The New Year is here, and it’s time to get back in shape. Take the guesswork out of weight and workout management with these top fitness trackers.
Fitbit One, $99.95
For a fitness tracker with so many capabilities, the Fitbit One is sure easy to use. From the simple setup to an intuitive tracking dashboard, it’s the most convenient product out of all the ones I tested. When everything is hooked up correctly, the Fitbit One automatically syncs to your computer, via a WiFi connection and an included USB plug-in, and to supported mobile devices through Bluetooth. Besides tracking calories, steps and activity, Fitbit One also measures your sleep quality. Plus, you can set up a silent alarm that gently vibrates to wake you up in the morning. Goodbye, screeching cell phone! Fitbit encourages connectivity and healthy competition with friends through its social leaderboards. You even earn badges for personal records.
Misfit Shine, $99.99
Misfit’s Shine is the sexy one of the bunch. With its sleek and modern design, I’ve seen people rock this fitness tracker as an accessory—tied as a necklace, clipped to their lapels, or strapped around their wrists with the compatible leather band (you can set it to tell the time). Download the corresponding phone app and your Shine will sync with it when you place the product on your phone’s screen. Here, all of your daily details are readily available. Monitor your steps, calories and distance, or check out your highlights panel for milestones in workouts and sleep. What I like best about Shine is that you can set it to track different activities, including walking, running, swimming and cycling.
Bodymedia Wireless Link Armband, $119
This isn’t as discreet as other fitness trackers on the market, but its technology is said to be some of the most accurate. Bodymedia Wireless Link Armband is used for all the same reasons—weight management and sleep and workout monitoring. But it excels in the latter category. In addition to offering feedback on cardio burn, the Link Armband also tracks strength-training workouts. It’s tailored to your own body type, capabilities and fitness levels, so you’re getting highly personalized results. Bodymedia’s Activity Manager app is free for the first three months and then costs $6.95 a month, but you can link it to third-party programs like MyFitnessPal at no cost. For some, the armband may be an FSA-eligible purchase.
Gaiam Pedometer Fitness Kit, $19-$39
If you’re not into all the jazzy apps and high tech capabilities, check out the Gaiam Pedometer Fitness Kit. The straightforward and highly affordable tracker counts steps, distance traveled and calorie burn. Lightweight and portable, it clips easily to any clothing and includes a panic alarm and flashlight. Kits come with a 35-minute guided audio workout CD that you can download onto your favorite MP3 player. Trainer Debbie Rocker’s endurance-building workout is varied in intensity and highlights posture tips and walking techniques in between upbeat, motivating musical tracks. A former professional athlete, Rocker is a personal trainer who has worked with celebrities like Marcia Cross and Kristin Davis.