Fitness monitoring has taken off: our wrists are now decorated with the latest and greatest wearable devices. Steps, heart rates, kilometres. Data is rolling in to keep people on track of their fitness goals.
We think these are here to stay. Being accountable for the details of the work you put in to being your healthiest and fittest self will only make you better. Whether you are swimming, running, biking, lifting, or going about your daily activities, having a tracker can be a huge help. No matter your activity, there is a device for anyone.
Here are three key features in a wearable fitness tracking device:
- Heart Rate: Your heart rate is a great way to gauge how your body is feeling during movement. If your heart rate is spiking, being able to see the actual numbers can help you make adjustments as needed. It can also help you track intensity and recovery.
- GPS Tracker: Monitoring your pace, distance travelled, complete with an overall summary of your activity can help you compare how you felt vs how much work you did. Say, for example, you were running at a particular pace one day, and the next you were running the same but felt significantly worse, you can use this information to make adjustments to your recovery or intensity.
- Water Resistant/Proof: This feature will make your fitness tracker more multipurpose if you can take it with you from your gym session to the pool, as well as having a device that you know will be able to sustain your sweaty lifestyle.
Here are four great devices for you to check out:
1. On a Budget:
Polar M200 – $199
Want to get in the market for a wearable device to track your fitness without breaking the bank? This watch has the bare bones of what you need without the extras. Perfect for someone wanting a purpose-driven watch to help elevate and keep on top of the data behind their fitness. There isn’t a touchscreen, but the buttons on the side do the trick just great.
- Built-in USB charger
- GPS + Connects to a Heart Rate monitor (included)
- Waterproof to 30m
- Sleep Tracker
- Connects to the Polar App as well as social fitness sharing programs
2. The Splurge:
Apple Watch Series 3 – $599
If you are looking for a wearable device that incorporates everything you need to do in a 24 hour period, from your workout to business to time at home, this watch can do it all. The sleek design, beautiful interface, an array of functions makes this one a fun one if you are willing to dish out some cash.
Another advantage for users in Australia is the GymKit feature which was launched by one of our partners, Fitness First Australia. They are the first to team up with Apple and GymKit to allow Apple Watch users to easily collect data from their cardio equipment in real time like heart rate, calories burned, distance, speed and incline. No more QR codes, just tap and go.
- GPS, Altimeter, Heart Rate Monitor
- Music Streaming works with Bluetooth Headphones
- Connects to the Apple Fitness App and the Nike+ Run Club
- Connects with specific fitness activities such as running, swimming, biking, and HIIT workouts.
3. The Tried and True
Garmin Forerunner 630 – $549
The Garmin Forerunner series are proven to work. If you are chasing after those personal best, this wearable device is a safe bet for satisfaction. It is especially great if you are a runner. With all of the analytical data you need to track your fitness and training, the 630 is a solid choice in our books.
- Touch Screen with Coloured High-Resolution Display
- GSP & Connects to Heart Rate Monitor
- Tracks lactate threshold, ground contact time, and stride length
- Connects to the Garmin Connect App
4. Overall Winner:
Fitbit Iconic – $449
Fitbit has ventured into the world of smartwatches, and we are happy with the result. One of the newest on the market, Fitbit has decided to go toe to toe with the likes of the Apple Watch. The interface is gorgeous, and quality of the features are cutting edge.
- Four-day battery life
- Sleep Tracker
- GPS & Heart Rate Tracker
- 42-inch (348 x 250 pixels) LCD display
- Stores your music and pairs with Bluetooth Headphones
What’s next for wearable devices:
We predict that they will take on those features that you see in the top smartphones. After all, people want more features with less bulk. If you compact all of your technological activities on one little wrist piece, this seems ideal.
How does this look for you reaching your fitness goals? Well, as mentioned before, that more data you can gather towards your fitness and workouts, the better in the know you are about how your body is responding. It is also quite fun to upload your data and share workouts, routes, gyms you go to, and new fitness trends in your online social circles. The world of social media and fitness are colliding, and these wearable devices are ahead of the curve in combining the two.
Our next prediction is an increase in quality of personal online coaching via these fitness trackers. Watches with better movement detection, analysis, and feedback. Think of a personal coach who can accurately analyze your movements in the weight room, your cadence on the trails, and your efficiency in the water.