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Tips for Choosing the Best Fitness Tracker

Choosing a good fitness tracker can be quite a challenge considering the many options available in the market today. This Buzzle article provides some simple tips for choosing the best fitness tracker.
Tips to choose fitness tracker
The Dawn of the Fitness Gadgets
According to a report by popular technology market intelligence company, ABI Research, the sales of wearable fitness gadgets is expected to soar to 80 million units by 2016.
Fitness seems to be the buzzword these days, with more and more people opting for a healthy lifestyle. Having said that, though, in today's fast-paced life, it is quite a challenge to find time to exercise. Even if you do manage to find time, the enthusiasm seems to wear off in a couple of weeks. Sure, we all rush to get ourselves a gym membership as part of our new year resolutions. Well, we all know how that goes! While all of us undoubtedly have the heart to change things around, it is often motivation that seems to be lacking. A new league of wearable technology might be just the perfect solution to this.

Fitness trackers are extremely handy gadgets that help you track your progress as you exercise. These nifty devices log information like the number of steps you take, the distance you covered, the calories you burned, and even your pulse rate. This information, in turn, helps you track your progress and helps you stay motivated. There's been a barrage of fitness gadgets hitting the market, each vying to find favor with you (and your wallet!) Finding the best activity tracker can be quite a herculean task. Thankfully, help is at hand. Here are some basic things to keep in mind as you go about choosing the best fitness tracker to suit your needs.

What do you intend to use it for?
Fitness trackers are available in a range of options depending on their use. The most common and basic of these are pedometers. These are usually tiny devices with a small display that shows you the number steps you've taken. You can carry the pedometer in your pocket as you go for a jog or a walk. The Omron HJ-321 Tri-Axis Pedometer is one such simple and effective tracker. For people who exercise more rigorously, fitness bands make more sense. These bands sit around your wrist and can monitor various aspects like heart rate, calories burnt, distance covered, steps taken, etc. Some fitness bands even track your sleeping patterns and work as a wrist watch. Some of the most popular fitness bands in the market are the Nike FuelBand, Fitbit Force, Jawbone Up, etc.

What are the connectivity options it offers?
Most fitness trackers have a small screen that displays relevant information about your exercise routine. These may also contain logs of your last couple of outings. These should be just about right for most users. Some fitness bands, like the Nike FuelBand uses colored LEDs to tell you about your progress, and also displays short messages to keep you motivated. Most advanced fitness trackers can sync with your smartphone over Bluetooth, and display a lot more information. Others can connect to your PC and transfer the logs onto it. This would suit users who want to track your progress at the macro level and set goals accordingly.

How's the battery life?
The basic pedometers are usually powered by button cells, and they last for quite a while. The more advanced trackers have an internal rechargeable battery. These usually last from a couple of days to a few weeks depending on the usage. If you tend to travel a lot, opt for a fitness tracker that has a standard USB charger as these are a lot easier to charge on the go.

Does it have a dedicated fitness app?
For users who simply want to track the number of steps taken or distance traveled, a simple pedometer should suffice. If, however, you want to keep track of every detail of your exercise, then dedicated apps that come along with advanced fitness bands should help. These apps not only track your progress, but also suggest meal plans and workouts to suit you. They also let you publish your progress chart on your Facebook page for all your friends to see. This can act as a major motivational boost.

How much does it cost?
As they say, it's all about the money. If you are looking for a simple pedometer, you can buy one for anywhere between USD 15 - 50. The more advanced fitness trackers would set you back anywhere between USD 100 to 200.

Fitness trackers are a great invention, and can really help you attain your fitness goals. The market today is flooded with some amazing fitness gadgets, you only need to have a discerning eye to pick the best that suits you. Do remember though, this is but a mere tool, and can only be put to good use with someone who's committed staying fit. So, pick up a fitness tracker, set your goal, and set out to conquer your fears. Cheers.
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Published: February 10, 2014
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