Bellingham Athletic Club

The Benefits of Fitness Trackers

I’ve been wearing a fitness tracker for years. I started with a Polar watch that measured my heart rate with a band worn around my chest. It was accurate but a bit of a hassle. Now I wear one on my wrist. These days, there’s a wide variety of trackers that monitor different things depending on what you’re trying to measure. Trackers are useful for staying connected with your progress and committed to your goals.

Here’s a review of some popular models.

Polar has lots of trackers to choose from and a support page to help pick the right one for you. The A370 is their every day/all day model. It tracks heart rate, sleep and activity. The standouts for this model is it’s waterproof for swimmers and has GPS for runners, at a reasonable price point. Polar has the reputation of having the most accurate feedback of all trackers, important for the serious athlete. This model is $179.95.

Fitbit has a variety of models. I’ve been wearing the Fitbit Charge HR for the last year or so. It tracks my activities, monitors my sleep and heart rate. Its smaller than the referenced Polar unit, but isn’t waterproof. The stand out for this Fitbit is that I can get texts and notifications on the screen. $149.95 Fitbit has recently come out with the Iconic at $299.95. The Iconic rivals the Apple watch with options like adding available apps, making payments and has a customizable clock face. Although it is a contender with the Apple Watch, it’s a fitness tracker at heart. Standout feature – the battery life is around 4 days. The Apple Watch needs to get charged every day.

The Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $329.95 (what is with the .95?). It has all of the benefits that the other trackers do including activity and sleep tracking, GPS, and connects with online coaching. The Watch has unique options such as cellular service without bringing your phone (for an additional $70), connects with Siri and can be used for swimming. Apple has teamed up with Nike for some training prompts and information that runners will want. There are many accessory options, and of course, the Apple Watch has the cool factor.

There are many more trackers on the market. Most work with apps that will capture and store your activity information. They’ve got inspiring stories, interesting tips for improvement and some have online workout classes in case you can’t make it to the gym. Many of them have a community you can connect to and challenge other people going for similar goals, Each one has a slightly different use, appearance and comfort level.

Trackers help keep you committed to attaining your goals. The information can be as minimal as steps taken each day, to the more technical options of precise heart rate and activity monitor. They’re particularly useful if you’ve got goals and want to make sure that you’re on track. Go try one on and see the benefits right away.

Susie Landsem
Aging in Place by Design