A fitness tracker is a pretty nifty gadget. Not only can it keep track of your athletic performance, but it can also give you valuable information on sleep habits, calories lost, and even health betterment tips. The trouble with most fitness trackers is, let’s say, specificity – some are good for running, other for swimming, hiking or cycling. In this article, we’re going to show you that a high-performing fitness tracker is a good, long-term investment since it can definitely motivate you to outperform yourself.
What to Look for in a Good Fitness Tracker?
As a rule of the thumb, you should first figure out what you’re going to use the fitness tracker for. It’s not a particularly good idea to spend hundreds of dollars on a fitness track if you’re only going to use to count your calories during your walk to the office.
With this in mind, try to visualize the kind of athletic performance you aim for. Here’s a good example. If you’re into swimming, you’ll definitely want to go with the best waterproof fitness trackers since most models will stop working if you swim below a certain depth. We recommend you read reviews for at least a handful of devices before settling on one because each caters to individual needs.
For instance, Fitbit’s Charge 2, considered by many a mid-range fitness tracker, has a wide, at-a-glance display, but, unfortunately, it’s not water-resistant. This means that you can say bye-bye to this Fitbit model if you forget to take it off before stepping into the shower.
Tracking Your Position Online and Offline
Now, onto more serious business, mainly what to look for in a high-performance fitness tracker. One of the first things we like searching for when we buy a tracker with GPS support. More specifically, offline GPS support. See, some trackers are designed to track your position during workouts using a companion application, while others, the high-end ones, allows the device to track your course independent from the smartphone.
The advantages are obvious – it’s really great to run around the park without feeling the weight of your smartphone, not to mention safer for the device.
At-a-Glance Display For Quick Access to Info
Another thing worth checking it is the display. Most trackers have what they call at-a-glance display (the screen gets brighter on touch or timer). They’re very useful for showing relevant info as calories burned, distance, average/high speed, daily goals, and how much you’ve progressed since your last workout.
High-end fitness trackers, like Garmin’s Forerunner series, packs a wide, OLED screen, which can be customized to show only the most relevant stuff.
Monitor Your Physiological Parameters During Training
As you may know, fitness trackers, like Fitbit, Garmin or Moov, have been reverse engineered. Basically, these highly mobile devices are the distant cousins of the bulky machines doctors use to monitor various physiological factors.
Few know, but machines capable of processing information like heartbeat, blood pressure, blood sugar level, calories lost during a workout, used to take up a whole room. Nowadays, medical sensors are so small, that they literally fit in the palm of your hand, without sacrificing performance for portability.
Accurate Sensory Info Display
Which brings us to the next thing you should look for in a high-performance – info display. Of course, when you’re on the run, you don’t have the luxury at looking at a long list of sensory readings. That’s why it’s important for the fitness tracker to display only those info that is relevant to your self-assessment.
Fitness trackers are good if you want to shed a couple of pounds, especially after spending time abroad or after the holidays.
For instance, Polar’s V800 GPS sports has one of the most customizable info screens in its series. By default, it will display heartbeat, speed, distance, and calories. However, the user can call up other info like sleep tracker or a GPS-assisted cycling trainer.
More on What You Can Do with a High-End Fitness Tracker
Use it at as Workout Planner
A high-performance fitness trainer can also double as a workout planner. Some devices, especially those from the Garmin and Fitbit’s high-end division, have inbuilt apps that basically tell you what to do. For instance, if you’re looking to increase your endurance during hiking, the application could suggest a series of workouts specially designed for this type of sport.
Because nothing beats motivation in sports, your wrist-attached personal trainer can set daily, weekly or monthly goals depending on the numbers recorded during your last workouts. This is a great wake-up call for those who feel comfortable running 1 or 2 miles per day or swimming for an hour or two after work.
By setting a daily/weekly/monthly goal, you’ll definitely be somewhat more motivated to beat your previously established record.
Heartbeat Sensor Goes Way Beyond Training
The heartbeat monitor is at the core of every fitness tracker. No matter how cheap or expensive the fitness tracker is, it will always have a heartbeat sensor. While it’s important to keep on eye on the heartbeat gauge to avoid exhaustion, this nifty accessory is, let’s say, a must-have for those with heart issues.
See, the beauty of a high-performing fitness tracker is that it can be used even outside sports. For example, patients suffering from conditions like sleep apnea, insomnia, hypertension or hypertension, can use such a device to keep an eye of various physiological parameters. Word of warning – all the measurements are approximations and should never be used to diagnose medical conditions.
Keep in mind that a high-end fitness tracker is one of the best ways to stay in shape. Still, you should not push aside things like a nutritious and balanced diet and, of course, regular health checkups. Such devices are, indeed, pricier than the average, but nothing could rival their accuracy and durability.
This is a guest post written by Carolyn Mims who regularly writes for Reviews Outdoors a great resource for review and opinions on outdoor gear. This is not a sponsored post.