals but motivate a well-rounded lifestyle.
Do You Need a Screen?
Unless you want direct access to the real-time reporting of a heart monitor or the breathing assistance of a well-rounded fitness coach, you don’t necessarily need a screen. A screen adds to the size and weight of your tracker while also considerably increasing its cost. Fitness trackers featuring large screens are jam-packed with sensors and come in at around the cost of your average hybrid smartwatch.
There are many great fitness bands available which store biometric data for your viewing via an app on your phone or computer. This form of reporting is far more cost effective and preferable to devices with a screen unless you have the budget or a professional need for the fitness technology.
Smartwatch or Fitness Tracker?
A smartwatch is the first choice which comes to mind for most but unless you have the budget to buy a hybrid smartwatch towards the higher of the scale your fitness features will be lacking. The best smartwatches do of course rival dedicated fitness trackers, but you can expect to pay $250 or more per device.
Fitness trackers are purpose-driven and often much better suited to tracking the data from sporting activities and caloric information than the majority of smart watches. Given the vast selection of fitness trackers available it is highly recommended that you consider a tracker first.
Wearable technology is packed with ways to help you lose weight and stay fit. When you use a fitness tracker or smartwatch in combination with a solid plan backed by a set of actionable goals the dramatic improvement to your health and drop in weight can be astonishing. Cutting-edge fitness trackers divulge valuable information on every aspect of your body and well-being but without intelligently using these insights we miss out on many of the latent benefits.
A fitness tracker and the info it supplies alone are of very little help. But approach any weight loss challenge armed with the advice, guidelines and key considerations we will be listing for you here and you’re guaranteed results. Here’s a concise but comprehensive overview of how to use a fitness tracker to lose weight and achieve your goals.
How a Fitness Tracker Can Help You Lose Weight
Your fitness tracker can help you lose weight in countless ways. It’s up to you to take the first step and start using the full feature set of your chosen tracker. The built-in apps, exercise programs, reporting and metrics are all invaluable to a well-planned weight-loss strategy. However, by themselves they offer very little value. Here we look at how you can use your fitness tracker’s features to support and strengthen your weight loss efforts.
Detailed Calorie Counting
Almost every diet centered around weight loss will bring your daily calorie intake under scrutiny. Gone are the days of notes, paper and charts. Good fitness trackers featuring a calorie counter which can calculate your lean body mass will be the most accurate of them all. This is due to how lean body mass is the main determiner of your basal metabolic rate which is directly relative to the number of calories burned while doing absolutely nothing. Your fitness tracker will most likely support more than one calorie-counting app. Be sure to check our upcoming wrap-up of the best calorie counting apps for your fitness tracker.
Every tracker will use a different calculation to determine the rate at which you are burning calories. Always check that the method used is one that makes sense to you. Not all fitness trackers divulge how they track calories burned yet exhibit results deemed highly accurate by the community. One had need just look at the Nike FuelBand which is loved by users for such an example, yet not all devices can be trusted. Always get an overview of the accuracy of your fitness tracker before committing to a purchase.
Custom Cardio Workouts
Fitness trackers featuring heart rate monitors come at a slightly higher cost than run-of-the-mill fitness bands but the information which they supply can help you develop a workout which is not only optimal for weight loss but your heart as well. Most cardio-sensing fitness watches emit an audible tone notifying you of fixed points within your heart rate elevation. The very best fitness trackers even have voice coaching taking full advantage of the detected BPM of your heart rate and its fluctuations. By accurately monitoring your heart rate during exercise you can determine when you are in the ever-sought-after fat burning zone, fine tuning your training regime from therein out. To figure out what the perfect heart rate is for you to burn calories as in individual simply follow this easy calculation:
Finding Your Fat Burning Zone
Determine your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220 (E.g. 220 – 40 =180)
70% of the value obtained is your target heart rate (∴ 180 ÷ 100 X 70 = 126 BPM target rate for a 40-year-old)
Most experts suggest that you exercise at 70% of your maximum heart rate with fluctuations up to 85% of your maximum still classified as safe rigorous exercise. Sticking to a 70 percent average will give you the stamina that you need to sustain your workout long enough to burn a good number of calories.
Coaching and Guidance
Fans of fitness trackers will mostly agree that the coaching and guidance features of most good trackers are an immense asset to their weight loss. Coaching and guidance scales all the way from alternating LEDs indicating performance patterns on basic devices to voice assistants adjusting and reporting performance information audibly.
Always see if you can find a coaching app for your physical activity of choice. There are assistants available for almost all fitness trackers from Fitbit monitors to smart rings and watches. Take advantage of the personalized training assistance as most apps factor in your daily activity as well as sporting metrics, whilst compensating for any irregularities in your exercise by adjusting your program on the fly.
Even if your biometric data is limited to the info pulled by your iPhone, there are personal coaches which can help hone your form and support weight loss. Lumo Run is a great coach requiring a sensor which clips onto your shorts, while the Moov Now may be dated but remains a tracker with one of the most comprehensive coaching programs around.
If your fitness tracker does not feature a personal coach, consider downloading a coaching app for your phone. Regardless of whether you’re on Android or Apple, there are some fantastic coaching apps available which you can use in combination with the metrics obtained by your device to fine-tune your training and optimize your weight loss strategy.
Comparative Statistics and Competitive Motivation
Never underestimate the power of motivation and community in weight-loss. Studies show that more than half the people who buy a fitness tracker abandon it completely eventually, while about a third of all people quit using it within just six months. What this indicates is that we need to purposefully use our trackers. The more features we can take advantage of to keep us hooked on using the device the more likely that we’ll fall into a regular pattern of use regardless of our individual habits.
We all know how motivating competition can be and when it comes to metric sharing, all info can be shared anonymously, or selectively with a small group of friends. The data benefits you directly adding to the value of coaching assistants and customized workout programs provided. The same apps and features will keep you on target throughout the day as you keep your profile in check, akin to a social media update. Those who dislike interaction can reap the rewards of detailed charting and comparisons, while those who are used to frequent status updates can now bolster their own inner-motivation through a sense of community.
For example, if one looks at the Misfit Shine’s total tracking and journaling feature which provides a collective picture of your health including a daily photo food journey with links to your diet and exercise, we can soon see how sharing data can motivate weight loss.
The journey is made interactive with milestones and goal-sharing being transformed into an activity which inspires the next action along your weight-loss challenge. Google Fit compatible apps and services are another prime example of metric sharing for motivation at its best.
Many Google Fit apps use the data obtained from the community to customize your workout and provide guidance, while the community-based nature delivers a place for people to share their experience regardless of which physical activity they prefer. You have apps for everything from running to yoga, making a Google Fit watch or other device a great choice for many.
Best Apps to Use with Your Fitness Tracker
There is no better way to jumpstart your weight loss than through changing the entire focus of your lifestyle towards healthy living. Mobile apps allow us a fantastic opportunity to integrate our fitness tracking data into every aspect of our daily lives. Social interaction adds motivation to our weight loss journey while many of the apps out there are actually more accurate than the standard software provided by many fitness trackers.
The more attention you devote to your fitness and weight loss the more you will be able to take full advantage of your diet and lifestyle change, truly using the full feature-set of your fitness tracker. Here’s a look at the best fitness-tracking apps for your mobile, adding the extra oomph to your weight loss.
Runtastic Running and Distance Fitness Tracker
With voice feedback, live tracking of walking, jogging and running with calorie goals, heart rate zone training and motivational prompts, Runtastic Running and Distance Fitness Tracker is one of the best all-round fitness apps for Android. Runtastic lets you map your workout in real time while managing a personal workout diary with charts for altitude, pace, speed and heart rate information.
You can add treadmill, spinning and weight lifting workouts manually while this great app lets you share your sporting activities to Google+, Facebook and Twitter. One of the best features of Runtastic is that it works on almost any device, Blackberry phones included.
Google Fit Fitness Tracking
Google Fit is compatible with all Android devices and receives data from a massive range of compatible fitness trackers. The way that Google Fit uses sensor data is nothing short of ingenious. It gives you accurate metrics on steps taken, calories burned, and distance covered while also giving a host of reports supplying a complete picture of your health and fitness. This easy-to-use app lets you track over 120 different activities estimating the calories burned by doing those exercises and taking into consideration your personal data.
As a social fitness tracker, Google Fit excels allowing you to share your statistics with numerous online communities focused on every area of fitness tracking and weight loss.
Nike Training Club Workouts and Fitness Plans
The Nike+ Training Club app is one of the most comprehensive mobile fitness solutions out there. It gives you expert guidance across over 100 workouts while accepting custom inputs as well. Many of the workouts provided by Nike+ have been designed by renowned athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Roger Federer and Serena Williams.
You input what equipment you have and how long you have to work out and Nike’s app works out the perfect fitness plan for you, giving you video exercises to complete on a daily basis. Training plans are devised according to goals and classified into strength, endurance and mobility. They usually span a couple of weeks. Nike’s results are known to be outstanding both in terms of the accuracy of their devices and the efficacy of their workout programs.
Even without a dedicated wearable fitness tracker, Apple Health pulls a huge amount of information using the sensors of your iPhone alone. Using your phone’s motion sensors and GPS, Apple Health will tell you how many miles you’ve walked, how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, the steps you’ve counted, and all the calories burned to a high degree of accuracy. Apple Health uses the HealthKit API to harvest metrics from a range of other devices and apps featuring some of the best cross-platform synchronization of data ever seen. Apple Health breaks down your data into activity, mindfulness, nutrition and sleep. It is one of the most comprehensive total health trackers available and an essential part of any iPhone owner’s fitness and weight-loss. If you aren’t already, start using it and take advantage of the full feature set it provides.
MyFitnessPal is one of the best calorie counters available. It comes with a massive database containing nutritional facts and information for over 2 million different food types. Be sure to setup MyFitnessPal completely, measuring your individual portions as you go and inputting accurate data only. When correctly configured, this is a powerful weight loss aid that will ensure that you are eating the right balance of food for your diet, lifestyle and body.
To make the best use of this fantastic app, zoning in on high-caloric meals and switching up your food, be sure to list food entries immediately. Leaving all of your data capturing till the end of the day leaves far too much room for error and will limit the suggestions and data reported by this great app.
7 Minute Workout
The 7 Minute Workout app for Apple devices is the No. 1 rated fitness app on the iStore. It gives you a range of 12 high-intensity bodyweight exercises allowing you to lose weight and get fit fast in just seven minutes a day or less. If you are pressed for time and need a fantastic starting point to begin high-intensity interval training, then download the 7 Minute Workout app today and configure an intensity of exercise which is best suited to your own personal form. With voice prompts and visual cues, you can’t go wrong and the results speak for themselves.
Peloton Digital Fitness Tracking
From the same company who brought you one of the most outstanding ranges of fitness bicycles ever made comes an outstanding premium fitness app. This subscription-only service will set you back $20 per month but Peleton Digital Fitness Tracking is one of the most complete tracking apps available on any platform. Compatible only with iOS, Peloton Digital Fitness Tracking gives you access to library of spin classes and live on-demand exercises harvesting metrics from your Fitbit fitness tracker to customize your experience.
A 14-day free trial is available allowing you to try out the 175+ running and boot camp courses, as well as 15 other outdoor running classes. With this library ever expanding, Peloton Digital Fitness Tracking is sure to grow its fan-base of running, biking and spinning enthusiasts. After all, high intensity anaerobic exercise is the key to rapid weight loss.
Habit Food and Weight
Habit Food and Weight is one of the most innovative apps around. It uses an analysis of your blood and biometric feedback to determine the optimal meal delivery for your health, with real-time coaching provided. Habit requires you to order a Habit kit which you’ll use to take swabs of your DNA and complete measures of your body’s dimensions. After sending this data and the samples of your DNA back to Habit, they are analyzed, and a custom food profile is devised to help you lose weight.
Distribution areas are limited but the results reported by those following Habit’s customized eating plan and prompts is nothing short of astounding. They even offer a customized meal delivery program for those who live hectic lifestyles but still want to eat and live healthy.
5 Must-Know Fitness Tracker Weight Loss Tips
Now that you know how a fitness tracker can help you lose weight and are armed with the best fitness apps for your mobile, implement these five top tips and your weight loss goals are sure to be reached.
1. Never Take Your Tracker Off
It is vital that your tracker record your metrics all of the time. Without having a complete profile of your health, your statistics are flawed. Modern fitness trackers factor in everything from sleep cycles to time spent stationary. You don’t want to gimp your device by taking it off without a good reason. All fitness wearables are designed to be worn all of the time and are extremely durable. We’re not saying keep on that wrist strap until it smells.
Light cleaning is normal and needed but replace your fitness tracker immediately after cleaning and sleep with it on. It needs the data from all of your daily activities for the most accurate results. By having your tracker on all of the time you are also privy to information that you’d normally overlook.
Take the time to inspect step data relative to calories burned and adjust commonly used routes. By taking a more taxing route to work, the gym, or perhaps walking to the café instead of driving all can result in far more weight being lost than you’d expect. Analyze the data from any and all repetitive tasks and see if there is some way that you can make the exercise slightly more taxing with an upward curve to the intensity of the workout which it gives you.
2. Set Yourself Goals and Micro-goals
A fitness tracker can provide you with every detail of your health and physical activity possible but none of that info is worth anything unless you use it to set out and accomplish goals. Be sure to break down your weight loss challenges into the steps which you plan to take to drop the weight. This includes the number of calories burned, the diet plan you shall be following, your frequency of exercise and choice of activities, as well as the information necessary within each section to track your progress properly. There are apps for most high-end fitness trackers which will harvest activity information from over 80 different exercises, capturing your heart-rate, moves used, workout intensity and more. Use these handy tools in conjunction with a set of goals such as an ever-increasing in intensity weekly workout plan to push yourself to the optimal limit to lose weight.
For example, a simple step counter and a plan works wonders for your weight. Given a starting goal of 10,000 steps, increase this target relative to the number of calories which you find yourself burning during that period. Step counting may help more toward general fitness but apply this principle to your exercise routines and you’ll soon devise the best rate to scale your training at. Aerobic exercise at 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate for half an hour at a frequency of just three times a week will up your endurance.
If you find yourself unable to put in the intensity needed to push yourself through a high-paced anaerobic fat-burning workout, you may first need a few weeks of endurance training to hit your goals. If this is the case, note what is needed based on your vitals and break this down into a set of short-term goals. Using this example, we can soon see how customized adjustments to your training can bring out rapid weight loss and a healthy form.
3.Isolate Step Count and Walk for Weight Loss
Your step count is a reflection of your activity during everyday life. It is not a measure to be factored into your exercise. The number of steps that you take can be leveraged for weight loss but working this data into your calculations when trying to establish the optimal workout will result in nothing but inadequate results. Walking briskly for just thirty minutes a day burns 150 calories on average. Instead of using the data as part of your overall calculation, rather using your walking as an addition means to burn calories independent of your exercise.
Walking for weight loss is a wonderful way to drop extra weight with very little change to your lifestyle and habits. Up until recently, 10,000 steps a day was seen to be a healthy target however recent research shows that 12,000 steps a day dramatically increases the number of calories burned. As a means of exercise, walking is also less detrimental to the body and joints for people who are extremely overweight.
If you participate in little to no exercise and want to use walking as a means of weight loss, here’s an easy plan to follow. Begin your first day with a step count goal of just 2000 steps. Accomplish this in either one round or four bouts of 500 steps each. For six consecutive days, increase your daily step count goal by 500. On the seventh day take a break or cross-train however else you want. At the start of the new week continue increasing your step count goal by 500 a day.
By the end of the first month alone you would have racked up 10,000 steps a day which equates to one pound burned a week if you are following a healthy restricted-calorie eating plan. From here, you can up your step count as you wish striving ever-close to 12,000 steps or stick to 10,000 as it is quite a manageable tally to reach and sustain. Use the data from your fitness tracker to determine your average walking pace and adjust as is needed to hit a good rate of calories burned.
4. Use Resistance Interval Training
Resistance interval training is proven to be far more effective for weight loss than steady-state cardio workouts. All fitness trackers with heart rate monitoring technology should be used to determine the best intensity of workout for your individual conditioning. You need to put in as high of an intensity of training as possible while performing an aerobic exercise such as a few hard rounds on an elliptical machine, jump-rope training with no rest in-between intervals, kettlebells, cycling, swimming or rowing.
High-intensity, high-repetition short interval workouts can fit into any schedule no matter how short of time you may be. Monitor your vitals to determine which exercises put you at 80% of your maximum heart rate and develop a regular, consistent training program.
Resistance exercise high-intensity interval training is so effective for weight loss that many feel that it is the only form of fitness which delivers results. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, works best when you perform a resistance exercise at your peak heart rate of 80% for sixty seconds straight followed by 60 seconds of active recovery. The average HIIT program features 6 resistance exercises such as the leg press, bench press, lunges, shoulder press, biceps curl and triceps extension but any sporting exercise can be adapted.
By keeping an eye on your fitness tracker during exercise, you can isolate the activities which put you in the optimal zone for performance and fat burning, adapting your workout manually in addition to having it fine-tuned by one of the many tracking and fitness apps available.
5. Use a Nutrition Tracker
A fitness tracker alone helps but to truly cut down your calories and boost your well-being you need to start eating properly. Take advantage of one of the many nutrition trackers available for your mobile device and take the time to configure it completely using accurate data only. Meal planners and nutrition trackers feature comprehensive collections of nutritional information covering every type of food and drink.
MyFitnessPal is one of the best examples of a food and calorie tracker functioning at its best, while countless other online services are available such as CronoMeter allowing you to track your nutrition, fitness and health data, while setting out a healthy eating plan personalized to your body and lifestyle. Tracking the number of calories consumed along-side tracking your calories burned is a sure-fire recipe for rapid weight loss. The perspective which these metrics give you puts you at the perfect place to adjust your daily habits, workout schedule and meal choices for optimal weight loss.
Customize the Solution to Your Personal Weight Loss Challenge
Before buying any fitness tracker on the premise that it can track your chosen sport or activity just because it lists it, make sure that your device logs enough data adequately. Just because a fitness tracker is capable of capturing yoga, does not mean that it accurately captures your movements and metrics. Your fitness tracker can be a huge asset to your weight-loss endeavors as long as it logs the data which is relevant to you on a personal level.
By using your data and the tools at your disposal intelligently according to your own habits, preferences and time, you’ll soon skyrocket your fitness to new levels while cutting away those pounds and pulling in your waist size.
You may or may not be aware that the Fitbit Ionic has the ability to store music, podcasts and audio books on the device. Pretty neat, but no good if you can’t hear it. Not to worry as all you need is any pair of bluetooth headphones that support Bluetooth 4.x or if you want to go down the manufacturer recommended route a set of Fitbit Flyer headphones.
And as we like to be helpful we figured it would be a good chance to answer some of the other common questions about bluetooth headphones and the Fitbit Ionic.
Can any brand of headphones be used with the Fitbit Ionic?
Yes, as long as they are Bluetooth enabled and support Bluetooth 4.x
What is Bluetooth 4.x?
Bluetooth 4.x is the latest version of Bluetooth which was created to improve the overall standards of bluetooth devices. The main focus of Bluetooth 4.0 was to reduce power consumption of connected devices by improving the way it sends data. In addition, devices that support dual mode are able to connect to 2 devices at once. So for example, your Fitbit Flyer headphones could connect to both your phone and your Fitbit Ionic. If you are the curious type, this article gives more background to the various Bluetooth standards.
What are Fitbit Flyer headphones?
Fitbit Flyers are the manufacturer recommended headphones to use with your Fitbit Ionic. Fitbit worked from the ground up in conjunction with Waves Audio to create the Flyers. The result was a set of sweat proof wireless headphones designed to work well in workout situations
Do you have to use Fitbit Flyers with your Fitbit Ionic?
In a word, no. You may not even want to listen to music from your Ionic in which case having no headphones isn’t a problem. If you do, any compatible bluetooth headphones will do the job.
Can I use Fitbit Flyers for swimming?
According to the Fitbit website the Flyers are not suitable for swimming. They are designed to be rain, sweat and splash proof. They will cope with a little condensation but anything more than that is likely to damage them
Can I use my Apple Air Pods with my Fitbit Ionic
As Apple Air Pods are Bluetooth 4.x compliant they will work.
How do I pair my Bluetooth headphones to my Fitbit Ionic?
Helpfully, Fitbit have provided a step by step video which takes you through the actions needed.
Kayaking is a great form of low impact exercise which is easy to learn, great for flexibility and a great way to get fit. In the early days you won’t need any fancy equipment and you may even double up with someone more experienced to get into it and share equipment. As time goes on, you will of course get better and want to push your training to new levels. This is where we can you help you by giving our views on the best fitness tracker for kayaking.
Why would you want a fitness tracker for kayaking?
The answer of course is it depends. People have got by for years without any tracking equipment and managed just fine. The main thing that becomes apparent is that if you do want to find the best fitness tracker for kayaking the plain and simple accelerometer versions just won’t cut the mustard. Technical limitations with the way that fitness trackers work mean that the algorithm won’t work out that you are paddling and interpret your kayaking workout as steps. Not what anyone wants and it could be very frustrating.
To get round this limitation it is widely accepted that instead of a basic fitness tracker it is best to use a fitness tracker that makes use of GPS. This will then give you the following benefits:-
Safety – not so much of a concern if you head out in an enclosed lake but much more important in sea kayaking is the ability to find your way back to where you set off
Progress tracking – the ability to train to a heart rate and monitor your pace and progress with instant feedback will enable you to push your kayaking fitness to the next level
Keeping track of the time – ideally you don’t want to be out in the dark so a good old watch that tells you the time makes sure you don’t stay out into the dark
What functionality should you look for in a fitness tracker for kayaking?
In general terms, GPS watches that are suitable for tracking kayaking can also be useful for tracking other activities such running, open water swimming and stand up paddle boarding amongst others. That being said here are the specific functions you should look out specifically for kayaking:-
Waterproof – this one almost goes without saying. As you will be using your device almost entirely in the water it needs to be able to cope with a bit of a soaking
Good battery life – there is nothing more frustrating than being out on the water and your tracker has run out of charge. A tracker that keeps hold of a charge but for a reasonable amount of time will be important
GPS – the addition of a GPS will give you the ability to keep a track of your routes and starting location as well as a much more accurate assessment of your overall pace
Large visible screen with customisable screens -ideally a screen that is visible in sunlight and nice and large so that you can see it at a glance. Along with the ability to customise the screens so that they suit your training methods.
Durable – kayaking is going to put your tracker through the mill so you need a tracker that will take a battering with a good strap that doesn’t come undone easily
Smartphone notifications – not crucial but a quite useful feature if your phone is stowed away in the dry bag and you are waiting for an important phone call
Best fitness tracker for kayaking – the options:-
After looking around the internet we came up with the following proposed options as the best fitness trackers for kayaking:-
1. Garmin Fenix 5
One of the most advanced and expensive watches of modern times. The Fenix 5 is designed for an outdoors life. Waterproof to 100 metres it comes preconfigured for multi-sports and can track both indoor and outdoor rowing. In addition, the tracker can also connect to Ant+ and bluetooth sensors of every bent. Outside of this, the mapping functionality on the Fenix 5 is second to none and will allow you to return your original location with little or no problem.
A sophisticated watch water resistant up to 200 metres. It comes complete with an altimeter, barometer and compass. With more detail than you can ever hope to deal with the Pro Trek also features some newer features such as a stop watch and the facility to collect data about your current and future location. The final cool bit of technology of this watch is the ability to gain a charge using the perpetual battery life where a solar charger makes sure that you have enough juice.
Primarily designed as a running watch the vivoactive hr has several features that make it ideal for kayaking. Waterproof, gps and a great screen that is clearly visible in bright sunlight. Make sure you get the HR version to benefit from the optical hear rate monitor
This watch is at the higher end of the market and is more than likely to be chosen for a major game. Even though the Ambit is a little more expensive than you would expect the extra money results in advanced features such as the ability to track your heart rate and breathing rate plotted against your speed and stroke rate. Invaluable for kayak sessions in recent times.
Other notable mentions go the Polar V800, Garmin 305,Garmin Quatix or TomTom Multisport watch. If however, you still feel that these devices don’t give you everything you want you may want to consider something specifically made for kayaking that attaches to the paddles such as the Motionize activity tracker.
It seems like every year there is another raft of fitness trackers being manufactured. Couple, this with smartwatches that concentrate on fitness and it is clear there is a lot of choice.To help you out, we have been tried to make some order out of the chaos and distill the options down to a simple list of what we think are the top ten fitness trackers. We spent a lot of time putting this together but of course we may have missed something out or made some mistakes.
So what do you do if you know you want a fitness tracker but you’re not sure which to get?
Like most questions of this type, the answer is it depends. Your budget, must have functionality, fitness goals, brand loyalty and taste all play a part. That being said our current favourite is the Fitbit Charge 2 which gives you the most bang of the box.
Heart Rate & Sleep Monitoring: Tracks real-time heart rate automatically & continuously and automatically tracks your sleep duration & consistency with comprehensive analysis of sleep quality data, helping you adjust yourself for a healthier lifestyle
All-day Activity Tracking: Accurately record all-day activities like steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes and sleep status
Multi-Sport Modes & Connected GPS: 14 exercise modes help you better understand specific activity data; Connect the GPS on your cellphone can show run stats like pace and distance and record a map of your workout route
See Calls & Messages on Your Wrist: Receive call, calendar, SMS and SNS (Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter) notifications on display; never miss the messages that matter
Built-in USB Plug: Easy to charge with any USB block and computer; no charging cable and dock needed; one single charge gives you up to 7 days of working time
❤ All-day Activity Tracking: Accurately record all-day activities like steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes and sleep status and with 14 sports modes, it helps you better understand each sport.
❤ Heart Rate and Sleep Monitoring: Automatically track your real-time heart rate continuously and sleep duration by comprehensively analyzing your sleep quality data to help you adjust your healthy lifestyle.
❤ Never Miss Call & Message: See Calls and Messages on Your Wrist, Receive call, calendar, SMS and SNS (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter ) notifications on display, never miss important messages.
❤ Multi-Sport Modes & Connected GPS: 14 exercise modes help you better understand specific activity data. Connect the GPS on your cellphone can show run stats like pace and distance and record a map of your workout route.
❤ Long-lasting Battery and Life Waterproof: IP67 waterproof activity tracker allows you to wear it in the rain or when washing hands (Don't wear while swimming). Full charge requires only about 1-2 hours and the standby time can be up to 5-7 days.
Use built-in GPS to see your pace and distance on screen during outdoor runs, rides, hikes and more and see a workout intensity map in the app that shows your heart rate changes along your route
With Active Zone Minutes, feel a buzz when you reach your target heart rate zones during exercise, and celebrate when you earn extra minutes outside of exercise
Get a 90-day free trial of the Fitbit Premium to help you stay active, sleep well and manage stress. Unlock it all in the Fitbit app. (The valid payment method required. Cancel before free trial ends to avoid subscription fees. Offer valid for new Premium users only)
Use 24/7 heart rate to track resting heart rate & better measure calorie burn
Play your favorite songs and playlists with Spotify app controls on your wrist. Also make secure purchases with Fitbit Pay and get called, text and smartphone app notifications.
👉Unique Wearable HR : Provides you professional HR analysis, simply rest your fingers on the sensors for 30s—no wires or gels required and view the result on the App instantly. Track your rhythm and heart rate to know your heart condition at anytime anywhere and gives your a peace of mind. A HR video on the App display how the heart rhythm perform must be the most innovative and convenient design.
👉1.14-inch IPS Color Screen: No bulky but bigger and brighter HD screen than ever. More easier and clear for your reading despite in the sun with the brightness adjustment. With IP68 waterproof capacity, you’re free to wear it for washing hands, take a shower and some water sports . Start to have a try and find more surprises for you.
👉24/7 Health Monitor: The updated sleeping monitor not only for the general night detecting, but also work for your naps in the daytime. Cared for you all the time with more detailed sleeping data like deep sleep/light sleep in the App.The Green light + infrared dual detecting for heart rate and blood pressure with personalized in-app report let you know your health more specific.
👉Easy to pair with Intelligent Activity Tracker: Accurately track your steps, walking distance , calories burned,activity time all day which helps you crush your fitness goals. No technology required to sync with your phone and easy to access you health report for almost 30 days. Just download the free Morepro and pair through the App.
👉Long Battery Life and Wide Compatibility — Way to simplify your life with cordless USB charging style and up to 5 days with full charged battery for daily progress (Battery life and charge cycles vary with use and other factors). Universal compatible with Android 4.4 or higher , iOS 8.0 or higher smart phones.
Smart Function: Fitness tracker,24 hour continuous Heart rate and Blood pressure monitor,Sleep monitor,Pedometer,Calorie counter,Step counter,Bluetooth Phone call reminder,Caller's name display,Caller ID display,Reject answer the phone,Call & SMS message notification,Health tracker,Sedentary reminder,Wechat Sports,Remote Camera,Alarm,Countdown,Stopwatch
Activity Tracker with 11 Sport Modes: Accurately record all-day activities like steps,distance,calories burned,active minutes and sleep status.Connect with mobile's GPS,you can check your real-time route in the App.10 Modes Activity Tracker:Swimming,Outdoor(Cycle,Run,Walk),Indoor(Run,Walk),Stationary Bike,Elliptical,Hiking,Stair Stepper,Rowing Machine.
IP68 Swimproof: IP68 waterproof index of the tracker helps you care free while swimming, diving or taking a shower. It only needs to be taken off before a hot bath.
Longer Battery Life: Built in USB Charge(no cable needed).Full charge requires only about 1 hour and the standby time can be 5-7 days.
Compatibility: App supports smart phones(not for tablet).Support system:iOS 8.0 or above,Android 4.4 or above.
Heart Rate and Sleep Monitoring: continuously and automatically monitor real-time dynamic heart Rate, you can view the heart Rate Graph, after the exercise is completed. Tracks automatically your sleep duration & comprehensive analyze data.
All-Day Activity Tracking: accurately record all-day activities like steps, distance, calories burned, active time and sleep status, after the exercise, you can view the sports data report in the app.
Multi-Sport Modes & Connected GPS: tracks up to 14 exercises like running and riding can meet your needs The whole day. Connect the GPS on your smartphone, It displays your exercise data like pace and distance and record a map of your workout route.
Intelligent Reminder: vibrates to notify you of incoming calls and messages; reminds you to move after sitting for a long time and important dates.
Easy Charging: Comes with a built-in USB plug, just take the watch host off the strap and plug the side with metal chip into USB port. The Red light is on when it's Charged. Please rotate the host if the Red light isn't on.
[ Not just about Your Fitness, Also about You ] Just imagine the Fitness wristband as an electronic finger on the pulse, constantly measuring your vitals, heart pressure, heart rate, quality of sleep, step count and more. And also serves as your personal heath secretary to help you get rid of bad habits for reminding you to move or drink water after a long - time working or gaming. Stay active throughout the day.
[ Monitor Your Blood Pressure & Your Personal Gym Coach ] Measure blood pressure all the time by adopting the innovative Matter Sensing & Control Technology. Tracks up to 14 exercises like running, riding, basketball, tennis, yoga and dance. Our IP68 Waterproof Fitness Tracker actually tracks running or jogging with accurate metrics about time, distance, calories burned and more.
[ Clearer Color Screen & 5 Brightness Levels ] Unlike Monochrome ones, this Activity Tracker Watch has a delicate color LCD display with 5 different levels of brightness that enables you to see stats nice and clearly despite of dazzling sun. With its gorgeous design that looks fantastic on your wrist, the tracker watch is perfect for graceful ladies, gentlemen or cool kids.
[ Easy Charging & Long DurationComes with a built-in USB plug and does not need a charging cable for charging, just gently pull the band off and insert the built-in USB plug into a USB charger to charge. Only 1 to 2 hours charging time shall last you around a week.
[ IVAN 365/24/7 ] Our expert would answer any questions, problem solved, no need to return to store.
Use amazon Alexa built in to get quick news and information, check the weather, set timers and alarms, control your smart home devices and more all through the sound of your voice (third party app may be required; amazon Alexa not available in all countries)
Based on your heart rate, time asleep and restlessness, sleep score helps you better understand your sleep quality each night. Also track your time in light, deep and REM sleep stages and get personal insights
Get a 90-day free trial of the Fitbit Premium to help you stay active, sleep well and manage stress. Unlock it all in the Fitbit app. (The valid payment method required. Cancel before free trial ends to avoid subscription fees. Offer valid for new Premium users only)
With a larger display and an always on option, your information’s always a quick glance away (always on display requires more frequent charging)
Play your favorite songs and playlists with Spotify app controls on your wrist. Also make secure purchases with Fitbit Pay and get called, text and smartphone app notifications.
💕ANCwear Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Monitor Watch - ANCwear brand was established in the United States in 2016, its founder is a group of young people who love life and love sports. We are always looking for products that can help us make life easier and smarter. ANCwear fitness tracker monitors dynamic heart rate, blood pressure. It is such a product that helps us better record sports and health and make life more lovely.
💕All-day Activity Tracker Watch - Our health tracker watch can accurately track your steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes. You could know well your activity in real time. One-hour default interval, sedentary alert reminds you to move for refreshment. Our activity watch helps you stay motivated and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
💕Smart Notification Watch - Receive call and message notifications and alarms on your wrist so that you never miss things that matter(Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter etc.) . When meeting or dealing with other things. Hang up the phone call directly or mute through the smart watch.
💕Waterproof Fitness Tracker - With IP67 waterproof performance, you can wear it when you wash your hands or swim. Track your movements in the run mode via connecting your phone to get real-time statistics such as time and distance on the track. Pairing your fitness watch with your App will increase your training efficiency.
💕USB Charging Port Pedometer Watch - ANCwear fitness trackers with USB Charge, No extra cable hassle,simply remove the straps and insert the USB connector into any USB port. Last for 6-8 days after 1-2 hours fully charging. We make our products conscientiously to ensure the quality of products. But in case of any unsatisfactory situation, please feel free to consult us. We will reply quickly within 24 hours and refund payment immediately.
Watch any advert for fitness trackers and you could be forgiven for thinking that they are only for hipster millennials who love technology. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fitness tracker manufacturers are also aiming at other markets. One of which is to create a purposeful, useful fitness tracker for seniors.
Manufactures of fitness trackers such as Fitbit, Garmin and others have realised that there is a lot of value in producing a fitness tracker for seniors. It makes sense, as people of that age are growing in number, tend to have a reasonable amount of disposable income and are increasingly engaged with their health and well-being.
Another fact, to bear in mind, is that populations around the world are living longer. Of course, as people get older it is easy to settle in to an easy life and not exercise as much as you once did. As we all know, a bad idea. Maintaining an active body is one of the most effective ways of warding of threats to your well being.
This has been noticed at government level too. It is clear that there is a direct correlation between increased age and a higher chance of getting a complex chronic illness such as diabetes, stroke or issues with your heart. As such, they are determined to do as much as they can to reduce the burden on society
There are lots of options being investigated but as far as this article is concerned we are looking at fitness tracker for seniors as a way to tackle this problem.
How can a fitness tracker for seniors help my lifestyle?
Simple. The fitness tracker allows you to track long term patterns by monitoring vitals such as blood pressure, temperature and heart rate. The act of monitoring gives you a real insight into your daily patterns of sleep and exercise. When this is coupled with the data from your fitness tracker and some form of motivational goals in the fitness trackers app it can keep you motivated. This in turn helps you achieve your health goals such as reduced blood pressure and lower weight Because you are really keeping a track of how your body is doing over time in a measured way you will be able to spot abnormal patterns. Indeed, if anything untoward does reveal itself it can then be discussed with the relevant medic professional
What are the must have characteristics in a fitness tracker for seniors?
Of course, as you get older some things such as your vision and motor skills deteriorate slightly. We have taken this into account and created what we think are the key characteristics to look out for when buying a fitness tracker for seniors
Attractiveness – it needs to be aesthetically pleasing and well designed so that you won’t be embarrassed to show it to your friends. Ideally, it should blend well with what you are wearing
Easy to use – A lot of people are like my Mum and don’t want to be faffing about pressing lots of buttons to get the tracker to do something. A fitness tracker should be easy to get out to box, come with a clear set of instructions and be simple to configure both the tracker and the synching so that it can be used to the best of its capabilities
Comfortable – to get the best from a fitness tracker it needs to collect a lot of data. To do this it needs to be worn all the time. It should fit or attach nicely and not cause any discomfort or distraction.
Large display – most people of a certain age would have grown up with normal wrist watches so a large display is familiar as well as providing the ability to see at a glance how the fitness regime is going.
Multiple tracking options – to give the best chance of tracking patterns the device should as a minimum track calories, sleep, heart rate and daily activity. If more options are offered even better.
Long battery life – a fitness tracker loses its usefulness if it is always on charge because you will forget to wear it. A longer battery life means it will stay where it belongs tracking your activity.
Waterproof – swimming is quite a popular activity due its non weight bearing nature so a waterproof fitness tracker is ideal for those visits to the pool.
Informative – by giving clear, concise, up to date and easy to interpret views of the data the fitness tracker can use gamification to drive you towards your fitness goals
Fitbit Surge is another device which looks less like a fitness tracker and more like a watch which makes it ideal for the seniors market. + Multiple sizes and adjustable strap for comfort + Large screen + 7 day battery life, GPS tracking, heart rate monitor – Not waterproof – Pricey
A great offering from Samsung. The Gear Fit 2 is jam packed with functionality that will help you achieve your fitness goals. + Large display with clear legible numbers + Waterproof + Can play music + Integrates well with Samsung Health + GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring – Needs a smartphone to get the best from the device – Battery life only 3 – 4 days – App support is sketchy
The Vivosmart 3 is another multi-utility watch in the Garmin lineup. It is designed to focus on your daily activities and keep you informed of how your health is progressing. + Small, sleek design + 4 – 5 day battery life + Smart notifications and vibration alert + Waterproof + Can change display to watch face – No interchangeable bands available – Not good for tracking swimming – No GPS
The Fitbit Blaze is a full on smart watch with fitness capabilities. It is not an obvious choice as far as a fitness tracker for seniors but it offers several of the key characteristics: + Large clear LCD display + Long battery life + Looks good and like a watch, the look can also be changed with interchangeable straps + Tracks multiple activities and heart rate – Not waterproof – Fairly expensive
It is fair to say that the fitness tracker for seniors market has perhaps been underdeveloped. However, things are starting to look up. People, governments and society as a whole are beginning to recognise the benefit of exercising throughout your whole life. When choosing a fitness tracker it is important to understand how fitness trackers work so you can trust the data coming from then. Also, make sure to get the one that best suits you. We think that our list should give you some ideas or look for other fitness tracker that have the key characteristics.
It’s that time of year when retailers entice us with lots of special deals. On this page we are going to keep an eye out for good value offerings on Amazon. Check them out soon because as you know these deals can go quick. We will also be looking to update the page with what we think are great offers as and when they become available
Fitbit’s aim to produce something like the Apple Watch. The Ionic looks less like a Fitbit tracker and more like a smart watch. It even comes with watch faces so you can use it like a conventional watch. The added bonus is that you still get all those Fitbit fitness tracking smarts, access to the app and coaching and relaxation settings. It is waterproof, so can be used for swimming and also has the ability to control your music. It is currently available with 30% off for Black Friday deals over at Amazon UK
Can control music from your watch if you have bluetooth headphones
Heart rate tracking
Straps seem to break easily
Battery loses charge quickly if GPS is on
App availability is poor so far buy likely to improve