One of the newest fads in both the technology and fitness worlds is wearable fitness trackers. Advancements in battery and wireless Bluetooth technology have allowed companies to develop these devices you wear around your wrist or attach to your hip to measure everything from how many steps you take a day to how deep you sleep at night. The individual functions of these devices vary, but they all revolve around one common theme: helping you monitor your activity level so you can attain your fitness goals. If you think you could use a little extra help reaching your goals, here are a few devices that can help.
The Nike FuelBand’s most unique feature is the science behind Nike Fuel. Nike spent years tracking activities to come up with “fuel points.” The FuelBand awards fuel points based on a user’s daily activities. By using your Nike Fuel score, it’s possible to track and measure all kinds of activities no matter your age, weight, or gender. The results are uploaded to Nike by either Bluetooth interface with a smart phone or to your computer with a USB port. The band itself is about the width of your index finger and is worn around your wrist. It features LED lights that can tell you how close you are to your daily goal, your current activity level, calories burned, and the time. The band can also remind you to get up and move if you’ve been idle for a while. Results and historical data can be viewed online or by using your App (only available for the iPhone).
The FitBit has several different tracking devices available, but one of the newest is the FitBit Flex. Like the FuelBand, the FitBit Flex monitors your daily activity level and summarizes it on your computer or mobile device. Unlike the FuelBand, the Flex can work with select Android devices, as well as the iPhone. The Flex will also monitor your sleeping habits based on your movement which is something the Nike FuelBand doesn’t offer. The app can tell you how long you were asleep and how well you slept, then store this information so you can see general patterns. The Flex is about the same size as the FuelBand, but lacks an informative display. All information is sent to your mobile device via Bluetooth technology. The Flex’s battery life is also rated a little better, coming in at around five days versus four for the FuelBand. FitBit also offers the FitBit One, which will clip onto your clothes rather than around your wrist.
Like the Flex, the Jawbone UP24 tracks your daily activity level using calories and steps. UP24, which is worn around your wrist, also tracks your sleep schedule and reviews suggest it’s one of the best for this. The UP24 allows you to log your nutrition intake, something other bands do not. You can also “team up” with other members who have the device to compare your results. The UP24 lacks any kind of indicator on the device itself, but most reviewers hailed its iPhone App as one of the simplest and most informative. The UP24 does not have a web interface, so an iPhone is required to use this device. It also communicates with your iPhone through wireless Bluetooth. The battery life is rated at seven days and, like the others, it is water-resistant (but not waterproof!)
These are just a few of the many devices on the market today and, while two of the three are iPhone exclusive, all of the companies say Android support is coming as soon as power saving Bluetooth 4.0 technology is more readily available in Android devices.
Have you thought about using or are you currently using a wearable fitness tracker? Share your thoughts and experiences with these new fad devices to help others find the device that’s right for them!