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The Best Fitness Trackers



The Best Fitness Trackers

Getting into shape, losing weight and moving more each day are all really tough to do. An activity tracker can help! Seeing how much exercise you get (or don’t get), day by day and week by week, can motivate you to start taking the stairs more or walking the dog an extra lap around the block. At the very least, it will make you more mindful of your present activity level, which is a huge first step to getting fit.

New devices turn up on online shopping sites every month. But not all of them track everything you’d expect, and not all are worth your money. If you’re shopping for your first activity tracker, I encourage you to find one that will be best for you and your needs. Here’s information on the top three:

  • Jawbone Up24

Are you in the market for a nearly weightless fitness tracker? Look no further than the Jawbone Up24. Ditching a built-in display makes it one of the lightest wearables available, weighing in at a scant 20 grams coupled with a comfortable soft exterior.

While the Up24 lacks a display of any kind, it syncs every step and your sleep data to a gorgeous smartphone app. All your biometric data is then displayed clearly with with bar graphs, line charts and all with so many colors. The Up24 will also periodically tug at you with reminders to get up, plus users can setup personalized challenges that go beyond burning more calories. For example, you can set goals to get more sleep or make sure to drink a healthy amount of water everyday.

A superior, though more expensive, follow-up dubbed the Jawbone Up3 is being readied with a brand new design and extra sensors, though it’s been quietly delayed.

  • Fitbit Charge

Welcome back to the best of list, Fitbit. Sure, the Fitbit Force was recalled due to causing skin irritation, but it was among the best step and calorie burning counters to wear on your wrist. It’s back sans all of the rashes as Fitbit Charge, and it has the same OLED display, metrics and form factor. There’s a some new stuff here too: a texturized rubber design, slightly easier-to-buckle clasp and caller ID functionality.

Alternatively, the Fitbit Charge HR adds a heart-rate monitor for a bumped up price, while the Fitbit Surge (which we mention later on among the best fitness trackers) is the company’s “Superwatch.” Those are tempting features, but most people will be satisfied with the Fitbit Charge’s basic metrics and syncing.

  • Nike FuelBand SE

It’s an oldie but a goodie. The Nike FuelBand SE was announced way back in November 2013 but it’s still one of the most stylish and effective fitness trackers to ever come out. Sporting a hard plastic band, the FuelBand SE is small and discreet as a regular – if a bit stiff – wristband. The dot matrix LED display makes for an easy to read digital clock and lights up with rainbow colors whenever you’ve accomplished your goals.

The FuelBand SE is also one of the most goal-oriented fitness trackers, gamifying the act getting fit with fuel points awarded for every little completed workout. At the end of the day you can see how close you came to your fuel point target as well as your total calories burned and steps taken. Beyond traditional exercises like running, you can also set the Fuel Band SE to quantify activities like yoga and bowling.

Have you tried any of these fitness trackers? What’s your favorite?

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Rockwall County Named Among Healthiest Counties in Texas




The City of Rockwall Boasts Health Initiatives and Fitness Opportunities

Rockwall County was recently rated number six in Health Outcomes among the 232 counties throughout the state of Texas that were rated. The study was conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and results were released in early 2014. The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program based ratings on vital health factors, including such things as the quality of air and water, access to healthy foods, levels of obesity, rates of smoking, and education and economic factors.

Rockwall County Judge Jerry Hogan, who has been following this study closely, is very pleased with Rockwall County’s ranking, “We all knew we were living in a great place, and our judgment just continues to be reconfirmed as more and more quantitate indicators such as this are published. We do live in a great place in Rockwall County, Texas.”

The City of Rockwall is a top city in providing health and fitness opportunities to its citizens. Annual events such as the U.S. Open Triathlon and the Gladiator Rock’n Run, both held at Lake Ray Hubbard, establish a healthy culture in Rockwall. With groups such as the Rockwall Running Club (RRC) laying a foundation for fitness, over 8,000 residents participated in running events held in Rockwall last year, driving the Road Runners Club of America to designate Rockwall as a Runner Friendly Community in 2014. According to RRC member Rhonda Mishler, Coach Barrett Hopper keeps the Rockwall Running Club “motivated and on the move,” organizing events such as the Patriot Half Marathon and the 5K Race for Nate held annually on Memorial Day in Rockwall.

Mishler went on to say, “I can tell you that being a part of this club has enhanced my motivation to get healthy and stronger. The club has a huge membership and is comprised of a vast array of people from all walks of life. Whether you are a new runner, or a well-seasoned ‘elite’ runner, the club has a program to meet your needs. There are runners of every pace, so there is always someone there to pair up with when you come out at 5 a.m. to run the streets of Rockwall, or the track at Williams Stadium. There are also evening coordinated runs. We are blessed with a fantastic group of people who are always willing to mentor, to challenge and to help everyone meet their goals. Our motto is ‘No runner left behind.’ This group goes beyond the running part of gathering; we have developed treasured friendships and are there to help each other outside of just the running aspect.”

Clubs and Events are not the only factors that make Rockwall County Healthy. The city of Rockwall has numerous parks, walking trails, swimming pools and sports facilities to draw its residents. Even many of the city’s businesses have joined the ranks by adding health initiatives and opportunities for their employees. The Rockwall Economic Development Corporation encourages businesses and citizens to use its sidewalk loop in the Rockwall Technology Park for walking and jogging, and opens it up as a venue for the annual Rockwall Cycling Event.

“Corporate walking groups have become very popular among the businesses in the Rockwall Technology Park,” said Sheri Franza, President & CEO of the Rockwall Economic Development Corporation. “Every day, many business employees and Rockwall residents walk the Park, building friendships and collaborating on business opportunities. When individuals feel physically, socially and emotionally fit, they make greater contributions to their company and community.”

Other companies have built on that lead, as well. L-3 Communications ComCept has the Choose Good Health Program, which offers incentives to their employees to have health assessments and physical exams done regularly and also offers free services such as flu shots and preventative screenings. L-3 provides health and nutrition literature to its employees, a Wellness Fair and Fitness Programs at local gyms. Whitmore Manufacturing recently added a fitness room to their new building, which offers treadmills, stationary bicycles, elliptical machines and a universal system. Special Products & Manufacturing (SPM) offers the Wellness Challenge to their employees, educating their associates on their health coverage plan and taking advantage of preventive care. The Wellness Challenge consists of four steps, all geared toward healthy outcomes, and provides monetary incentives for meeting the challenge. SPM also offers free flu shots and reduced costs for memberships at 24 Hour Fitness.

The County Health Rankings study concluded that the opportunities provided by a community greatly affects the overall health of its citizens. As Rockwall continues to grow and advance, health is not being left behind but encouraged and nourished among its population, making Rockwall among the most elite of cities to live in.

About Rockwall Economic Development Corporation

The Rockwall EDC is committed to building Rockwall with quality and purpose while being the economic engine and gateway for premier business opportunity in the State of Texas. Since 1996, the REDC has broadened and diversified the Rockwall tax base through new business attraction, land acquisition and development, progressive infrastructure, corporate business expansion and job creation. With shovel ready sites available in the 400 acre Rockwall Technology Park, and access to major interstates, airports and railroad, Rockwall is a strategic business location. For more information about Rockwall EDC or the Rockwall Technology Park, (972) 772-0025 or visit

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