Updated 12/16/14. Americans in general are overweight. The carbs are killing us (infographic). From tech bloggers to celebrities to everyday joes, we need to get in shape and exercise is an essential part of slimming down. While it’s true that it’s easier than ever to be unhealthy thanks to fast food, processed food and decreased activity levels (in other words, watching too much TV), it’s also easier than ever to get in shape. Part of the struggle involved with getting and staying fit is getting motivated. Luckily there are some great companies and devices that can help you track your goals and keep your motivation up. So, what can you track with a fitness tracking device? It varies by company and product, but here’s a good starter list: speed, distance, heart rate, sleep, steps and calories burned.
The Microsoft Band gives you actionable insights for healthier living and works with iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile devices. Features guided workouts, 24-hour heart rate tracking, sleep tracking and GPS run mapping. Also includes email previews, calendar alerts, Microsoft Cortana (personal digital assistant) and a timer/alarm function. You can also see text messages and incoming calls. Works with myfitnesspal, RunKeeper and mapmyfitness.
The FitBit Surge is the ultimate fitness super watch with GPS tracking, PurePulse Heart Rate tracking, all-day activity monitoring, multi-sport support (running, cross training and cardio workouts, etc), long battery life, notifications, music control, auto sleep and alarms and wireless syncing.
The Misfit Shine is motivation at a glance. It allows you to set your goal, track your progress and view your friend’s accomplishments. Features automatic sleep monitoring, steps, calories and distance monitoring and a daily photo food journal (in app). Unlike other fitness trackers, you can wear it anywhere: wrist, shoes, waist, pocket, neck or elsewhere. Comes in a variety of fashionable colors.
The Jawbone Up3 bills itself as the world’s most advanced fitness tracker. Packed with state-of-the-art sensors to give you a full picture of your health. Measure heart rate, automatically log workouts and get an in-depth understanding of your sleep. Plus, it’s water-resistant and the battery charge lasts for a week.
Withings Pulse O2
The Withings Pulse O2 tracks steps, elevation, distance and calories. You can drop it in your pocket or bag or wear it on your wrist like a watch. Unlike other sensors, it features a heart rate and blood oxygen level monitor on the back. Can monitor your sleep cycle to help you have more restorative nights. Swipeable touchscreen. Allows you to “gamify” your wellness by leveraging your competetive spirit. Get real-time personal coaching and badges.
Samsung Gear Fit
The Samsung Gear Fit was designed to wear not only while you’re working out, but for whatever situation you’re in day or night. Features a curved display, water-resistance, a weight of only 27 grams—designed to run for three full days on a single charge. Get updates as you workout: view emails and texts as well as alerts. Dismiss calls and alarms with a tap. Track your steps, get personal real-time coaching. Built in heart rate sensor.
The Basis gives you a true step count of your walks and runs. Basis uses heart rate and motion to give you proper credit for calories burned. Monitor your heart rate—no chest strap required. Helps you better understand your exertion levels. Measure skin temperature: see how your body reacts day and night. Automatically detects when you run, walk or bike.
The Polar Loop tracks your activity and tries to let you know when it’s time to get up and move. Set a daily goal and work toward reaching it. The H6 heart rate sensor is an optional, but good match for using with the Loop.
The Striiv Fusion is a fitness tracker that is available in a variety of colors. You can personalize the Fusion for any occasion: the removable touchscreen module gives real-time feedback on fitness and sleep goals and helps you manage your day with call/text alerts, a vibrating alarm and other smartwatch apps.
LG Lifeband Touch
The LG Lifeband Touch features a bright OLED touch screen that delivers a full range of fitness data with the push of a button or the flick or a wrist. Stay on top of essential training measurements including timing, calories speed… there’s even a 3-axis accelerometer and an altimeter. Compatible with iOS and Android. Lets you control your music and see iOS caller ID info.