With the recent emergence of high-tech fitness trackers, how do you know which one is best for your own personal fitness needs? And are they really worth the money? Do they even work? According to one expert source at Muscle & Fitness Hers, the margin of error is about 15 percent, but it also hinges on things such as fitness level, gender, genetics, exercise duration, and body mass index. That being said, they can provide you with guidelines.
The Fitbit Blaze ($199 @ Amazon.com), pictured left, is the “latest and greatest” that successfully fuses style with function as a fitness tracker/smartwatch hybrid. It has an innovative design with PurePulse heart rate, on screen workouts, connected GPS, and a color touchscreen. Some of the features include an all-day activity and sleep tracker, music controls, call, text, and calendar alerts. The PurePulse feature (the heart monitor) is super cool because you can accurately track calories burned all day and check real-time heart rate to ensure you’re giving the right amount of intensity to workouts—all without wearing one of those awfully uncomfortable chest straps. There is also an on-screen summary of each workout after you complete it and you can check your Fitbit app to see how you’re progressing toward your fitness goals. The Fitbit Blaze also keeps track of resting heart rate and quality of sleep. Oh yeah, it also tells you what time it is.
For just under $200, I was a bit disappointed to learn that the GPS feature will only work if you bring along your smartphone. This was a major drawback to my many of my runner friends who said they would prefer one device to do it all when they’re outdoors for a run. Although, the Blaze has come a long way since the original Fitbit Tracker first became available. I returned my Fitbit to the store last year, as I found it to be not “user-friendly” enough. Too many steps and setting up accounts and entering mucho data for my taste. From the reviews on wareable.com, the Fitbit Blaze received four out of five stars from one user who states that it is the “best tracker” the company has produced so far. It seems that the Fitbit Blaze is an easy device to use and is recommended for beginners.
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From the reviews on wareable.com, the Fitbit Blaze received four out of five stars from one user who states that it is the “best tracker” the company has produced so far. It seems that the Fitbit Blaze is an easy device to use and is recommended for beginners.
Jawbone UP4 ($149 and up @ Amazon.com)
Another option is the Up4 by Jawbone, which is made by an American company that is widely known for making speakers; welp, now they now make fitness trackers. Like the Blaze, the UP4 can also track both your resting and passive heart rate, along with 24-hour exercise and sleeping patterns. In contrast to the Blaze, the Jawbone UP4 has a sleeker, slimmer design. It’s actually more suited to the fashion conscious female than the bulky fitness trackers. Another bonus to the Jawbone UP4 is that you can link it to your AmEX card for quick and easy payments right from your wrist! On the downside, Mastercard and Visa users are out of luck! Also, for the $149 price, there’s not even a color display screen.
Depending on your needs and fitness goals, it’s definitely worth the time and effort to do your homework before purchasing a fitness tracker. As new trackers come out and electronics become “smarter,” it’s worth it to become knowledgeable before spending the money on something you may or may not use.