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What Makes A Good Activity Tracker

What Makes A Good Activity Tracker

To start with, let’s define the nature of fitness trackers. An activity tracker, also known as a fitness tracker, is a device designed for monitoring and tracking all kinds of data as it refers to fitness.  This includes the distance that you have run or walked, the number of calories consumed, heart rate and sleep quality. Of course, this innovative technology sounds like a great must-have item.However, among all the other features that you should consider when buying a fitness tracker, the most important and basic one is what your individual goals are, or why you want to use a fitness tracker. These reasons might vary from person to person.

Anyone Can Use A Fitness Tracker

Some people who are just starting any kind of physical exercises need an activity tracker with a simple design such as showing them the number of steps taken and calories burned. Swimmers should make sure their trackers are waterproof and professional athletes need fitness trackers with advanced features. This list can be continued for a while, but the point is, to show you what the first step in purchasing an activity tracker should be. Each different group of users will have their own various needs.

What Makes A Good Activity Tracker

Types Of Trackers

Fitness trackers are mostly synced wirelessly to computers or smartphones for the goal of long time periods of data tracking.  Trackers for shorter time periods are technological items that can be worn.

It is important to mention the two main types of trackers. The first one is an all-day tracker, which measures the following activities:

  •        Steps taken
  •        Stairs climbed
  •        Duration of exercise
  •        Calories consumed and burned
  •        Active minutes
  •        Sleep time

The second type is a training tracker that measures the following:

  •        Heart rate
  •        Breathing patterns
  •        Speed
  •        Miles you have walked, run, or traveled
  •        Lap times of swimming pools
  •        Changes in altitude
  •        Also, everything that the all-day trackers measure

Features of an Activity Tracker

There are also special fitness trackers that can measure your blood pressure and weight. Let’s look at the descriptions of the various features of trackers.

mergehealth-icon-fitness Tracking Accuracy

The accuracy of the tracker is important because that’s what you buy them for, to learn the exact number of steps you take, calories you lose, etc. However, they might also lack absolute imprecision as they utilize sensors and algorithms. To get the most precise data, we advise you to buy a function-specific device. A heart rate monitor that is attached to your chest transfers more precise information than the fitness tracker with sensors in the device, that wear on your wrist.

It is worth exploring the accuracy rate of each device so that you won’t be disappointed later. Our reviews will help you to discern the brands that are reliable and durable from those that are not.

Note: If you are engaged in a wide range of activities, say preparing for a triathlon, then there is no need to buy separate fitness trackers in order to fit for each of these activities. Modern technology offers fitness trackers with multi-sport tracking abilities such as: water-resistance, speed tracking, elapsed time tracking, and distance. The data can be recorded whether you are running, cycling or swimming.

mergehealth-icon-fitness Progress Monitoring

Fitness trackers can be a great motivator for people who wish to lose weight or want to get more involved with physical training. When people can see actual numbers that measure their activity, they try harder to see better numbers. They can track their progress and update goals as needed. There is no better or easier way to track steps taken, heart rate, etc., all at the same time while engaged in exercising or other physical activities. You should know that your progress will be monitored with certain numbers on your fitness trackers only if you work and exercise hard, otherwise numbers will not change.

If you think that a fitness tracker is the motivation you need, to compare your progress over time, then go for it!

mergehealth-icon-fitness Bluetooth Syncing

Make sure your device is connected to all the required apps, is synced via Bluetooth and is up-to-date. This will help in the consistency and preservation of the tracked data.  A really good quality fitness tracker will offer this feature so that you access the information on your tablet, laptop or smartphone, wherever and whenever you want.

mergehealth-icon-fitness Smartwatch Notifications

Since technological advances happen every day, a modern fitness tracker has incredible options never available before now. Your smartwatches can send you notifications of certain goals or levels reached, so you don’t have to stop and look at your computer or table regularly. This type of tracker feature is highly anticipated and consumers are opting for this particular device over other kinds.

mergehealth-icon-fitness Connectivity

This is a very important feature because if the connectivity of your fitness tracker is not compatible with that of your cell phone or computer, it is not going to serve you optimally. Some fitness trackers sync only with Apple iOS and some with Android only, some might not work with Windows. The device won’t work if it cannot connect to the appropriate computer specifications.

mergehealth-icon-fitness Battery Life

The battery life of a fitness tracker is expected to be seven days on the average, however, some fitness trackers last even longer. It may seem short until you realize that this is the rate if the tracker works non-stop for twenty-four hour periods. It’s sensible to look for an activity tracker with the longest possible battery time.

We should also be mentioned that depending on certain features of your fitness tracker, as well as its quality and sophistication, the battery life might even last for several months. Fitness trackers that have more complicated features, such as those that come with a color touchscreen, might need to be charged more often than the simpler ones that have only a few LED lights on their screens.

So, it’s easy to see that battery life is directly tied to the number of features offered and how advanced those features are when used. If you don’t use all the functions on your fitness tracker, see if you can opt out of any, rather than wasting power on something that isn’t important to you, or buy a simpler device.

mergehealth-icon-fitness Waterproof (ATM)

If you are a swimmer, you will surely want a fitness tracker that is waterproof.  This way you can continue to wear it in the pool or any body of water. Since swimming is an activity that uses energy to help tone your muscles and lose weight, it is a perfect sport to track your progress.  ATM and IP are waterproof rating standards. Also, be aware that water-resistant and waterproof are not interchangeable terms.  They mean totally different things.  Waterproof means that water cannot penetrate the device. Water-resistant only means that is difficult for water to enter it, but not impossible.

mergehealth-icon-fitness GPS

If you have decided to go for fitness trackers with advanced features, then look for one with GPS capability. An activity tracker with a GPS function can track your steps and distance. It also gives you location information as well.

Fitness trackers that come with GPS might especially be greatly suited for cyclists and distance runners while giving you location monitoring.  This is good to know not only when you are tracking physical exertion, but if you are in an area of rough terrain, you will naturally be exercising harder.

A fitness tracker with a GPS will tell you your exact location and be able to measure the yardage on a golf course while you are golfing. If you are a swimmer, you can find water-resistant activity trackers with the feature of GPS too. They will log the number of strokes and the distance amount.

If you are a professional sportsman getting ready to take part in an outdoor triathlon, then you should remember the fact that activity trackers with GPS rely on satellite signals.  This means they will not work indoors, among tall trees or buildings, or in inclement weather such as in storms or in harsh winds. It is good to have a particular goal in mind when looking for a fitness tracker with a GPS function.

Why Buy an Activity Tracker?

In the end, do you really need a fitness tracker?

Well, to answer this question we offer a variety of reasons to purchase one, but the decision depends on you.  If you think the product has some merit and you will use it regularly, it is a good idea.  It may produce a lifestyle change in the way that you will exercise more, which is always a good thing. The following people would benefit from a fitness tracker for the following reasons.

Fitness trackers, as was already mentioned, can be a great motivator for starting exercising, getting fit staying that way.  People who are into fitness or beginners in the exercise arena, can see their daily progress.  Knowing that you can measure certain accomplishments will keep you going and prepare new goals whenever you attain them.

Athletes can definitely benefit from fitness trackers.

This way they don’t have to rely on others to track their performance.  Coaches work on other areas of training, knowing that the athletes are using their activity trackers and the data can be reviewed. These sportsmen and women can proceed to their next goal, as they get faster, stronger and more physically fit.  They can help compare the results of your progress right on the spot and without the need for separate devices to measure multiple activity rates.

Seniors can implement fitness trackers to see their level of activity on a daily basis.

It may be difficult for some older people to keep moving or to think they are doing more than what is real. This can also help those who have caretakers, doctors, nurses and family members monitor these levels for their health. The trackers that have the heart rate feature is especially promising for this age group.  It is easy to notice your regular heart rate when resting or walking, with these trackers. Breathing patterns are also part of the data that can be recorded and this is especially good for those who suffer from asthma, COPD, and other breathing problems.  It can also be used as an early warning signal for those who have tuberculosis, pneumonia or other lung diseases. This is a really great reason to purchase of an activity tracker.

Don’t let the cost deter you from getting the exact fitness tracker you want. A tracker can be used as a preventative measure for tracking heart and lung issues, even in the young. You don’t need to be a professional athlete to use one.  With such a wide variety of activity results that they can monitor and record, it would be hard to find a reason not to buy one! We have given you ample information to help you feel like you can make the best decision.

Disclaimer: I receive product(s) either complimentary OR for monetary compensation from the company/manufacturer I write about. This site also makes a small commission after you click referral/affiliate links included in our posts .As Writer/Blogger, I agree to use these product(s) and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own. Thank you for being a continued subscriber to Tricia's List! ~Tricia~