Get in Shape with an Activity Tracker!
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
The famed management consultant Peter Drucker gave us this often used quote, but it’s not limited to the world of business. Being able to measure your goals and progress is a great way to improve any aspect of your life. This is especially true for exercise.
Why you Need an Activity Tracker
First of all, you probably want to know what activity trackers are. Simply put, Activity trackers are devices or software that measure your physical activity. They range from phone apps that function as simple step counters to stand alone heart rate monitoring and GPS tools. Some even go as far as monitoring your sleep patterns and blood oxygen levels. So why do you need a fancy app or wristband to track your physical activity?
Get credit for ALL of your workouts.
Staying physically fit, isn’t just about your scheduled gym visit three times a week or your daily jog. It’s about keeping your body in motion throughout the day. The problem is that skipping the elevator and taking the steps, or parking further away from your office so you have to walk a little more are hard mini-workouts to keep track of. Sure, you can keep a workout log for your gym visits, but it’s pretty tough to write down every time you walk a flight of steps. Those kind of spontaneous workouts are where activity trackers come in handy!
Activity trackers automatically log your daily movement providing you with realtime feedback. Imagine checking your wrist and noticing you still need 500 steps to reach your 2000 steps a day goal… all of a sudden it’s a lot easier to make the decision to take your dog for a 10 minutes stroll after work!
Invest in your health
What could be a better way to spend you money than on your physical well being? Investing in an activity tracker is an affordable way to increase your chances of sticking to your fitness goals
Activity Tracker Options
Here are some great options in activity tracking that range from simple and cheap to more expensive and complex!
FitBit has been a pioneer in the activity tracking industry. Their minimalist design combined with a simple and easy to use interface has made their products quite popular. The charge lacks a lot of advanced user features but still does the basics really well. Definitely a good choice for someone new to activity tracking who wants a quality device.
If you want to step up from an app, but don’t want to spend too much money try the MisFit Flash. This simple device retails for around $50, and includes basic activity tracker functionality such as calories burned, steps taken and distance traveled. Unfortunately it does not have a real digital display and instead uses little lights around its face to show you your progress. Like most trackers on this list, the Flash syncs with both android and iOS phones.
This is undoubtedly the easiest and most cost effective way to enter the world of Activity Tracking. Steps Pedometer is a FREE iTunes app that uses your iPhone’s GPS and accelerometer to track number of steps per day. Yes… it’s a glorified pedometer, but the daily tracking and calories burned calculation can push you to try and beat your personal best along with seeing your daily progress via colorful chart!
A higher end model the Microsoft band has plenty of features for the most advanced user. One of the most unique aspects i it’s coaching model which includes guided workouts. It also gives you GPS run mapping. Supposedly Microsoft is out of stock right now. The band also functions as a smart watch giving you access to your contacts, email and text messages
Like its name implies the Withings pulse 02 boasts both a heart rate monitor and a blood oxygen level monitor. Surprisingly users get both these advanced features for a reasonable $120 price tag. Though it may not have the elegance or easy to use interface that has made Fitbit so popular Withings pulse is a great alternative with some powerful features.
How to Choose the Right Tracker
Finding the right tracker is going to depend on your budget, workout experience and personal preference. Something to keep in mind is that these are devices that are meant to be worn over long periods of time, so make sure you get something that you like the looks of and is comfortable to wear. Good luck with your new year’s fitness goals!