Are you a fan of cycling or spinning? Perhaps you like outdoor cycling or maybe prefer indoor? There are some of us that like to mix it up, depending on the mood of the day. Nevertheless, we all like to know how much work we put in and how much we get done. Regardless of what exercise activity you prefer, we all want to know our results. Fortunately, there is a little device that can help you get all that data. It’s called a fitness tracker. Here to help you out with your choice we made a little list to help you find the best fitness tracker for spinning or if you don’t like spinning you can use the fitness tracker for stationary cycling too.
Fitness trackers for spinning
1. Wahoo Cadence Sensor
First up is the Wahoo RPM Speed and Cadence Sensor. This fitness tracker is typically used outside and attached to your bike’s crank. As it only weights 7 grams it can easily be attached to your shoe for spinning or indoor cycling. Using Bluetooth and ANT+ it can connect to your fitness tracker from Wahoo, Polar or Garmin.
It also works with many of the indoor cycling apps that have become popular in recent times such as Zwift, Cyclemeter and Peloton. Indeed, a few people have used them to create their own DIY Swift bike. Because it uses a standard watch battery you should expect to see 12 months of battery life.
When used with the Wahoo Fitness app you can easily transfer your data over to other platforms like Strava to track your progress.
The main issues reported appear to be around connectivity and getting problems resolved should anything go wrong
Next up is the Moov Now fitness tracker. It might not have the most eye-catching design, don’t let that fool you. This little fitness tracker has it all. Inside the little circle, pod lies everything needed for tracking all your favorite exercise activities, spinning tracking included, all that with clockwork precision.
Unfortunately, this fitness tracker does not come with a heart rate monitor integrated but if that is something that interests you check out the Moov HR Sweat . The Moov Now tracks something much more relevant. This device will soon become your best spinning partner. By keeping it attached to your ankle it can measure cadence. This means that it’ll give you a result of how many rotations you are making with the pedals per minute. It is surely a key segment in your performance., this fitness tracker is incredibly precise that it notices when you slow or pump up the pace.
Even though it is incredibly accurate and is one of the best fitness trackers for spinning out there, the Moov Now is far from perfect. The fact that it does not include a heart rate monitor is a disadvantage. However, the cadence tracking is top of the notch, frankly, it is a shame though that you cannot see how your body is going to react to all of that energy that you’ll give.
It has its upside too. For example, it’s a great motivator. Helping with your exercise is the simple vocal cues that can be heard using headphones. It’s not like those audio coaches that tell you how to pump up your pace, it’s merely a simple alert to let you know how your cycle is proceeding. Your current time and average cadence are presented frequently. If you like to keep things simple, you’ll love the end when it shows you all your data in a minimalistic, yet pleasant order.
Finally, we have the Wahoo Tickr X. When they came up with this fitness tracker they were thinking outside of the box. This is not a basic tracker that gets strapped around your ankle. This model uses a heart rate monitor that gets strapped to your chest. Turns out the results are an astonishing. Along with the state of the art heart rate tracking, this fitness tracker has a sensor that measures different metrics while doing different exercises, for example, if you’re running it’ll measure distance and for spinning it’ll measure cadence. Although many would argue that wearing a chest strap can be really uncomfortable to wear, tests show that it is quite the opposite. The Wahoo Tickr X turned out to be quite comfy and in absolutely no way it will restrict you during your exercises, the strap is adjustable and the sensors pick up the reading perfectly even if you don’t have it strapped tight. Like I said, the benefits of this fitness tracker are the pin-point heart rate accuracy. On the downside, the lack of a screen makes it less manageable, but it offers a lot of options to help you with that. It can be synced with a Smartphone-app to present to you live metrics also audio alerts that’ll give you reports on how you are coming along with your cycle. It can also be connected via Bluetooth with other gym equipment to give you even further live results. One of the most amazing features is that it gives you the opportunity to have a look at your current heart rate zone. Meaning that you’ll be able to see exactly how hard you are working out and how all of that affects you.
Based on features alone I’d strongly advise you to go for the Wahoo Tickr X simply because it is the best fitness tracker for spinning. But if you find that wearing a tracker on your chest is uncomfortable, then go for the minimalistic yet precise Moov Now.
With each new fitness tracker that comes from Samsung, you watch them make wonderful leaps in quality and functionality. The Samsung Gear Fit 2 is, obviously, the step up from the original Gear Fit. While it features a similar design, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 is built to impress with even more features to give you optimal fitness tracking without drifting into the overly complicated realms of other sports watches.
At the initial unboxing, well, let’s just say if your wrist needed sunglasses, they would probably look like the Gear Fit 2. You can get the lovely silicone bands in several different colors, but you will always be met with that shiny curved super AMOLED screen that, when turned off, reflects light just like sunglasses. However, that and much of the design hasn’t changed much since the original Gear Fit was released.
What makes the design of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 stand out is the screen after you turn it on. With a 216 x 432 resolution and a superior brightness, you get nice crisp whites and beautiful bright colors. If even has an outdoor mode that lights the screen up even brighter (it is super bright to begin with) so that you can’t miss a thing. However, that mode only lasts for a maximum of five minutes.
As for the bands, while you have a choice in finishes, you also have to choose between and a small and a large size band. Unfortunately, both bands aren’t included to you have to make your best guess at it, and even then, every wrist is different. Thankfully, the clasp on both bands has the ability to make some small adjustments in order to get a more precise fit. While the curved screen can feel a little heavy on the wrist, the fact that it is curved and nestled into the silicone makes the Samsung Gear Fit 2 one of the more comfortable band options around since it can be secured snugly and doesn’t feel bulky if you want to sleep with it on.
It is also worth noting that while the large beautiful screen doesn’t look like it, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 is also water resistant with a rating of IP68. This means you can wear it in water of depths up to 1.5m for 30 minutes. So if you do laps in the pool or want to shower with it on, it is safe to do so.
If you tried the Samsung Gear Fit original, you can expect much of the same features like step tracking, calories burned, sleep monitoring, and distance traveled. However, the Gear Fit 2 amps things up a bit which actually makes the readings much more accurate than the original. One of the biggest changes is the addition of GPS that allows for more accurate distance tracking and allows you to track your route.
Other additions include an optical heart rate sensor on the rear of the band and a barometer inside that can allow you to keep track of the stairs you climb. The GPS, heart rate sensor, and barometer all function well and they actually function almost as well as dedicated fitness accessories for professional athletes. However, like most fitness trackers that sit on the wrist, the heart rate monitoring can occasionally be a little spotty. While your beats per minute may jump up occasionally during exercise, its average heart rate and resting heart rate monitoring are almost spot on.
A nice feature of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 is that it has automatic exercise tracking for running, cycling, and certain gym machines. It also auto-pauses when the activity is stopped for whatever reason. After each work out, the display will also give you a post-workout break down. Unfortunately, it disappears rather quickly, but you can always see it in the app later.
As for the app, all the data of the Gear Fit 2 is sent to the eye-pleasing S Health app where you have access to a nice amount of information, but your simple stats don’t get lost among a hundred different metrics either. Like many other fitness trackers, the app and wristband will let you know if you have been inactive too long, but unlike other fitness trackers, the Gear Fit 2 actually does a nice job of keeping you motivated. It lets you know the small, but motivating details like when you have surpassed your goal or if you climbed more steps than the previous day. Inside the app it also provides nice looking graphs to show marked improvements in your daily activity.
Unfortunately, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 has limited compatibility with 3rd party apps. There are some apps you can get from the Galaxy store, but they probably aren’t what you want. One perk is that it does have a dedicated Spotify app if you don’t want to use the internal storage to put on playlists, but sadly is only works in a few regions. However, as well as being able to listen to music through wireless headphones, it does also have a pretty intuitive interface when it comes to answering calls or sending texts.
Unfortunately the battery of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 comes up a little short, as is often the case with such feature-packed models. On average, the battery will last around three days since you can’t disable the GPS or heart rate monitoring. However, you can increase the charge a little by limiting the amount of apps that ping you throughout the day. While turning off GPS and heart rate monitoring would have been nice, since it has such a large and detailed screen, the charge life probably would not have been much longer anyway.
As fitness trackers get more advanced, sometimes a lot of the basic functionality tends to get lost. However, with the Gear Fit 2, Samsung found a nice balance of beauty, features, and relative simplicity. At no point will casual users feel overwhelmed and even more dedicated fitness enthusiasts can get extremely accurate tracking out of this model.
While the battery life is a little less than desirable, the features that drain the battery give it some of the most accurate readings on the market, making it forgivable. If you want to bridge the gap between your leisurely lifestyle and a more active lifestyle while still getting something that look sleek and lovely on the wrist, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 is one of the better ways to go.
For fitness enthusiasts, a good fitness tracker can be a major purchase in their lives. Many models of fitness trackers cost a couple hundred dollars and have a variety of functions that reflect that. However, while the difference between a fitness tracker that costs below $100 and way above $100 are a few extra features, that doesn’t mean you need to shell out the cash to have better functionality. If you want your next fitness tracker to cost below $100, you are often still getting the core functions that you need in a fitness tracker that work just as good as the more expensive models.
Best Fitness Tracker under 100
Garmin Forerunner 15
The lower in price you go, the more likely it will get that the first thing to be sacrificed is a screen. This is actually what convinces some people to spend those big bucks, because they don’t want to have to open an app just to see a few select metrics. Although the Garmin Forerunner’s screen looks like an old-school Casio watch, it provides the time and information on steps taken, calories burned, and distance traveled right on the LCD screen. The Forerunner also has GPS capability that allows to your better track activities like running. This is further complimented by the ability to easily pause workouts since pausing at cross walks is common with urban running.
While the battery life is a less than preferable five hours, that is only while the GPS is running. When turned off, you get to use this fitness tracker for around five weeks before it will need to be recharged. While the Forerunner is very much geared towards runners, this fitness tracker still remains a great choice for those that just want it for its other fitness tracking capabilities, not so much for the GPS run tracking.
Fitbit Flex 2
Fitbit is considered the top of the line in terms of fitness tracking, or at least the most popular. Unfortunately, the prices for many of their models reflect that. However, while the affordable Fitbit Flex 2 may not be their most recent entry into the Fitbit line, it still proves to be one of their best. Although the Flex 2 lacks a screen, it makes up for it in supreme waterproofing and ultra-thin style that will make you forget that it is even there.
Instead of a screen display, the LED lights on the band flash different colors to let you know that goals are reached. In order to view your metrics, all you need to do is open the app on your phone that allows you to look over your fitness data on a number of activities, including swimming.
Polar Loop 2
Although Polar got its start with heart rate sensors, its affordable Loop 2 only has compatibility with external sensors while not having one built-in. However, it makes up for this lack of feature by offering better tracking of everything else. Through the Polar Flow app, you can plan and track workouts, sleep metrics like time, quality, and patterns, as well as the usual fitness metrics of steps, distance, and calories burned. The Polar Loop 2 also has an inactivity vibration alert to keep you motivated all day long.
There is one downside that has become infamous for the Polar Loop 2 – its band. It comes in one size and you need to physically cut it in order to create the right size for your wrist. If you mess up, they’ll send you another, but for some the process of sizing the band is enough to make them overlook the accurate and detailed fitness metric tracking of the Polar Loop 2.
Like every new iPhone, it seems that every fitness tracker that comes out from any of the big name manufacturers is constantly going up in price. How long before we have the first $1,000 fitness tracker? That’s probably still a few years out. However, if you want to improve your health by starting to track your activity, you don’t need to aim immediately at the top. In fact, many have found that some of the most reliable and accurate fitness trackers are priced below $50. With the price, you often sacrifice some features, but if you simply want to track your workout, you don’t need to pay exorbitant prices.
The best fitness tracker under $50
Xiaomi Mi Band 5
One of the biggest features you lose when you drop below the $50 mark is heart-rate tracking. However, the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 stands well above its other affordable competitors because of this feature inclusion. While heart-rate monitoring can be spotty when doing a sport that causes the band to move around on your skin, it often gives out accurate overall results even if current heart rate in the moment can be spotty.
Its 20-day battery is lower than other models without heart-rate tracking, but that is still a long charge when compared to other more expensive fitness trackers that can barely make it through a day. The one downside of the Xiaomi is that you have to automatically start the exercise tracking when you start your workout, and due to the limited display, you have to go into the app to do so.
The hive design that comes with the Moov Now’s trademark band isn’t for everyone. It is this design that has caused some to overlook this fitness tracker in lieu for other affordable alternatives. However, thanks to its unique accelerometer, this deceptively cheap fitness tracker actually has some of the most accurate movement tracking out of all its competitors. The 9-axis accelerometer inside, the same one used for missile guidance systems, is able to track metrics as small as gym repetitions, swim strokes, and running impact. This combines with the standard tracking of steps taken, calories burned, and distance travelled to allow the Moov to give more accurate and personal training feedback.
That feedback is given through the app, as the Moov Now lacks a screen, but it is like working with a personal trainer. Alongside its great functionality, the Moov Now is also waterproof and the replaceable battery that aids towards its waterproofing only needs to be replaced every six months. There are a lot of super cheap trackers that look really good, but rest assured that the Moov Now is one cheap tracker that looks silly, but actually works better than some models that cost twice the price
Listening to music whilst you exercise is a great way to motivate yourself to do more reps or push harder, longer and stronger . Indeed, there is research to back this up. And, if you are anything like us the device you play your music on is almost as important as your trainers. What if you could ditch your phone or music device and crank out those uplifting workout tunes. We take a look at the options to try and find the best fitness tracker with music.
Fitness trackers that play music break down into 2 different styles:-
Onboard storage where the music is kept natively on the tracker. Typically, they come with about 3GB – 4GB of storage, enough to store around 500 – 800 tunes.
Bluetooth paired where you to stream music from a smartphone paired with your tracker.
Another thing to bear in mind is that none of the devices come with a headphone jack and require a set of bluetooth headphones. Dependent on which tracker you buy this may need to be an additional purchase or will come specifically tailored for that tracker.
We’ve scoured the market and compiled a list of the best
Fitness trackers that play music
1. Apple Watch
Now that we are on series 6 of the Apple watch there are several models that will work as a fitness tracker that play music. If you’re the type who likes the latest or greatest the Apple Watch series 6 with LTE functionality offers the ability to stream music from Apple Music and make calls directly from the watch.If you feel that is overkill the lower spec watches offer 8GB of onboard storage which should give you a reasonable amount of space for tunes. WatchOS7 provides numerous music based benefits including the ability to sync curated playlists from Apple Music to the watch and better synchronization with any iPhone you stream stored music from.
Another smart watch, this time from Samsung. The waterproof Gear Fit 2 pro comes with all the goodies you would expect from a high end expensive fitness tracker. Running Tizen OS gives you access to a vast array of apps and 4GB of onboard storage allows you to make use of the phones offline Spotify functionality. None of the other fitness trackers that play music offer Spotify support so it is definitely ground breaking.
The Versa 2 allows you to store music on your watch but has no on-board GPS whilst the Versa 3 has on-board GPS but only allows you to store offline playlist if you have a subscription to services like Deezer. Other notable features in the Versa range are device payments, silent alarm, notifications and tight integration into the Fitbit ecosystem. You listen via bluetooth headphones. Overall, the Versa range gives you some good options for listening to music.
Moving on to Garmin Watches that play music the Garmin Vivosmart 3 does not offer as many features as some of the other trackers in this list. Music is not stored on the device itself but is streamed from your mobile phone. You have the ability to pause, play and skip tracks within your default music app. Enough control for some but could be frustrating if you use other music apps like Pandora.
The waterproof flagship in TomTom’s stable equipped with all the features you would expect including GPS, heart rate monitor and a built in music player. Packing 3GB of internal storage gives you have the possibility of storing around 500 songs on the Spark freeing you from the need to carry your phone or music player with you.Getting your music on the Spark is achieved by using the supplied Tom Tom MySports Connect App where you can choose your favourite tunes from your PC and upload them to the device. As with a lot of fitness trackers there is no headphone jack and you will need to buy a set of compatible bluetooth headphones. Alternatively, you may consider downgrading a couple of models and look at the Tom Tom Spark 3 Music edition where TomTom provide the headphones. With all these smarts the watch may be a little bit too bulky for some and there are also some reports of slow GPS signal pick up time.
More of a smartwatch than a fitness tracker the waterproof M600 runs on Android Wear and is equipped with a GPS tracker, 1.3 inch touch screen display and optical heart rate monitor. To get the most of your phone you will need an Android mobile as iOS and other devices won’t benefit from the tight integration that Android can offer. Music you can transfer music to the device or use the Google Play to save tracks directly to the watch. 4GB of onboard storage should be enough space to get a few tunes ready for your workout. All in all a great fitness tracker that plays music.
Running Android Wear 2 the RunIQ has a large screen and is waterproof up to 50m. it is possible to use the music on your phone or make use of the 4GB of onboard storage and Google Play Music which is around 50 hours. As ever, the device requires bluetooth headphones. The PaceIQ headphones are designed for use and offer the benefit of hearing your current lap stats by clicking on the device’s RunIQ button.
Probably not as well known as the other brands the Huawei Watch 2 is a fitness focused smart watch. As it is equipped with 4GB of onboard storage and runs Android Wear it gives you the possibility of uploading tracks from Google Play music if you want to go phone free or the ability to control your phones music player if not. The watch also has a built in speaker through which you can play your music. The watch is bulky but a great choice for someone who enjoys all the fitness tracking capabilities of smartphones.
In the past five years, fitness trackers have become increasingly popular with consumers. It seems that new models with improved features are released frequently while prices continue to fall. Most fitness trackers tout the ability to help users lose weight and improve their overall health by counting the number of steps taken and calories burned in a day. Many even measure the user’s heartrate in real time and claim to track both quantity and quality of sleep. But many users and potential buyers are left wondering, “How does a fitness tracker work?” and “How accurate are they?”
How Does the Technology Behind Fitness Trackers Work?
Simply put, fitness trackers work by using a variety of tools to gather data about your movements and your body combined with algorithms to interpret this data. The specific technology used to gather this data and the algorithms used to interpret it vary by manufacturer and even model, which means that two different trackers may give you different numbers.
Although manufacturers and models can vary, fitness trackers work by measuring motion. Most employ a 3-axis accelerometer that measures movement in every direction, while some include a gyroscope to measure rotation and orientation. Many include an altimeter to measure altitude; this allows the device to measure how many stairs you’ve climbed in a day or the height of a mountain you’ve hiked.
Some models include temperature sensors and sensors to measure your heartrate. Some include sensors to measure your sleep patterns by tracking your wrist movements.
These multiple sensors then measure such variables as frequency, acceleration, intensity, duration and patterns of your movements. This vast amount of data is then interpreted using an algorithm specific to the model of fitness tracker to put together meaningful measurements and statistics of your movements and health over time.
How Do Fitness Trackers Work with Smartphones?
Most fitness trackers on the market communicate data to users via a smartphone or other device. Selecting a fitness tracker that is right for you may depend, at least to some degree, on your choice of phone and the apps that are compatible with a particular device. Most fitness trackers sync automatically and easily with iPhones and Android phones. You may have trouble, however, if you use a Windows phone. Most fitness trackers have their own apps, and this is the place where you access the data that has been gathered and interpreted by the tracker. Some trackers go a step further, however, and are compatible with other apps on the market, apps that you may already use and love.
How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers?
Because the sensors and algorithms vary by manufacturer and even model, it sometimes happens that two different fitness trackers may yield different results. This suggests that while fitness trackers may give you a good overview of your movements, the data gathered and how it is interpreted may not be completely accurate all the time.
How Accurate are Fitness Trackers When Measuring Steps?
Knowing that measurements and data can vary from tracker to tracker, you may be wondering just how accurate are they when measuring steps. Most trackers are generally reliable when counting steps taken during the day. The technology has improved over the past couple of years, and newer trackers are generally quite reliable. They “know” when to dismiss a small movement of the wrist, such as when you are typing or playing a video game, and not count it as a step. Only larger movements count. However, some activities, such as a particularly bumpy car ride, may register as steps due to the amount of movement, while walking softly across very thick carpet may not register at all. Fitness trackers are fairly reliable at counting your daily steps, but they are certainly not infallible.
How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers when Measuring Calories?
Many users opt for fitness trackers because they are trying to better manage their weight. This may lead you to ask, “How accurate are they when measuring calories?” The answer to this question depends in part on you, the user. When measuring calories burned during a particular activity, a tracker’s algorithm needs information about age, weight, height and gender. These variables factor into the determination of how many calories are burned during a particular activity or across a day or an entire week. If you as a user do not input correct information, you should not expect your tracker to be able to provide an accurate reading. This means that you need to update your information as these variables change: you age or you lose weight, for example. When tracking the calories you burn, some trackers measure not only movement but also heart rate and perspiration. This means that you likely get more accurate data from trackers that include these options.
How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers when Measuring Sleep and Sleep Patterns?
While most fitness trackers are reasonably accurate when measuring steps taken and calories burned, some users continue to wonder, “How accurate are they when measuring sleep?” Many brands make claims that their trackers can measure not only how much you sleep but how much time you spend in each stage of your sleep cycle. Many experts, however, question the accuracy of the sleep measurements provided by many fitness trackers. Most trackers use accelerometers, the same sensors that track movement, to track when you are asleep. Basically, if the accelerometer is registering very little or no movement, that is interpreted as the user being in a sleep state. Some trackers even claim to measure various stages of sleep, how much time is spent in each stage, whether the sleeper is restless and how many times the sleeper wakes. Many experts caution users about trusting the accuracy of these measurements. Especially trackers of individuals with sleep disorders seem to return data that just isn’t accurate.
How Do Fitness Trackers Measure Swimming?
While many consumers use fitness trackers as fairly accurate pedometers, swimmers may wonder, “How do fitness trackers measure swimming?” Fitness trackers measure swimming much as they do any other activity—walking, running or hiking—by measuring movement and the rate of movement. Heart rates may also be measured, giving an indication of how many calories are burned. When using fitness trackers for swimming, however, it’s imperative that a tracker be waterproof, not just water resistant, and able to withstand an appropriate amount of water pressure. In fact, there are a number of fitness trackers designed specifically for swimmers. Some of these can measure rate and distance and even stroke type. Serious swimmers may want to consider a fitness tracker designed for their specific needs.
What Are Some of the Benefits and Characteristics of a Fitness Tracker Designed Specifically for Swimmers?
A number of fitness trackers are available that are designed with swimmers in mind. These are waterproof and engineered to withstand water pressure. Moov Now is one of the more useful swimming fitness trackers available, with a number of options other trackers simply do not have. Moov Now gives you useful data on your swimming but, unlike other fitness trackers, works as a virtual swimming coach, offering data and information to help you improve your swimming. Recently, Moov Now has added a smartphone app dedicated specifically to swimming which you activate before entering the pool. You’ll receive feedback on your rate, distance, stroke type, efficiency, lap times and an overall measure of your stamina. For monitoring your heartrate while swimming, Moov Now offers a small device to be worn inside your swim cap. This may very well be the best waterproof fitness tracker.
Is Moov Now Only for Swimming?
No, Moov Now is an excellent fitness tracker for many activities: walking, running, cycling and any other activities you choose. Although the Moov Now does not have as large a market share as many of the big name fitness trackers, such as the FitBit, it offers convenience and features that many others do not. The design and sizing make it particularly comfortable, especially as it needs to be worn around the ankle for running and biking, and it offers a battery that can last up to six months on a single charge.
In addition to simply gathering and data, the Moov Now operates as a virtual coach. This feature sets it apart from many other fitness trackers on the market. Runners, for example, can choose from among a variety of training plans, and a voice feature coaches runners in real time. This sets Moov Now apart from the pack of the many fitness trackers available.
Fitness Trackers Will Continue to Thrive
As technology advances, so will fitness trackers. Many consumers choose fitness trackers to monitor the number of steps they take each day, how many calories they burn and how well they sleep. Although each tracker is a bit different, there is certainly a choice to fit the preferences, both in terms of data and design, for nearly any user. We can expect this trend to continue. Understanding how do fitness trackers work can help you choose the tracker that best suits your needs.
Fitness trackers in one form or another have been around for a few years now, with manufacturers trying to outdo each other through innovation and new technology. Until relatively recently, little of this effort was focused on creating fitness trackers that you can swim with. Now that is starting to changewat. There is a bewildering amount waterproof fitness trackers for swimmers to suit all budgets, tastes and needs. To help you make sense of it all, we have compiled a list of questions and options to help you narrow down the options and select a fitness tracker that tracks swimming.
Waterproof or water resistant? Definitely waterproof.
If you are serious about using a tracker in the pool or ocean this is the first question you need to ask. Understanding the difference between waterproof and water resistant is a really important factor in making sure your tracker survives your swimming workout. Ensuring your chosen tracker has an ATM rating of at least 10 should be enough.
Are you looking to track mostly swimming or several activities including swimming? If you are looking to track several activities you want to look towards a more general purpose fitness tracker like the Moov Now that can keep tabs on lots of different exercises.
Otherwise, there are several waterproof fitness trackers that have been devised specifically with swimming in mind such as the Garmin Swim that provide a variety of metrics specifically tailored to fully track your time in the water.
Do you want to track open water swimming? A device with GPS is a must as that is the only reliable way to track how far you swam. Trackers without GPS generally allow you to specify the length of the pool and match that with data from the accelerometer to calculate the number of lengths completed in your workout. Even if you do get a watch with GPS there is a chance it could lose signal when it goes underwater. A way round this is to put your tracker in your swimming hat. Do you like to see your tracking statistics whilst in the water? Stats junkies will want a device with a display to their metrics whilst swimming. Otherwise, techniques like LED lights or a download to your phone allow you to get your workout details after your swim.
Why do I need a fitness tracker for swimming? The honest answer is you don’t. Using the poolside clock and counting lengths can be just as effective, until you get distracted and lose count. Enter the waterproof fitness tracker. Ideal for tracking your progress over extended periods of time. By setting yourself goals and monitoring your progress over time you can see how much you have improved. An ideal complement to a swimming workout programme.
Can’t I just use my Fitbit?
Unfortunately, the majority of Fitbits are water resistant, they will survive an occasional splash of water but a spell in the pool will send your tracker to the swimming gadget graveyard. To redress the balance, Fitbit recently introduced the first ever official Fitbit fitness tracker for swimming, the Flex 2.
What are the benefits of swimming? Requiring minimal equipment, swimming is one of the best all round exercises to incorporate into a fitness plan and is well known for being beneficial to both physical and mental wellbeing.
Physically, a swim makes use of all major muscle groups giving your entire body a workout, in turn leading to increased toning and better cardiovascular health. In fact, research has shown that the non weight bearing nature of swimming can be used to great effect to alleviate conditions such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and back pain.
Like most forms of exercise going for a swim releases endorphins, feel good chemicals that put you in a better frame of mind and help you feel refreshed. It also forces you to breathe more rhythmically at the same time as stretching and relaxing muscles, which is often cited as a great way to reduce anxiety or depression.
What stats can I get from my swimming tracker? Of course, this depends on which waterproof fitness tracker you choose and how serious you are about your swimming. We have listed a few of the most common measurements:-
SWOLF – short for swimming golf. It is the result of the time it takes to complete one length added to the number of strokes to complete it. So for example a time of 45 seconds and 15 strokes would results in a SWOLF score of 60. Of course, the aim is to reduce this score a bit like taking less shots in golf.
Waterproof fitness trackers for swimmers: the options
The Apple Watch Series 2 is the product of applying the lessons learnt from its predecessor. The result is a new with GPS functionality and water resistance up to 50 metres it is better equipped as a fitness tracker, great news for runners and swimmers.
As you would expect from Apple, it looks good. The watch comes in a variety of different models and can be customised with different bands so that it wouldn’t look out of place being worn on your wrist all day.
It is clear that a lot of time has gone into making the Apple watch waterproof with new seals and some ingenious innovation making it possible to take your watch for a swim or shower. Whilst swimming, you can raise your arm to view your figures but the touch screen will not respond reducing the possibility of electrical faults. As soon as you have finished your workout you can spin the crown which will wake the watch and expel the water via the speaker, quite an ingenious method of keeping the watch in working order.
Using the Workout app you can select “Pool Swim” or “Open Water Swim” each of which will lock and blank the screen and start to track your lengths, stroke type and calories burned. If the Workout app doesn’t give you what you need it also possible to install the swim.com app to benefit from more advanced functionality.
Overall, the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00WUKULAC” locale=”US” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ popups=”n”]Apple Watch Series 2[/easyazon_link] is a versatile waterproof fitness tracker if you have a sizeable budget to spend. It would be a good choice for someone that is already heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem or is attracted to Apple devices.
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Designed as a multi-activity fitness tracker the Fitbit Flex 2 does the basics and does them well. For the first truly waterproof Fitbit tracker it is a respectable offering. However, as it is trying to cover many activities it only has simple swimming metrics and is more likely to suit someone who will be swimming amongst other activities.
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Garmin Fenix 3
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B01A5HIQ7Q” locale=”US” alt=”Garmin Fenix 3″ localize=”y” src=”https://www.trackershowdown.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/41kJGxTQmmL.SL160.jpg” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ width=”140″] The Garmin Fenix 3 is renowned as one of the best sports watches out there. Its rugged hard wearing design is aimed at a target market of outdoor enthusiasts. As Garmin have included a large array of sensors you can track a multitude of activities, swimming, cycling, hiking, open water swimming and probably anything else you can think of. Of course, this means that it is not a dedicated swimming watch. It is a smart watch with activity tracking features, including the ability to download apps, receive smartphone notifications and different watch faces.
For swimming, the Fenix 3 has indoor and outdoor modes that record stroke count, intervals, distance, pace and time. When used in the pool it also counts lengths, detects stroke type and computes the user’s SWOLF score.
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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”170″ identifier=”B008EFU5T4″ locale=”US” alt=”Garmin Swim” localize=”y” src=”https://www.trackershowdown.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/512v80dAPL.SL160.jpg” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ width=”134″] The Garmin Swim is a dedicated device which gets a lot of love from serious swimmers. As it is designed for swimming, you just look at the watch and at a glance can see distance, pace and time in the pool. Post swim, you can use the data from the tracker in Garmin Connect app to slice and dice your swim in as many ways as you can think of. You can even use the app to join swim groups and compare your times to others.
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Garmin Forerunner 920 XT
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B00O4D4KPA” locale=”US” alt=”Garmin Forerunner 920 XT” localize=”y” src=”https://www.trackershowdown.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/51sjw1nqMwL.SL160.jpg” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ width=”160″] The Forerunner 920XT is a serious watch with a sizeable price tag to match. Rated as waterproof up to 50 metres it can be used to track indoor and outdoor swimming. In the pool, it can be used to track lengths, stroke, total distance, SWOLF and stroke recognition. This can be taken even further by paring the 920 with the [easyazon_link identifier=”B012H8IRLQ” locale=”US” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ localize=”y”]Garmin Swim HRM[/easyazon_link].
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The Garmin Vivoactive HR is a true sports watch, equipped with 24/7 heart rate monitoring, GPS and multi-sport tracking. It can track cycling swimming, running, even golf. Swimming wise, it is water resistant to 50 metres and can track lengths, strokes and stroke type, SWOLF and intervals with the ability to pause and resume your workouts. Like a lot of trackers the optical heart rate monitor will struggle to work in the water so it will need to be paired with a Garmin swim chest strap.
Being such a monster it is a little on the bulky side but not to the point of being too ugly. The watch is continuously monitoring and uses the data to calculate if you have started an activity and switches mode automatically. The Vivoactive HR+ can also be customised to an incredible degree including controlling what you see on the Garmin Chroma display.
If you are a sports nut then this will probably be the watch for you. Otherwise, the price tag and too many features will probably mean there are better options available.
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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B01CX8PTOS” locale=”US” alt=”iHealth Wave” localize=”y” src=”https://www.trackershowdown.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/4113ZLzFK0L.SL160.jpg” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ width=”143″] Pleasing to look at the iHealth Wave is an activity tracker designed to monitor daily activity, swimming and sleep. It will automatically detect swimming and track the following metrics:- number of lengths, duration, calories burned and which strokes you used. Relevant stats will be displayed on the screen and you can flick through the various options using a flick of the wrist removing the need for buttons.
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The Misfit Speedo Shine 2 is effectively a Misfit Shine 2 where Speedo have assisted in developing the technology of accurate lap counting to create a fitness tracker that is waterproof up to 50 metres and designed specifically with swimming in mind.
Design wise, it is lightweight, small in stature and looks great. The tracker unit works off a watch battery so doesn’t require daily charging and can be worn anywhere on your body by using a strap, clasp or necklace.
As well as swimming it keeps track of all your daily activities including sleep, walking and running. Great news if you do water aerobics and laps in the pool.Unsurprisingly, the Misfit Speedo Shine 2 offers great swimming functionality including the ability to track swim distance, stroke type and calories burned. These can be tracker using the Speedo Fit app or Misfit app which are both compatible.
The unit makes use of multi colour LEDs and vibration alarms to keep you on track with your daily targets, an example of which is the countdown swim timer mode which will vibrate the tracker when the workout is complete.
In addition, the Shine 2 offers a few other features you might not expect from a waterproof fitness tracker of its size. These include silent alarms, smart phone notifications and the ability to connect to Internet of Things devices using the Misfit Link, allowing you to do cool things such as use the device as a remote control for your smart lights.
Overall, a simplistic swimming watch that offers some decent functionality in a stylish case. Some people may experience issues with the strap not being as secure as they would like.
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The Mio Alpha 2 is probably best thought of as a heart rate monitor watch. The fact hat it can track your activity and also measure your heart rate without the use of a strap makes it a popular choice amongst swimmers, however the company don’t guarantee the accuracy of the heart rate monitor in the water. The device is quite large so probably not to everyone’s taste but makes up for it by being water resistant up to 30 metres.
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The Moov Now is unusual in that it is a fitness tracker but it is probably better thought of as a fitness coach. For swimming, there is no visual feedback whilst you are in the pool and it does not automatically track swimming. You have to activate swimming mode on your mobile which will free up space to record up to 2 hours of swimming activity.
The data provided by the Moov Now for swimming is calories, turn time, stroke rate and stroke count. Following the coaching model it will automatically detect which stroke you are using and give you feedback on how to increase your distance per stroke to hopefully improve your performance.
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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B0170JGUF2″ locale=”US” alt=”Polar A360″ localize=”y” src=”https://www.trackershowdown.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/41rDqZ4qXHL.SL160.jpg” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ width=”160″] Whilst the Polar A360 can be used as a fitness tracker for swimming it is definitely not a swimming watch. It is waterproof up to 30 metres but the lack of lap or stroke counters means you only get the most basic swimming metrics, and using the optical heart rate monitor and touch screen in the water may work but can be unreliable. Overall, this is a good purchase if you want an activity tracker that is waterproof.
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Designed for the serious athlete with a more substantial price tag to match the Polar V800 is what is known as a multi-sports watch. For swimming, it offers a customisable display and it can be used for pool and open water swimming, the latter making use of the on-board GPS to measure distance.
As you would expect from such an advanced swimming gadget the number of metrics is impressive: SWOLF, stroke recognition, workout duration and calories burned are just a start. If that still isn’t enough for you, using the V800 with a [easyazon_link identifier=”B00FZX9CW4″ locale=”US” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ localize=”y” popups=”n”]chest worn heart rate strap[/easyazon_link] will make use of Polar’s propietary Gymlink transmission technology and measure your heart rate whilst you swim.
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Polar Loop 2
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B011O0KXGU” locale=”US” alt=”Polar Loop 2″ localize=”y” src=”https://www.trackershowdown.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/31i7NODOrcL.SL160.jpg” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ width=”151″] The Polar Loop 2 is a lightweight, fun fitness tracker which is waterproof up to 20 metres. Designed as a wrist band there are a variety of colours and it makes use of 85 LEDs to display the key stats like steps taken, current time and calories burned. As you can imagine with such a limited display you will get the best from this device by hooking it up to the Polar Flow app which provides a wealth of information.
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Tom Tom Multi Sport GPS Watch
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The Tom Tom is starting to show its age and newer trackers are starting to put it in the shade. That being said it is no slouch. There is a screen which can be customised to show all your key metrics and it will track the distance you swim by dividing the number of strokes taken by the length of the pool that you entered.
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Suunto Aambit 3
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B006N0LIG6″ locale=”US” alt=”Suunto Aambit 3″ localize=”y” src=”https://www.trackershowdown.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/517ebiGkmtL.SL160.jpg” tag=”tracker-showdown-20″ width=”148″] The Suunto Aambit 3 is another offering in the multi activity watch stable. It can be used for running, cycling and swimming with excellent swim tracking functionality, making it a great choice for triathletes.
A problem for a lot of fitness trackers for swimming face is how to recognise your swimming strokes, relying on pre determined algorithms. The Aambit cleverly solves this problems by allowing you to teach it to recognise your stroke, resulting in more accurate results.
The Suunto Aambit 3 is also great for open water swimming and reads your heart rate. The display is clear and can be customised to display the metrics you are interested in. Once you have completed a workout you can upload to Suunto app, which is good but not as polished as those from Polar and Garmin.
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Not the most visually appealing tracker but a great choice for those who are into doing lots of sports. In addition to GPS and heart rate monitoring you can upload 3GB of music to the built in storage and listen to it via bluetooth headphones. Great news for those that dislike carrying around multiple gadgets. Unfortunately, even with the GPS it doesn’t record open water swimming. Unlike other devices the Spark doesn’t automatically recognise swimming which has to be manually selected so that all the correct settings can be applied. A little inconvenience which is overcome by the advanced features of the swimming tracking. The TomTom Spark allows you to track average speed, time in water, lengths, SWOLF, strokes and calories burnt.
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Looking more like an old school watch than an activity tracker the Activité Pop would suit anyone looking for a device to replace a wrist watch that they can wear all day. The face has traditional analogue hands and a secondary dial which shows you your current percentage of progress towards your daily goal.
With no facility for heart rate monitoring or smartphone notifications the device itself is limited in what you can do. It falls into the category of trackers that record activity for later upload into an app, allowing you to do further analysis and configuration like setting up alarms.
For swimming, the Activité Pop offers very basic tracking so will appeal more to the casual swimmer. As soon as it detects 10 minutes of continuous pool time, it will start to track automatically. Some reviews state that this can be a bit hit and miss and as the manufacturer has calibrated the watch to pools of 25 or 50 metres, other pool sizes may offer inaccurate readings.
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For most people, they think the terms waterproof and water resistant are used interchangeably. Often many manufacturers do use them as such, but the terms are very different.
Waterproof, as you would imagine, means that a device is completely impervious to water. You could take it in the shower or snorkel with it and it would still keep working as it normally world providing you don’t go past a certain depth.
Water resistant, however, means that you can splash it while washing your hands or get hit by a surprise rain storm and the world isn’t going to end. However, if you submerge it in water for longer than a set period of time, you are going to find a fitness tracker that has stopped tracking.
The problem is that companies don’t always make a clear distinction between waterproof and water resistant. However, thanks to some handy water exposure rating systems, most consumers can figure out for themselves whether a fitness tracker is waterproof or just water resistant.
The Difference Between IPX and ATM Water Ratings
Even if manufacturers aren’t excessively clear on whether their product is waterproof of just water resistant, there is one sure way to figure it out. You just look at the rating. Water resistant products use the IPX scale that covers how much water exposure a product can handle. The ratings run as follows:
IPX-0 offers no protection against water whatsoever.
IPX-1 protects against dripping from above for up to 10 minutes.
IPX-2 protects against dripping from any direction for up to 10 minutes.
IPX-3 protects against spraying water from any direction for up to five minutes.
IPX-4 offers protection from splashes from any direction for at least five minutes.
IPX-5 protects from large sprays, 12.5 liters per minute, from any direction for up to three minutes.
IPX-6 offers protection for even larger sprays, 100 liters per minute, from any direction for up to three minutes.
IPX-7 allows protection against complete submersion in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes.
IPX-8 is the highest grade of water resistance and its specifications are wholly dependent on the manufacturer. If they have tested it in five meters of water and it works for up to 30 minutes, then its IPX-8 rating would be five meters for 30 minutes.
Alternatively, if you are working with true waterproof products, they don’t need an IPX rating, because they can be fully submerged in water. Typically, waterproof products will have an IPX7 or IPX8 rating, because it is a system that more people are familiar with.
However, what you really want to look for is an ATM rating. ATM measures how deep you can expose a device. Essentially, it tells you how much water pressure a fitness tracker can endure. The ATM scale is as such:
1 ATM means a device can withstand a depth of 10 meters
3 ATM means a device can withstand depths of 30 meters
5 ATM means a device can withstand depths of 50 meters
10 ATM means a device can withstand depths of 100 meters
Unlike the IPX system, there are ratings in between the above. You can have an ATM rating of seven, nine, or anything in between. Just add a zero on the end and that is how many meters of water it can endure before the pressure starts to shut the tracker down. Unless you are an avid scuba diver, you won’t ever need more than an ATM of 5.
How Fitness Trackers Make a Product Waterproof
When it comes to both waterproofing and water resistance, it is all about properly sealing the sensitive parts. You know, the ones that conduct electricity. A little water combined with power from a battery won’t usually give you a shock, but it will completely short out your fitness tracker.
For true waterproof fitness trackers, the idea is to fully seal off every nook and cranny that could let water get into the inner workings. This means that the charging ports are sealed by some widget that you need to pry open when charging time comes and the whole package will like be a little blockier due to the extra reinforcement.
Water resistant products, on the other hand, are a little more laissez-faire about waterproofing. The higher the IPX rating, the more you will notice the sealing. Low IPX rated products will likely not have features like a flap to cover the charging port, and if they do, it remains relatively easy to open. The idea is that the water with evaporate or be dried off before it has time to fully permeate all the fitness tracker’s sensitive bits.
So why not waterproof every fitness tracker? Well, typically companies will at least sweat-proof a product, but going the extra mile to full waterproofing is just extra cost to the manufacturer. Unless the fitness tracker comes with swim tracking, most manufacturers don’t really see a point.
Fitness trackers are lauded for their ability to motivate you with cold, hard numbers towards better health. This, in turn, challenges you to live a more active and healthier life. Yet, a fitness tracker does nothing at all. Everything that makes it so great… Well, that is literally all up in your head. The greatest boon of wearing a fitness tracker each day is the effect that it has on your psychology. Strapping on a fitness tracker is such a simple act, but it can be the first act that leads to a better version of yourself.
1) A Fitness Tracker is Nothing Without You
A fitness tracker on its own does nothing to change you. If you have a mild curiosity on how many steps you take per day or want to see how many calories you burn just by sitting on the couch, there are cheaper ways to find out. However, by purchasing a fitness tracker, you are making a commitment to better yourself. A fitness tracker does nothing if you don’t first put the effort into getting up and taking the first step of your 10,000 daily step goal.
2) Fitness Trackers Reinforce That Fitness is About You Not Anyone Else
While at the gym, wearing a fitness tracker is kind of like entering into a sacred society of people dedicated to fitness, what a fitness tracker really says is that you are doing this for you. Fitness should always be about you. It should be about the changes you want to see in yourself and not about the changes that others want to see in you. As only you have access to your fitness data, not counting any social media sharing functions in the app, this means that only you know how much progress you are making.
While the world can benefit from taking others into consideration, the world of fitness should always be all about you.
3) Fitness Trackers Encourage Goal Setting
If you want to walk a path to a better you, then that path starts with a laid out route on how to get there. Goals, both big and small, short-term and long-term, are the ultimate way to get there. Think about the last time you set a small goal for yourself and reached it. It probably felt pretty good. Reaching a long-term goal feels even better, and that is the essence of how a fitness tracker motivates you.
Many fitness trackers come with automatic goal settings to challenge you without any effort on your part. For example, if you took 5,000 steps the day before, your fitness tracker might up the goal the next day to 5,500 steps. If you fail to achieve it, the goal remains. However, if you get sick of looking at it and put in the extra effort to reaching that goal, you not only get the satisfaction of besting your little piece of wearable tech, but you have taken an extra 500 steps towards becoming a better, healthier you.
4) Fitness Tracker Remind You to Get Up and Move
Even if you are putting the extra effort to reach your small time fitness goals by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to lunch instead of taking a cab, that doesn’t mean you can just sit all day and become healthy by exercising only every now and then. They say sitting all day is detrimental to your health, but a person has to work. That is where fitness trackers come in handy.
Many models of fitness trackers can recognize when you have been stationary for a period of time throughout the day. As such, when they recognize this, they start to vibrate on your wrist to remind you that it is time to get up and move. While this function can be disabled in most models, it is just one of the many ways a fitness tracker can lead to a better you.
Taking a break to go for even a short stroll around the office not only helps your overall help, but it increases focus better than a cup of coffee. Getting the heart pumping a little faster and the blood flowing back into your legs increases your overall comfort and gives you a break to recommit yourself to your works tasks.
5) Fitness Becomes Addicting
Anything that makes you feel good has the prospect of becoming an addiction. While we tend to focus on all the harmful things that become addictions, there are good things to be addicted to out there as well. When you exercise, it releases chemicals called endorphins that interact with receptors in your brain to limit the perception of pain. Essentially they give you a little bit of a euphoric feel, which is why “runner’s high” is a literal high.
Anything that releases endorphins or any of the other neurotransmitters in the brain that make you feel good can cause addiction, but fitness is probably the best thing to become addicted to. Yet, it is that addiction that keeps us coming back, but it is not just because of those little chemicals. After a prolonged period of increased activity, you begin to see the result in more than just the numbers on your fitness tracker. After seeing just a little weight loss or increase in muscle tone, it is a major boost to your self-confidence. This can make that addicting euphoric feeling of exercise last for more than just your workout.
6) That Addictions Becomes an Attitude
After enough time spent exercising, the addiction to that good feeling that initially got you hooked is quickly becoming a way of life. What started off as a few extra steps to please your fitness tracker’s goal setting has become an everyday challenge and you are likely loving it.
Now you aren’t going to the gym, taking a jog, or even just strolling around your neighborhood to get a fix of endorphins, you do it because you like it. It relaxes you, it gives you a way to de-stress, and suddenly that positive feeling you feel after exercise has become an attitude in your daily life.
7) That Attitude Turns into a Permanent Habit
Finally, that attitude for fitness becomes a permanent habit, and it is all thanks to your fitness tracker. Suddenly you are walking more and further each day. You don’t even realize you are going for a run, you just get up and do it. Fitness has become a habit for you and may very well stay that way.
While not all who purchase a fitness tracker end up with daily exercise as a permanent habit, it is the essence of how a tracker can affect your psychology. One of the best ways to build a habit is to reward yourself, but there is nothing that we enjoy more than the chemicals in our brain that let us experience joy. By engaging in activities that trigger those chemical, like exercise, it becomes an addiction. Enjoying a healthy addiction like exercise soon becomes an attitude, and suddenly one day you wake up and find yourself with a healthy habit, a better looking body, and a better version of you overall.
It is the dirty little secret of fitness trackers, one that manufacturers tend to gloss right on over when hyping their product. That secret is that there is a distinct possibly that your fitness tracker may give you a rash around your wrist.
While this is not the case for many, more than you would think have to treat themselves for wrist rashes no matter what brand they get. Luckily, for the majority of those who get rashes, the cause is an easy fix providing they dedicate themselves to proper care to both their skin and their fitness tracker.
So what is causing that rash under your fitness tracker?
Common Causes of Fitness Tracker Wrist Rash
Loosening your fitness tracker can make a big difference to any rashes
According to the media, wrist rashes are a Fitbit problem, but it is not just a Fitbit problem. Garmin, Jawbone, Polar – all fitness tracker users can experience them. Everyone’s skin is unique, and like the delicate snowflakes that we are, different things can cause different reactions. A rash is just the body’s way of telling you that something is irritating it. Common irritants in terms of fitness trackers include:
Allergies – When people get a rash, typically they believe that they are having an allergic reaction. While this is not always true, allergies are a dangerous culprit which does need to be considered. Fitness tracker bands are commonly made of lightweight, flexible plastic or silicon. It not only keeps things light on the wrist, but improves breathability. The problem is because these plastics are made out of a number of chemicals, they can cause reactions.
Soap – Yes, that’s right. Soap. It is not so much that your fitness tracker comes with soap on it, but because they need to sit snug on the wrist to get proper reading, soap gets trapped in there.This is a common problem in waterproof and highly water resistant models that allow you to shower with your tracker on. However, even just washing your hands can result in trapped soap. Soap, once dried or left on the skin for a long period of time, can be highly irritating due to the presence of fragrances, dyes, and other chemicals.
Sweat – Your fitness tracker may be sweat-proof, but surprisingly, your skin is not. When your band is on tight and you are sweating up a storm, this will often result in milaria, or “heat rash,” which is the result of blocked sweat ducts.
As you can tell, some common causes of fitness tracker rashes can be easily dealt with. However, others will require a little more research and might even lock you out from fitness trackers forever.
What is the Cause of Fitness Tracker Band Allergies?
The reason that many people associate rashes to allergies when it comes to fitness trackers is almost exclusively the fault of Fitbit. Due to mishaps at their factory, they had recall all FitBit Force wristbands in 2014 because they accidentally included a chemical called methacrylate in the adhesive. While some people have no reaction to it, there was a larger than normal amount of Force wearers that complained of burning and itching on their wrist.
This is the typical case with most fitness tracker allergies. They use a lot of chemicals to create such flexible and light wristbands and some people are sensitive to certain chemicals.
A number of people also have allergic reactions to nickel, which is commonly included in the stainless steel parts of fitness trackers. Some have a stainless steel plate that rests against the skin to get better readings while other simply feature the stainless steel buckle like a wristwatch of old.
People may use stainless steel silverware, but most people don’t realize they have a nickel allergy until they are exposed to it for like periods of time, like through a fitness tracker.
How to Properly Keep a Fitness Tracker Band Clean
If you have deduced that your skin irritation is not caused by the material that your fitness tracker is made of, then it is likely caused by soap or other irritants getting caught in there. You skin irritation is living, burning proof that just because you can shower with a fitness tracker on, doesn’t mean you should.
A fitness tracker is a lot like wearing socks. You can keep them on all the time, but the skin underneath needs to breathe and be cleaned. Our skin is crawling with bacteria, not necessarily bad bacteria, but bacteria and dead skin that needs to be cleaned away and thrives in moist conditions. If you wear socks all the time, you get foot fungus. If you wear your tracker all the time, you get a rash. Dead skin, soap, bacteria, dirt, and sweat become a powerful rash-causing slurry under your waterproof fitness tracker that, if ignored, will easily become a more dangerous infection.
Think of shower time as a time not only to clean your body (including your wrist), but a time to clean the band of your fitness tracker as well. Invest in some alcohol wipes, the kind doctors will use to clean your skin before giving you a shot, and wipe down the underside as well as the top of the band. Even if you only have a water resistant band, the alcohol will dry fast enough so as to not damage any of the functions.
If you have a cloth mesh band, this cleaning technique won’t work as well. However, you can simply remove the band and wash it by hand with soap. However, be sure to rinse thoroughly.
How to Avoid Fitness Tracker Rashes
No matter whether you have an allergy, irritation from material caught under the band, or have blocked sweat glands, each is easily treatable so you can continue to enjoy your wearable tech.
When it comes to allergies, all you need to do is to switch to a different type of band. If you are allergic to nickel, finding bands without stainless steel are easy. However, if you are allergic to the plastic ones, it might be more of a task to find an alternative. However, sometimes it is as simple as switching to another brand.
For irritation from trapped soap, you simply need to be diligent in cleaning your band and taking it off sometimes. This is something you should be doing even if you don’t have a rash. For those that suffer heat rash, the solution is even simpler. You merely need to loosen the bracelet a little so your sweat glands can continue to excrete without being impeded.
All three common skin irritation factors caused by fitness trackers are simple fixes. You don’t need to endure a rash if you are into fitness trackers, you just need to make adjustments.