Properly tracking your workouts is essential to achieving optimal results. With so many different workout trackers on the market, how do you know you are choosing the best one for you?
From wrist-based monitors to chest straps, there are a ton of options available with varying features and price points. With all of these wearable devices, it may seem like a daunting task figuring out which one to go with, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some important factors to consider before purchasing a fitness tracker.
Your exercise goals will largely determine what kind of fitness tracker is best for you. What exactly do you hope to accomplish with your workout? Are you a gym lover looking to advance your workouts, more of a runner preparing for your next 5K, or do you do a little bit of everything? Maybe you are just looking to be more active on a daily basis. No matter your area of expertise or fitness level, you should know what you want to achieve as well as what can be done with your fitness tracker before purchasing. Knowing what you want to track will help you determine what features are most important to you in a fitness tracker and if it should be geared toward tracking various exercises, a certain sport, your lifestyle or a combination of three.
Not every fitness tracker is created equally when it comes to accuracy, meaning there is a huge variation in capturing specific metrics. While tracking your workouts is commendable, precise data is vital in making your exercise routine more efficient and effective, especially considering how closely linked many of those metrics are, like heart rate and calorie burn.
Heart rate can be measured in various ways, however, the two most widely used methods are wrist-based (optical heart rate) and chest based. While there are a few decently accurate optical heart rate monitors on the market, the chest strap is still the most accurate way to measure your heart rate. After all, it is placed right about your heart.
Chest straps also rank higher with motion analytics accuracy, since the measurements come from your core. With this method, the device can get a more detailed read of your reps, running metrics, spin cadence and other motion data than you would be able to if the monitor was placed on another part of your body. This allows you to focus on what really counts: your workout. Plus, certain products, like TICKR X, are so sensitive that they force you to maintain proper form, as it won’t count the rep unless you’re performing it correctly.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the fitness tracker’s app. The quality of the app can make or break your fitness tracking experience. A good app will save you tons of time and offer features to enhance your overall workout experience. Apps like, Wahoo RunFit , track everything from cycling or running cadence to heart rate and rep counting. With all of this tracked information, you can interpret the results, have more control and strive closer to your fitness goals. Imagine the time it would take track all of the data on your own! However, the opposite can also be true if the fitness tracker comes with a poorly designed app. It can leave you wanting for more or too frustrated to even use your device. Checking the app store for reviews is a great way to get a real sense of the app’s quality
Another thing to consider is popular fitness app integration. Some fitness trackers are not only compatible with their companion app but also allow their fitness tracker to integrate with other top health and fitness apps. Open app integration allows you to choose what app works best for you and your fitness routine.
You don’t have to break the bank to get a great workout tracker that meets all your exercise goals. You can pay anywhere from $40 to $500 for a quality fitness tracker with impressive accuracy. Gauge your exercise goals with how often you will be using the product to determine how much to spend on the right device for you. There are products that bridge the gap between the lower and higher prices while offering everything you could need.
Good luck choosing the right fitness tracker for your workouts!