Tracking Your Fitness – At Home or When You Travel

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fitness-tracker-walkingMore than 1.4 billion dollars have been invested in fitness wearables since 2009. It’s become a huge and growing trend for individuals, as well as companies hoping to promote greater wellness in the workplace. For example, to promote wellness, Ikea gave all 14,000 of its U.S. employees, from executives to part-time cashiers, an UP fitness wristband from Jawbone. And while the corporate market is huge, the biggest market is still individuals who are on the lookout for the wearable that best suits their individual tastes, budget, needs and preferences.

Looking to find the perfect fitness tracker to track your steps, routes, swim laps, sleep, and so much more? Better yet, ready to stay on track with your fitness goals while you travel? Here are some of the most popular, the most accurate, the most techy, and the most futuristic devices for tracking your fitness.

We’ll start with Fitbit, because in all of the research I’ve done, the Fitbit tends to rate very well. From least to most expensive, here are a few options to consider, with prices included:

Fitbit One – This option is a clip-on vs. a wrist wearable. It doesn’t require a smartphone to use, and if tracking your sleep is important, the clip-on gives you better sleep tracking. ($95)

Fitbit Charge – The Charge doesn’t monitor your heart rate, so if this is important to you, it’s a great tracker but may not suit your needs. The strap is rubber to keep the price down and there are still some great features with this one. ($129)

Fitbit (Charge HR) – The Charge HR rates the best among the research I’ve done. It counts steps, flights of stairs, it’s extremely accurate, includes heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring, and what many people like about it is that it has a band like a watch. ($149.95)

Fitbit Surge – This one is great for multi-sports. It’s also great because it tracks moving and static cardio (many other trackers don’t track static movements well). In addition, it’s able to receive calls, texts and notifications. ($249)

Garmin is another brand that rates pretty well. Here are a few of the trackers they offer with prices included, from least to most expensive:

Garmin Vivofit 2 – Garmin teamed up with the food app MyFitnessPal, which is helpful if you’re using a tracker to keep tabs on your food. It doesn’t offer notifications, GPS or have a light-up screen. It would be considered a simpler tracker but still has lots of benefits. ($129.99)

Garmin Swim – If you’re a swimmer, this tracker is a great choice for keeping track of your strokes, distance, and so much more. Obviously, it’s waterproof too! ($149.99)

Garmin Vivosmart – The Vivosmart looks more like a tracker vs. a watch and uses vibrations for different types of notifications, which some people like and others find distracting. It’s waterproof, too. ($169.99)

Garmin Forerunner – The Forerunner looks like a watch and tracks sleep, steps, heart rate and more. It also has a great GPS function for runs, walks and jogs. ($199.99)

Garmin Vivoactive – The Vivoactive has a great GPS to accurately track running, cycling and swimming. It gives measurements like pace and distances, and it’s a great tracker for other sports, too. The Vivoactive is a smart-watch in addition to being a fitness tracker, so it also handles calls, texts and emails. Pretty fancy, huh? ($250)

Another brand that you’ve probably seen around is the Jawbone. It’s budget friendly, and if you don’t need all the bells and whistles, it’s worth taking a look. It also has a very unique design. Here are two models, from least to more expensive:

Jawbone UP Move – The Up Move tracks all types of activities. You tag the activities you do, then tag them and track how you’re doing with those activities. ($49.99)

Jawbone UP 24 – The Up 24 is very light and offers reminders to move if it’s not sensing movement for a while. It also offers goal setting for things like water and sleep. It has an alarm, offers different types of alerts, you can set activity goals, and it’s waterproof. You either like or dislike the bracelet like look of the Jawbone, but it’s worth a look, for sure. ($99)

Misfit is another brand that has a few options. Again, here are two, from least to more expensive:

Misfit Flash – The Flash tracks steps, sleep, and swims. It’s waterproof and integrates with great apps like RunKeeper, MapMyFitness and MyFitnessPal. ($49.99)

Misfit Shine – The Shine tracks running, walking, cycling, swimming, sleep, and more. It has an extended battery life and looks like a funky watch you can dress up or down – great for function and fashion, too! ($99)

Withings is another brand with a few options:

Withings Activite Pop – It’s plastic to keep the price down, and it has tons of functions. The Pop looks like a watch, offered in many colors. It tracks everything you’d expect and also has an extended battery life, badges and leaderboards to challenge you and compete with your friends. This one automatically adjusts if you change your time zone. ($150)

Withings Activite – Everything the Pop offers, but it looks even more like a sharp watch with a beautiful leather strap with metal. ($349)

A few others to consider:

Razer Nabu X – It’s a basic tracker and displays colors you can choose. ($49.99)

Nike Fuel Band – If you’re a Nike lover, you’ll like this one right away. It’s very goal oriented, where you earn Nike fuel points, and it even tracks exercises like yoga and bowling! ($149.95)

A few other great combo smart-watch/trackers from names you know:

Samsung Gear Fit – A great activity tracker and smart-watch combination. ($149.99)

Sony Smartband Talk – This one tracks runs, walks, climbs, and you can make calls from it. ($169)

Microsoft Band  This one has lots of bells and whistles – it’s described as a coach/personal trainer on your wrist. Lots of ways to set goals and personal achievements. ($199.99)

Here are two more that are noteworthy:

Pivotal Living – This one is subscription-based, for $12 a month. It’s being updated with new features.

Swarovski Shine – I had to mention this one because it looks like a beautiful bracelet and it’s hard to believe that there’s any kind of tracking going on, but don’t be fooled by the bling. Smart and pretty at the same time, and truly different. ($249)

So… which tracker is right for you? We’d love to know, comment and share!

Photo from here, with thanks.

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