'Tis the Season for Giving Fitness Trackers

'Tis the Season for Giving Fitness Trackers
Is someone you love putting exercise at the top of their 2018 resolutions? Does a family member, partner or friend have a specific fitness goal, or just hoping to leave the couch behind? Fitness trackers could make the perfect gift;

When used with consistency, today’s trackers can make a positive difference in your fitness routine by providing an extra punch of motivation and accountability. The right one for you (or the people on your holiday shopping list) will be based on personal needs.

My “Top 10” trackers include four mid-range options that capture all the basics: steps, distance, 24/7 heart rate, calories burned and sleep cycles. They feature vibrating alerts, phone notifications and wireless syncing to smartphone apps. Most also have GPS to provide precise data on pace and distance while mapping your multi-sport route. (Note: a display screen is a must for those who desire instant feedback. 

Best Mid-Range Fitness Trackers

  • TomTom Spark 3 Music + Bluetooth Headphones, $170; built-in GPS, swim proof
  • Fitbit Charge 2, $150; GPS via phone, not swim proof, inactivity alert, guided-breathing sessions.
  • Garmin Vivosmart, $140;  no GPS, swim proof, counts gym reps and sets, inactivity alert.
  • Samsung Gear Fit 2, $130; built-in GPS, not swim proof (Gear Fit 2 Pro is a nice op-tion for swimmers).
  • Bellabeat Leaf Urban (for women), $140; Tracks reproductive health, built-in stress relief exercises, no heart rate tracking, not swim proof.

Best Budget Fitness Trackers

Splash and sweat proof, these options deliver the fitness basics. Trackers without dis-play screens require an app to view workout data. Most do not have GPS.

  • Garmin Vivofit 3, $80; display screen, swim proof, inactivity alert.
  • Fitbit Flex 2, $60; no display screen, swim proof, tracker may worn as bangle or pendant.
  • Fitbit Zip, $60; display screen, clip-on, no sleep tracking.
  • Moov Now, $60; no display screen, swim proof, audible fitness coach analyzes movement in 3D, advanced swim tracker and rep-based training tool, GPS through phone.
  • Misfit Shine 2, $50; no display screen, swim proof, tracker can be worn as bracelet or pendant, LED-lit face. 
  • Xiaomi Mi Band 2, $35; display screen. 

Splurge Fitness Trackers & Smartwatches

Ditch the diamonds with one of these dazzling GPS sport watches. The ideal companion for running and triathlons, these wearables include all the high-tech bells and whistles. The only downside is the price (ranging between $200 and $500).

  • Fitbit Ionic
  • Garmin Forerunner 235 or 935
  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Polar M430
Still unsure which tracker to choose? For a small fee, you can try before you buy through Lumoid. Another way to see if fitness tracking is even in the ballpark of a good idea for you or someone you love is to test out a simple mobile phone app that counts steps. Decent examples include Argus, Fitbit and Moves.,

Want help with your fitness goals? Call me at (616) 394-3344.
Merry fitness tracking!
Tina

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  • Tina Vande Guchte, CMES, CPT

    Tina Vande Guchte, CMES, CPT

    Tina has her degree in Exercise Science and is the Fitness Program Coordinator at Holland Hospital's Center for Good Health. She is a certified medical exercise specialist, personal trainer, fit pregnancy instructor and tobacco free facilitator. With over 30 years in the fitness industry, Tina’s forte is separating facts from fads and sharing user-friendly keys to better health.

    Tina is also a green-shake guru and triathlete, who says she trains for life! Catch her contagious enthusiasm at community wellness presentations and group fitness classes, or give her a call at the CFGH at (616) 394-3344 for personal training or health coaching sessions. She'd love to help you achieve your health goals.

    All blogs by Tina Vande Guchte, CMES, CPT

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