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Fitness Trackers for a New You in 2016


Fitness Trackers for a New You in 2016
  Jan. 26, 2016


Fitness technology has migrated from gloried pedometers to more capable data collection appliances. Consumers now consider them a part of the experience as indicated by reaching the top ranks among anticipated fitness trends for 2016. A variety of products have hit the market designed to help people reach their fitness goals more efficiently including smartwatches, apps and wearables to help fitness enthusiasts gain performance through various means. Some of these gadgets are used among less-active populations (e.g., corporate office workers) to calculate how much they actually move each day so that modifications can be made to improve overall health. While smartwatches can handle many of the tasks common of a traditional fitness tracker – the trackers are still hard to beat in terms of price and durability. The newest versions have come a long way from those released eight years ago as they can keep tabs on more types of physical activity (e.g., mountain climbing, swimming, aerobics, etc.) with much greater precision. They now also come in various functional forms (e.g., discs, necklaces) with aesthetic options available in plastic, metal and leather to match any outfit. Compared to other forms of technology, fitness trackers may not be necessarily “cutting edge”, but they are still one of the best ways to gauge how much one actually moves each day. Listed are four popular options with different strong points for specific needs or desires:

  • For Functional Versatility - Misfit Shine 2 ($100.00): This tracker is designed as a thin small disc about the size of a quarter. It is made of water-resistant aluminum and tracks daily steps, caloric expenditure, distance traveled and sleep quality. A ring of 12 LED lights up to show the current time or your fitness progress. It can be worn as a watch using the included band, a necklace, clipped to a shirt or sneaker or simply placed in a pocket. One battery can last up to 6 months. It can be paired with the company’s Misfit Link app to control other apps on your phone and smart devices around your house. This app also allows manual logging of specific activities such as swimming, basketball, tennis, soccer, yoga and dance.
  • For Adventure Time - Garmin Fenix 3 ($500.00): The Garmin Fenix 3 is the perfect pick for those who love the great outdoors. It is designed as a heavy, sturdy watch with a stainless-steel bezel and a steel or leather band. It is clearly engineered to survive in various environments where a smartwatch may not handle the trip. It has a heart-rate monitor and GPS with satellite reception. Battery life varies depending on use; it will last for about 16 hours with the built-in GPS engaged, to about 3 months in “watch only” mode. What really sets this device apart is its ability to track various nuances in bodily movement during activities ranging from running, bike riding, swimming (waterproof to up to 100m), or even a mountain climb. During your adventure it can provide metrics such as ground contact time, cadence and vertical oscillation for climbers.
  • For Ease of Use - Fitbit Charge HR ($150.00): Fitbit is a pioneer in the fitness-tracking field. This is evident in the clarity of its app, which provides an exceptionally easy-to-read snapshot of your daily activity. A crisp OLED screen displays your metrics, the current time or presents other functions such as call notifications from your smartphone. The rechargeable battery lasts up to five days. In addition to tracking the basics such as step count, calories expended and distance traveled, the Fitbit Charge HR also monitors your heart rate using a wrist-based sensor. When paired with the companion app it provides real-time heart rate data while exercising as well as when the user is at rest or sleeping.
  • For Minimalist Simplicity - Runtastic Moment ($129.00): The Runtastic Moment has no touch screen and displays no notifications; a single dial on the face tells you how close you are to reaching a daily fitness goal. An accompanying app lets you view more complete data on steps taken, sleep quality, distance traveled, calories burned and any running and cycling. The lower models come with rubberized bands and aluminum casings, while the more expensive iterations have stainless-steel casings and are paired with leather or cloth watchbands. All run for up to six months on a replaceable battery. It functions as intended without all the extra bells and whistles.
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