Fitness trackers can be a great tool for helping you become more active and improving your overall health. But with so many different types on the market, it can be difficult to sort through them all and decide which is the best one for you and your fitness goals.
A study from the Journal of Medical Internet Research identified 423 unique fitness tracking and Smartwatch devices from 132 different brands. With increasing popularity and advances in technology, the rate and amount of production will only increase, giving you even more of a selection headache.
So to help you out we’ve put together a list of the top fitness wearables for you to choose from and why they could be the best option for you.
What To Look For In A Fitness Wearable
Exercise-oriented wearables will come with varying features such as heart rate monitors, workout tracking, blood oxygen level readings, and more.
Some devices are also useful when you’re not working out and can be used to send messages, answer calls, play music, and even make payments.
The extent to which you need these kinds of features will vary from person to person depending on what your goals are, what information you are interested in tracking, and of course your budget.
It’s important to understand what you want to use your device for before you buy as you don’t want to pay for a more expensive device and then find out that you don’t use half of what it offers, or find out it doesn’t do what you wanted it to.
Also, consider the type of exercise you perform. Do you like to workout outdoors? Then a device with good GPS tracking capabilities would be useful. Are you a fan of the new wave of connected online exercises such as Peleton or the Hydrow rowing machine for a more interactive workout experience? Then a device that is compatible with your machine of choice would be most helpful.
So here are our top 5 choices varying in price and features to suit all needs.
Fitbit Charge 4
The Fitbit Charge 4 is one of the best options if you’re looking for a well-rounded fitness tracker due to its quality features and price. While not as advanced as Garmin products or the Apple Watch, it still offers some key features and is much more affordable.
For example, it comes with a built-in GPS that syncs with your smartphone. This allows you to track your outdoor activities such as running, hiking, and biking on the map and is usually only found in more expensive devices.
It also comes with very good sleep tracking software and smart upgrades such as their zone minutes metric and workout categories.
The app also shows you more in-depth information for the duration of your exercise so that you can monitor intensity levels, heart rate, calories burned, and more.
The device itself is attractive and comfortable to wear. The supporting app is super easy to use and built with all user’s experience levels in mind so there will be no issues if you are a newbie to smart devices.
Also, the Fitbit community is huge so you’ll always be able to find like-minded people to help you along your fitness journey.
Garmin Vivoactive 4
The Garmin Vivoactive 4 comes in 2 case sizes (40mm and 45mm) and is one of the most stylish fitness trackers around.
With a slate stainless steel bezel, black casing, and silicone band you may not even notice that it’s a smartwatch which I really like. But it offers much more than just its sleek looks as a multisport watch that acts as a heart rate monitor, sleep tracker, and GPS. All of which work excellently which is really impressive for a mid-range smartwatch.
The screen has various display types and uses nice, colorful animations to display your health stats as well as various kinds of activities such as running, biking, swimming, and yoga.
As a nice add-on, it even has an NFC chip so you’ll be able to make payments with the watch should you so wish.
What I love most about this watch is its built-in music storage that supports Spotify so you can easily listen to your favorite tunes while working out.
Apple Watch Series 6
This is probably the watch that comes to mind when you think of smartwatches. Apple revolutionized smartwatches when they launched their Apple Watch Series and each year they have got better and better.
A word of warning, as great as this watch is if you have an older Apple Watch (any version before the S6) I would suggest that you do not bother upgrading. Although the S6 is the best of the bunch, the jump in features is not so great that it warrants getting a new one. Especially as they don’t come cheap.
If however, you are interested in an Apple Watch then the S6 is the one to go for if it fits your budget.
The retina display is clear and crisp and has countless ways for you to customize the screen. The straps can easily be changed to suit your style and preferences and it also charges quicker than any of its predecessors.
The new sensor is quite remarkable and can measure your blood oxygen level and take an ECG reading at any moment.
Of course, being Apple, the watch comes with an array of apps that will help you stay fit and on track. This includes their new sleep app which will track your sleeping trends, their workout app which tracks your workout metrics whether in the gym, on the road, or in the water, and activity rings that will get you moving more and help you stay motivated day-to-day.
The watch also integrates seamlessly with fitness+, the on-demand workout streaming service, and integrates your data between your watch screen, your phone, and Apple TV.
Overall this device is a complete powerhouse.
The Oura Ring
Fitness tracking rings have not had a good rep in the past but the Oura Ring is definitely an exception to the rule.
Due to its extremely sensitive sensors, it’s actually one of the most accurate wearable health-tracking devices. With NTC temperature sensor technology that measures your temperature directly from the skin rather than an estimation gathered by your environment to give you much more reliable data.
The ring measures deviations from your two-week baseline which provides personalized health data split into 3 metrics so that is easily understandable for anyone.
You can use the mobile app to display your straight-forward and precise insights showing your sleep score, readiness, and activity goal progress. Other features include your step count, calories burned, resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and more.
The Oura ring is also compatible with both Apple Health and Google Fit.
Whoop Strap 3.0
Whoop is more than just a fitness tracker. It has a cult-like following and is popular among athletes due to its in-depth insights into your daily activities and health factors.
What’s unique about the Whoop Strap is that it doesn’t solely supply you with information but rather provides personalized coaching specific to the user that optimizes your sleep and training habits.
The three components of the Whoop Strap are, of course, the strap, the app, and the membership. The membership gives you access to the Whoop community that allows you to create teams with other users based on goals, similar interests, and lifestyles. This can be a great motivational boost.
Technically the strap itself is actually free and payment comes in the form of a membership. There are 3 membership types to choose from.
When purchasing you’ll be asked to ‘Join Now’ where you will be presented with the options to customize your own personal Whoop strap, which is pretty cool. The Whoop 3.0 is lightweight, well designed, and even has a detachable battery pack so you don’t even need to take it off to charge the device.