2016 is a year where technology is everything, including the clothes and accessories you wear. It’s also a year where people are also paying more attention to health and fitness, finally taking a greater interest in what they put into their bodies and how many calories are being burned off over the day. The proliferation of data and technology makes taking care of yourself easier than ever. Often small and lightweight, they’re no more noticeable than a watch and can result in a variety of health benefits.
When choosing a fitness tracker, pay attention to the hardware, design and comfort. You need to be able to wear the tracker all day long, without it interfering with any daily activities. Battery life could be an issue with some of the more advanced devices – performing some functions drains a battery more quickly. Some trackers will also work with stock apps on your phone, while others may be tailored to another brand. These and more are all things to look for when selecting the perfect fitness tracker for you and your life. Here are a the best fitness trackers of 2016 to get you in shape.
Best Fitness Tracker for Runners: Garmin Forerunner 235
Garmin’s been in the wearable GPS game longer than most of the competition, so it is no surprise they have a product that’s ended up on 2016’s hot list. Designed with runners in mind, the Forerunner 235 has everything both serious and casual runners alike might want. First, it comes with the latest and greatest GPS technology to accurately track and measure both pace and distance while running. An optical heart-rate monitor and internal pedometer help to track steps and calories over the course of the day as accurately as possible. There is even a feature to estimate your VO2 max.
Another great feature is that the watch’s waterproof case, which allows the user to keep it on while showering or swimming – this watch will miss literally none of the activities you perform over the course of the day. The 235 also boasts a sleeker and more comfortable design than previous models.
Garmin’s product has the ability to connect with Connect IQ, Garmin’s fitness app. Unfortunately, the navigation isn’t as smooth as on other apps like Apple Health. But the learning curve is due in part to the wide variety of features this fitness tracker is equipped with.
Best Minimalist Fitness Tracker: Jawbone UP2
If you’re after something a little more modest in appearance that still feels great to wear all day long and gets the job done, than look no further than the Jawbone Up2. Jawbone has vastly improved on its old model. Now more comfortable, less likely to fall off, and with a new firmware update, Jawbone is the best minimalist fitness tracker available.
Its lightweight and modern style make it stand out from every other fitness tracker in looks alone. More like a bracelet than an advanced piece of technology on your wrist, it’s much sleeker and less noticeable than the competition. Nevertheless, the small inconspicuous size doesn’t detract from quality, as the Up2 is durable and is designed with a sturdy clasp that can take a beating.
The Up2 is compatible with Android 4.3 (and later), iPhone 4S (and later), iPad 3 (and later), iPad Mini and iPad Air. It synchronizes wirelessly and offers up to 10 days of battery life between charges.
This device utilizes Jawbone’s UP app, one of the easiest to navigate and highest rated apps on the market. The app can even connect to a large selection of third-party apps like MyFitnessPal, Strava, RunKeeper and more. There’s even a leader board feature to compete with friends and family.
Best Designed Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Charge HR
Fitbit is perhaps the most famous fitness tracker out there. The Charge HR is quite a basic design, but that’s the unobtrusive look and style many people strive for today. It’s simple, and it works beautifully. It’s small enough to go unnoticed when you work out. Its OLED screen is bright and sharp.
Today’s Fitbit models, such as the Charge, feature many improvements from older Fitbits, such as a selection of wristband colors that come with the watch. This makes the Fitbit the most customizable brand of fitness tracker.
Some unique features include the automatic sleep monitor, which records how long and how well you’ve slept each day, and a display that’ll show you who is calling on your phone when its connected. Synchronizing is performed wirelessly with your smart phone or computer.
The Fitbit Charge HR performs great in all aspects. It boasts a sleek design that is quite modern, the battery life is comparable to every other leading fitness tracker out there, needs minimal charging and the software is frequently updated so there’s little chance of any bugs ruining your product.