• It’s a New Year and fitness trackers are the rage these days. Each company has a unique Spin on how to do it and have different prices.

      Let’s start with the basics: you need to track an activity accurately, whether  be it sleeping, walking or running. If the device isn’t accurate enough, there’s no point to it, regardless of all the bells and whistles. We have scoured the fitness market and found the following interesting gadgets.

      The Fitbit Flex

      The Fitbit Flex

      It is easily one of the most popular trackers out there. Priced at just under $100.00, it figures to be a mainstay for tracking fitness casually for college and young professionals. The app that goes with it is very intuitive and the interface for the device feels like an app as well. With no display outside of the four LED lights, you just tap into the space provided on the bracelet, and it syncs up with the app. Plus, the app allows you to track your eating habits (a manual input) and counts calories in and calories out for you. Sleep tracking is also available, but it doesn’t hold up that well (depending on whether you are a light or heavy sleeper). It also has a web app that syncs your data with any mobile device you’re carrying around.

      The Shine

      The Shine

      The Shine, made by Misfit, is an interesting device. Instead of locking you down to a just a bracelet, it wants to be fashionable enough to be a statement. You can wear it as a necklace, a bracelet, a watch, and even as a pin. With its casing made of aluminum; it is really a nice looking device. It does not provide a web application to track everything, so you are pretty much stuck with an app. The app is intuitive enough to let you indicate what activity you are doing (swimming, sleeping, running, walking, etc.), but you would have to manually specify instead of the device detecting it. It’s meant to be for the more-fashion conscious crowd with a little bit of activity tracking.

      The Jawbone

      The Jawbone

      The Jawbone UP24 is a minimalist when it comes to look. But don’t let that deceive you. What it actually does after you pair it with your app is that it nudges you (from a light vibration to an actual alert) from getting off the couch and do something to burn off calories. It wakes you up at the optimal amount of sleep and allows the data it gets to link with other fitness apps like RunKeeper or HealthyOut. It sits between the fashion statement and data crowds and focuses more of making sense of the data you get with the positive reinforcement of heath habits you are picking up.

      Vivofit

      The Garmin Vivofit

      The Garmin Vivofit is the spiritual successor to the original fitness tracker, the Nike FuelBand. As Nike went out of the hardware business to focus on software (apparently for the iWatch), Garmin swoops in with this nice looking device. This tracker comes with a display that tracks your steps, shows the time and calories burned (and a few other things). It has an app, which is pretty much secondary because it just charts your progress in time, but everything is within the device itself. The best thing about it is that it’s dead simple to use and runs off of just watch batteries for a year so you don’t have to force yourself to charge it like you would with the other devices we already mentioned.

      So if you are still fused to the couch or desk after you read this article, I would suggest you open up another browser window and buy one of these, even start with just the Fitbit as it’s the most popular one so you can get started with making your life healthy again. It does seem like a craze today, but anything that improves your wellbeing is probably a good idea.

      Now excuse me while I get off my couch and try the dusty treadmill in my room.

       


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