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?