Fitness Tracker Buying Guide

A fitness tracker helps us to find and sustain the motivation to move more and live a healthier life. This Fitness Tracker Buying Guide outlines the key things to consider when weighing up different fitness trackers so choosing the best fitness tracker for your needs is easier.

1. What are the key factors for you?

The type of fitness tracker that’s right for you will depend on:

  • Whether you have a preference for a particular fitness tracker brand
  • Fitbit fitness trackers
  • Garmin fitness trackers
  • LG fitness trackers
  • What you want to use it for
  • Different fitness trackers have different capabilities for tracking different types of sports
  • Do you specifically want to use it to track walking, running, swimming or cycling?
  • Do some research to find out which physical activities different models are able to capture
  • Which types of devices it is compatible with
  • You need to know if you can sync the fitness tracker to your smartphone, tablet or laptop
  • Do you need a fitness tracker that’s compatible with Android devices or Apple devices?
  • Syncing your fitness tracker to your device allows you to track your progress using the app
  • How much you want to spend
  • Basic fitness trackers track your steps and calories burnt and are the cheapest to buy
  • More advanced fitness trackers have features like heart rate monitors and a higher price
  • The design and style
  • Fitness trackers come in different colours so you can choose the colour that suits your style
  • Do you prefer small and discreet or are you happy for it to be bigger with more features?

2. Which features do you want?

Different people want different features so consider which of these are important to you:

  • Steps – records how many steps you take and allows you to set goals for yourself
  • Calories burnt – tells you how many calories your physical activity has used up
  • Clock – shows you the time so you don’t have to wear a watch as well as a fitness tracker
  • Sleep – tracks the quality of your sleep
  • Silent alarm – vibrates at the right time in your circadian rhythm and doesn't wake anyone else
  • Distance – tells you how far you’ve travelled whilst exercising
  • Speed – tells you how quickly you’ve been moving whilst exercising
  • Heart rate – records your heart rate so you can see monitor increases as you exercise
  • Touch screen – allows you to track your progress on the screen without having to open the app
  • Phone notifications – shows you your text messages and who’s calling on the touch screen
  • GPS – tracks your location and speed for running, cycling and hiking (relies on having a signal)

3. Applications

It’s important to think about the apps that go with the different fitness tracker options:

  • Different brands have different compatible apps you can use to track your progress
  • The apps use visual aids like pie charts and bar graphs to show you your progress towards goals
  • Some apps allow you to set up family and friend groups so you can compete and stay motivated
  • Read online app reviews so you know what each app can do and can choose the one you want

4. How long will the battery last

It’s important to find out how long the batteries in different models will last before you need to charge them so you know upfront and there’s no surprises after purchasing your fitness tracker.

5. Accessories

Some fitness trackers can be synced with other fitness devices like weighing scales to help you achieve your goals on your healthy living journey.

6. Caring for you fitness tracker

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions so your fitness tracker lasts as long as possible
  • If your fitness tracker is not waterproof or water resistant keep it away from water at all times

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