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fitness tracker buying guide, activity tracker buying guide, how to buy a fitness tracker, how to buy an activity tracker, how to buy an all day activity tracker

A fitness tracker is a useful tool for monitoring your health and measuring your physical activity. But before you buy, consider your fitness goals. Are you trying to get in shape? Or jump-start a former fitness routine? Fine-tune an exercise regimen? Train for a Marathon? The right fitness tracker can help you achieve your specific objectives.

Fitness or activity trackers range from simple to trendy with price points to match. Here's how to find the right tracker to fit your fitness needs, budget, lifestyle, and fashion sense.

How Fitness Trackers Work, How activity Trackers Work

All fitness or activity trackers use sensors to monitor your physical movements, often connecting and syncing wirelessly with a computer or mobile device to store data about your day-to-day activities. The total number of steps taken, calories consumed, heart rate, hour of sleep are the different types of activities a tracker monitors.

activity tracker, fitness tracker
types of fitness tracker, types of activity tracker

Fitness trackers are designed to accommodate a range of requirements. If you simply want to take the baby steps towards fitness, then buy an all-day tracker.
If you are a fitness enthusiast who wants details on the speed, pace, and stride associated with your steps, look for a training tracker.

All-Day Trackers Here's what they measure: • Steps taken • Stairways climbed • Duration of exercise • Calories burned • Calories consumed • Active minutes • Sleep time (divided into regular and REM)
Training Trackers They do everything All-Day Trackers do, plus: • Heart rate • Breathing patterns • Miles traveled • Speed, pace, route • Swimming pool lap times • Altitude changes (helpful to skiers, cyclists, etc.) • Music controls
Features to Consider when buying a fitness tracker

Style

Many trackers are designed to be worn on the wrist, but some can be worn as pendants or clipped to your clothing.

Display

The more advanced trackers reveal their data in form of words, numbers and symbols on a watch face-like display. The simpler ones share the same info using simple LED light display or through an app. You can sync all your data using your smartphone or computer, it also helps you interpret and analyze it.

Compatibility

Always check if you tracker can be synced with your cell phone or computer.

Accuracy

Trackers use sensors and algorithms to calculate footsteps, stairs climbed, hours slept or punches thrown. That means there's some degree of inaccuracy. If you need hard core metrics, than look for a function-specific device.

Battery Life

Depending on the sophistication of your tracker, battery life can stretch from one day to several months. It's also worth noting that not all trackers are rechargeable. Some run on the coin cell batteries often used in cameras and calculators.