Currently, I wear a Polar RCX3 type of watch/heart rate monitor. It is waterproof so I wear it as a watch on a daily basis. When I want to track a workout and use the heart rate monitor and check out calories burned I have to wear a heart rate strap around my chest. This used to bug me but, I’m so used to it that I can wear it all day long. In fact, I still have it on right now since teaching classes this morning. Of course, you now know that it’s about 9:30 pm and that must mean I haven’t showered yet! That could be the problem.
When Fitbit first came out with the clip on device to track steps and calories I wore that and felt like it really motivated me to get more steps in each day. It also could track my sleep – or lack thereof. That’s the great thing about all of the new gadgets. They are made especially to get you up and moving every day and help you analyze your movement, fitness levels and output. Spending an hour at the track or gym isn’t all the movement you need in a day. What we do the rest of the day can actually be more important than that one scheduled workout.
So, here are the latest wearable trackers out there and some of what they can do and can’t do.
1. Jawbone UP24
The Husband came home with this not too long ago. It looks just like a narrow black band on his arm. It’s pretty inconspicuous. One good thing the Jawbone does is vibrate if you have been sitting on your rump over an hour. It syncs to your smartphone to keep track of your steps, calories and whether you meet your goal for the day. You can also look at your week and how you performed. It can also be programmed to keep track of your sleep habits. The one drawback is that it is NOT waterproof. These sell for about $150
2. Fitbit Flex
This is a small band on your wrist that’s also pretty inconspicuous. It does not display numbers on the band, but light up dots that tell you the percentage of steps you have walked. When you hit your goal it will give you a little buzz. There sell for about $100
3. Nike Fuelband SE
This band sells for about $149 and is similar in size to the Fitbit Flex. The Nike Fuelband displays points as a way to measure your activities. It has social media and badges of motivation. My friend who wears one says the one drawback for her is that you just can’t look down and see the time displayed. You have to push a little button to go through the displays to get to the one you want to see.
4. Misfit Shine
The founder of this device wanted to make something that was also stylish. This is a small disk that can be worn in a watch or in a hip clip or on a necklace. It has lights on the disk to show your progress but doesn’t really give detailed information on your activity. These sell for about $120.
I heard today that there is a newcomer about to hit the scene on the fashionable side of things . . . FitBit is about to have a Tory Burch model for all of the fashionista health conscience ladies! Keep your eyes open for that one.
5. Polar Loop
This band has digital numbers showing your steps and offers you suggestions of activities you can do to meet your calorie goals. It may suggest you walk for 30 minutes, run for 5 minutes, etc. For an additional $80 you can get a chest strap and it will turn into a heart rate monitor. The Loop itself sells for about $110.
I am favoring the Polar Loop as it is the only activity tracker that is waterproof and can be worn while swimming. That’s huge for me. Here are some of the listed features:
- Accurately tracks five different levels of activity and distinguishes between activities such as gentle walking and running.
- Is the first waterproof activity tracker with the ability to be worn while swimming.
- Provides guidance on ways to complete a user’s daily activity target, which updates throughout the day. For example, it suggests whether the user should run for 30 minutes, walk for 60 minutes, or spend a few hours cleaning or cooking to reach the daily goal.
- Alerts users, through a friendly message on their phone, when they have been sitting down for too long.
- Offers the option of adding heart rate monitoring to workouts, providing a complete view of both daily activity and exercise. The Polar H6 heart rate sensorand H7 heart rate sensor, which utilize Bluetooth Smart technology, are compatible with Polar Loop.
Here’s what the different devices look like.
Some of the research shows that after about six month folks may stop wearing their tracker and head back to the couch. For this reason, I think it might be important for some folks to choose a tracker that does more than just track activity. If it also acts as a watch, GPS, heart rate monitor or calendar it has more than just one use and would tend to stay on the wrist longer . . . .and continue to be that reminder to keep moving.
Whichever you have, are interested in or may splurge on for a treat or a wish list for Mother’s Day let me know what you think! I’d love to hear about your experiences!
Have a fun day! Get moving!