Fitness band or sports watch - which is right for me?
Wearable tech is a great way to keep on track of your health and fitness – but how do you know which device is right for you?
Want to get fit with the help of wearable tech? Fitness gadgets are a great way to stay on top of your health. The main types are sports watches and fitness bands.
A fitness band is a great tool to improve your everyday health. It monitors your daily activity – from steps taken and stairs climbed, to the quality of your sleep.
If you’re a more serious runner or cyclist, a sports watch can help you get the best results by giving you more detailed stats on your performance.
So, which is right for you? We explain the main features of each...
Lightweight, comfortable and stylish, fitness bands are designed to be worn all day. Many can be worn at night while you sleep too. Count steps taken, calories burned and distance covered every day – and see your stats at a glance on its screen.
For a more detailed picture of your daily, weekly and monthly activity, connect it with an app on your smartphone to see graphs charting your progress over time.
What can I do with a fitness band?
- Motivate yourself to exercise by setting goals to increase your daily activity – for instance taking more steps each day or covering a greater distance
- Improve the quality and amount of sleep you get – fitness bands can analyse your sleeping pattern and suggest how to improve it
- Improve your diet by tracking your calorie consumption
Fitbit Charge 2
Stay on top of your everyday health with the Fitbit Charge 2 fitness band. With it, you can monitor your activity from the minute you wake up through to how well you’re sleeping at night.
It can also map your pace and distance on a run by connecting with your phone’s GPS tracking. Its not just steps, though. The Fitbit Charge 2 can log a range of activities – from weights to yoga, giving you more accurate measurements. Keep track of your resting heart rate with the built-in heart rate monitor – or get real-time stats on when to up the intensity to burn fat.
Sync it with the Fitbit app to see how you’re progressing and earn badges for your achievements. Connect with friends and compete in different challenges.
The Fitbit Alta offers a customisable alternative, with comfortable leather straps available in a huge range of colours. It keeps you in touch with style and the latest notifications on your smartphone.
The Alta’s daily stats let you know how long you’ve been active, number of calories burnt etc. Allowing you to set fitness goals, which Alta helps you achieve using motivating reminders.
Garmin Vivofit 3
A slimmer version of the Garmin watch, but with all the great Garmin fitness tracking features – steps, distance, calories and sleep quality.
The Vivofit 3 is built to be worn all the time – with a one year battery life eliminating the need for regular charging. And it’s water resistant so you can wear it in the shower or the pool.
You can also swap in different coloured bands, to make sure it matches any outfit!
That 24/7 fitness data is sent to Garmin Connect for you to review and set yourself challenges. From personal step goals, to competitions with friends and family – the Vivofit 3 will send you reminders to keep you on track for success.
A sports watch can be used to track your performance when you’re running or cycling. Use it to get detailed stats on your pace, distance and heart rate while you train.
Record how fast you complete each run or ride, as well as the distance covered and your pace. Check your stats in real time or sync the data with the smartphone app to chart your progress and set goals to beat your PB.
Many sports watches have a built-in heart rate monitor to help you train at optimum effort. Some can also be used like a fitness band to track your daily activity.
What can I do with a sports watch?
- Stay motivated with detailed training plans and set personalised targets – it’s like having a running coach on your wrist
- Race against friends using the corresponding app or by syncing with other apps like Run Keeper and Strava
- Keep track of your route with built-in GPS tracking – which means you can leave your phone at home while you run or cycle
Garmin Forerunner 235
The Garmin Forerunner 235 has GPS to track your activities, whether you’re running cross country or pounding the streets. It can even track your pace and distance on the treadmill, with a clever built-in accelerometer.
If you’re keeping a close eye on your heart rate, you won’t miss a thing with the Forerunner 235. Heart rate is shown in a colourful gauge and measured directly from your wrist – there’s no need to buy extra accessories. It can also help you calculate your VO2 max and recovery times.
The watch’s battery life lasts for 9 hours and you can sync it to your smartphone so you’ll never miss an email, text messages, call alerts or calendar reminder.
You can even personalise your Garmin by downloading new watch faces, apps and widgets, as well as advanced workouts and training plans, from Garmin Connect.
A heart rate monitor, GPS tracker and smart watch in one – the Fitbit Blaze is all about live a healthier, connected lifestyle.
Don’t worry if you forget to log a session, Blaze will automatically record any activity, from your morning dog walk to evening gym sesh and the amount of sleep you get. Its battery life has got the stamina of an Ironman athlete, lasting up 5 days before needing a charge – so it really will be ready when you are.
Post-workout you’ll get a summary and split times (running, jogging or cycling), and pre-workout FitStar can give you step-by-step coaching. The LCD touchscreen is super easy to read, and you can switch between stats and smartphone notifications at the push of a button.
Connect to the free Fitbit app and you’ll also be able to log your calorie intake with a barcode scanner and show off your workout progress to your mates.
Feeling inspired to get fit? See our full range of fitness bands and sports watches