In the run up to Christmas, gifts are certainly on the agenda. Whether that be a new pair of trainers, or a nice aftershave, it’s really up to you. With that being said, why not give the gift of fitness this Christmas? The latest craze of fitness trackers has swept the nation in the past few years, providing new technology, and new uses with each release. In this post, I’ll discuss whether or not the fitness tracker is the ideal gift this Christmas.
What is a fitness tracker?
The chances are that you’ve seen one before, a fitness tracker is very similar to that of a smart watch, just less expensive, and their features are focused around health and fitness. In some cases fitness trackers are built-in to smart watches (Eg: Apple watch). You wear the tracker on your wrist, and wear it throughout the day and even at night (if you want to). This way it can track your activity throughout the day. Many even offer a corresponding app for your smart phone, for a more in-depth analysis of your health and fitness. So what can they do? Check it out:
What they can do:
Measure your steps – All fitness trackers from the most basic to the most complex, will offer step tracking. This simple feature simply tracks your steps throughout the day, and compares them to a healthy target.
Measure your Heart Rate – Pretty self-explanatory, using a HR sensor on the bottom of the device, trackers area able to read our HR, at rest, and during exercise. Such a feature is very useful for measuring our health, and progress (The lower your resting HR the fitter you are!).
Sleep – Now don’t ask me how, because I don’t know the ins and outs, however what I do know is that by wearing a tracker to bed allows it to measure our sleep, how long we slept, and the quality of sleep.
Stress levels – Stress is a part of everyday life, however when it gets out of hand, stress can cause lack of concentration, mood swings, and other health implications. Which is why it’s always nice to know where you stand. Some of the high-tech models are able to read stress levels based on analysing your pulse.
Sporting activities – Trackers can measure and record your activity, specifically for a number of sports, and activities. Curling in the gym? No need to worry about losing count of your reps. Going for a swim? Get a post-performance analysis from your wrist!
Hydration – Hydration is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle, which is why fitness trackers have you covered. By recording your fluid intake throughout the day, the corresponding application on your phone can tell you how hydrated you are, depending on your activity throughout the day. Clever right?
The above are us some of the main features supported by most devices. Depending on the make and model, these features are generally accompanied by many more, such a telling the time (Obviously), blood pressure, diet, and weight recording.
- Abundance of features – As you can see above, fitness trackers are hardly short of useful features.
- Stylish – Some trackers offer exchangeable straps allowing you to switch it up, and look the part.
- Reasonable price – With fitness trackers ranging from £40 – £270 you can find a quality model in the ball park of £100 (Check it out at the end)
- Motivating – Seeing the numbers can be motivating, especially when you start getting into it. This can give us the motivation to go out and make progress.
- Accuracy – Despite the technology have progressed a lot in the past few years, there is always still question surrounding the accuracy of such devices, and their algorithms. Having said that, I have had no issues so far.
- Charge – With an ordinary watch, one small battery can last years. Unfortunately with fitness trackers, they’ll need charging most days.
- Price – I know I said that the price is reasonable, and it is! However it is only reasonable to those how can afford it. However there are more cost-effective models out there, an a tracker is defiantly something worth investing in.
Being able to link-up with your smart phone via a downloadable app, is a big part of fitness trackers and smart watches alike. In combination with your phone, the fitness tracker becomes a lot more useful. By recording simple details such as your weight, height, diet, and fluid intake, the programme can tailor its suggestions throughout the day based on your calculations.
For example: If you tell it that your goal is to lose weight, then it will offer suggestions based on your daily activity, to help you reach your target. Even the most basic of models have this feature.
Having had a good go of fitness trackers and their features, it’s safe to say I’m sold. Why? Versatility. Everyone from a fitness phonetic, to someone just looking to get a little fitter can benefit from a fitness tracker. Being able to record and measure your sleep, hydration, and activity throughout the day is important for everyone. In addition to many more features for those wanting to keep a closer eye on their health (Which I encourage everyone to do). Despite some teething problems due to recently models offering new technology, the versatility and mobility of the fitness tracker makes it a perfect gift for anyone this Christmas.
If all else fails, it still tells the time…
Looking to get in on the action? Check out this Fitbit Charge 2 on offer for £109.99