If you want to start an exercise routine in the New Year, a fitness wearable is 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 gadget 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 more into long-distance running, cycling and various other activities, 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’ll explain the best 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 to 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
- Shape your diet by tracking your calorie consumption
Fitbit Charge 3
Stay on top of your everyday health with the Fitbit Charge 3 fitness band. With it, you can monitor your activity from the minute you wake up through to how well you’re sleeping at night. And it lasts for the entire week, with up to 7 days of battery life.
It can also map your pace and distance on a run by connecting with your phone’s GPS tracking. It’s not just steps, though. Using SmartTrack, the Fitbit Charge 3 can automatically log a range of activities – from weights to yoga to swimming, 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 on your phone to see how you’re progressing and earn badges for your achievements. Connect with friends and compete in different challenges.
Fitbit Alta HR
The Fitbit Alta HR offers a customisable option, with comfortable leather straps available in a range of colours. It keeps you in touch with style and the latest notifications on your smartphone.
The Alta HR’s daily stats let you track your heart rate, how long you’ve been active, number of calories burnt and lots more. Alta’s motivating reminders give you the tools to set your own fitness goals.
Garmin Vivofit 4
A slimmer version of the Garmin watch, but with all the great Garmin fitness tracking features – steps, distance covered, sleep quality and smartphone notifications.
The Vivofit 4 is built to be worn all the time – with up to one year of battery life so you won’t have the bother of always charging it. And it’s waterproof so you can wear it in the shower or the pool.
You can also change the band’s display to show the weather forecast, check a timer or just to make sure it matches any outfit!
To keep track of your progress, all your fitness data can be viewed on the Garmin Connect app for you to review and set yourself challenges. From personal step goals, to competitions with friends and family – the Vivofit 4 will send you reminders to keep you on track for success.
A sports watch can be used to track your performance in lots of activities. 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 a smartphone app to chart your progress and set goals to beat your personal best.
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 withdetailed 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 Runkeeper 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 Fenix 5
The Garmin Fenix 5 has GPS to track your activities, whether you’re running cross country or pounding the streets. It even gives you real-time info on temperature, altitude and compass direction, so you won’t have to worry about getting lost or being caught in the rain.
If you’re keeping a close eye on your cardio, you won’t miss a thing with the Fenix 5. Your heart rate is shown in a colourful gauge and measured directly from your wrist – so there’s no need to buy extra accessories. It can also help you calculate your VO2 max (oxygen uptake) and recovery times.
The watch’s battery life lasts up to 24 hours and you can sync it to your smartphone so you’ll never miss an email, text, call or calendar reminder.
A fitness tracker and smart watch in one – the Fitbit Versa is all about live a healthier, connected lifestyle.
Don’t worry if you forget to log a session,the Versa automatically records over 15 different activities, from your morning walk to evening gym sesh to the amount of sleep you get.
Its battery life has got the stamina of an Ironman athlete, lasting up to 4 days before needing a charge – so it really will be ready when you are. You won’t have to keep checking your phone on a workout either, because the Versa lets you view and reply to any messages you get.
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
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