Have you noticed that it is no longer 'trendy' to wear a traditional dial watch? If you think that everyone's suddenly switched to digital watches, you're only partially wrong. The latest 'it' contraption that most people have strapped to their wrists is a fitness band--a device that monitors and tracks your fitness-related metrics such as distance walked, calorie consumption, and heartbeat. And fitness freaks seem to swear by them! But are they really worth the money or just another hyped-up 'trendy' gadget? Read on to find out!
So you've seen all your favourite fitness influencers flash their fitness bands everywhere--and now you're considering buying one. If you're serious about making that purchase, here are a few things that'll help you decide if you *really* need it!
Even the most basic fitness tracker out there will have an accelerometer--a device that measures how fast something is changing its speed or direction. This is very useful if you want to track your movements, such as the number of steps you've taken in a day.
If fitness, working out and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to you, then keeping a track of the number of calories you consume and burn is important. Most fitness trackers use your heart rate to estimate how many calories you’ve burned during the day. Some of them come with an app where you can enter the food that you've consumed--letting you keep track of calories consumed vs burned, helping you reach your fitness goal faster.
Most fitness trackers in the market have the option of tracking your heart rate not only while you're working out but also while you are resting. Some of them can also detect your skin temperature and level of perspiration. And all of this data can be combined to figure out the status of your health and to keep track of your progress while working out.
Getting enough sleep plays a very important role in your journey to fitness and your overall health. This is why most fitness trackers come with a sleep monitoring system. These trackers detect motion while you’re lying down to figure out when you’re awake, lightly asleep, or in deep sleep. However, it is impossible for these trackers to be accurate about your exact sleeping habits.
Now that you know everything that a fitness band can do for you, here are some disadvantages that you should know about before you shell out your hard-earned cash.
Fitness bands are sophisticated devices that are used to track important vital functions of your body. Hence, it is no surprise that they also come with a hefty price tag. It’s possible to buy an affordable one, but most of the cheaper ones aren’t as good. The math is simple: the more features you want, the more you should expect to spend.
No matter how expensive your fitness band is--there is no single activity tracker that can be 100% accurate. Most of the numbers the tracker will show are close estimates. In fact, studies have found that these trackers do a good job of tracking steps, but they’re not so great at measuring other things like movement, sleep and vitals. So they may be giving you an inaccurate representation of your own fitness--which might hamper your progress.
Like all shiny new things that people buy and then lose interest in, fitness trackers are something you can regret buying once the excitement wears off. The underlying problem is 'trend' culture and fear of missing out, leading many people to make impulse purchases. The truth of the matter is, you should buy a fitness band only and *only* if you are interested in fitness as a lifestyle and see yourself using a fitness band long-term.
When you first start using a fitness band, having so much insight into so many important functions of your body can be exciting--but also a bit overwhelming. Fitness bands might not be the best idea if you are suffering from or recovering from eating disorders and other related illnesses. Constantly keeping track calories burned or steps taken can lead you to become obsessed with numbers, which might effect your overall mental health.
So you've weighed the pros and cons and finally decided to buy a fitness band. Confused about which one is best suited for you out of the myriad of options out there? Let us help you out.
This fitness band is the best in the market if you want a bang for your buck. Besides features like basic sleep and steps tracking, the band is super lightweight and also comes with boxing and rep-based training, and with a dedicated swimming feature! While it doesn't include a heart-tracker or a screen, the band promises to offer a six-month-long battery life.
Good battery life
No heart tracker
This fitness tracker comes in a stunning design with a massive AMOLED screen, displaying your vitals large and clear. It also comes with a GPS tracker, so you don't need to carry your phone if you want to go running on new routes without getting lost. Besides that, it also tracks your heart rate and can be used while swimming.
Compatible with Android and iOS
Battery life is average
This is probably one of the most feature-rich fitness bands available in the market at the moment and is completely worth the money. Its fantastic line-up of features includes GPS tracking, heart rate monitor and route navigation. But the most impressive features is that can upload and listen to music directly from the watch, without asking for help from your smartphone.
Value for money
Average sound quality
Complicated menu system
If you don't like the chunkiness of fitness trackers, this sleek band will really impress you. This compact band actually manages to pack tons of features including heart rate monitoring, VO2 max, GPS, step and sleep tracking. And did we mention that it has an impressive battery life of 21 days? If this is your first smartwatch purchase, this would be an ideal buy.
Impressive battery life
This is the most value-for-money Fitbit available in the market at the moment. While it might be slightly more expensive than other Fitbits, it connects with the GPS on your phone, has a large screen to display your data and a heart rate tracker.
Comfortable to wear
No in-built GPS
Limited connectivity to a smartphone
If you're looking for a fitness band that is 100% accurate, then you won't find a single one in the market. However, most fitness bands are accurate enough to be useful to you. Almost all fitness trackers count your steps and distance travelled, and it’s increasingly common to measure heart rate. They generally also provide some estimate of your energy expenditure or calories burned, and they may estimate your sleep quality. The trick is to know that these figures are estimates and use that knowledge to improve your overall health.
Like we mentioned above, there isn't really one fitness tracker that is 100% accurate. You should buy your fitness tracker based on which feature is more important to you--are you looking for one with in-built GPS, something that monitors your heart activity or a waterproof one for when you're swimming? Analyse your requirements and buy one based on those.
Yes, all fitness bands can be used without a smartphone. You get details about your fitness activity like heart rate, calories burnt, distance covered and others on the fitness band itself. However, when fitness bands are compatible with smartphones, they integrate some of the features of the phones and make it hassle-free for you to work out without being weighed down by multiple devices.
So, are you ready to hop on to the next level of your fitness journey?
Featured Image: Shutterstock
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