Just five years ago, all you needed to hit the gym was your sneakers and maybe your iPod. Oh, how times have changed! In the last few years fitness tracking devices have exploded onto the health market, and won’t be leaving anytime soon. From watches to monitors to wrist bands, they all claim help you achieve your fitness goals while documenting your stats and progress. With so many available, however, it’s tricky to know which one will work the best for you and your individual fitness needs. Before you shop, check out these 4 amazing fitness devices that are all tailored to different wants and goals.
1. If you want to track your activity throughout your entire day: Fitbit Zip
The Fitbit Zip is perfect for those that want to monitor their activity all day long, not just during a specific workout. The Zip is a cute little pod that clips onto a pocket or waistband and tracks your steps, distance, and calories burned. It allows you to set goals and then sync your stats to your computer or smartphone to track your progress. The fun part? The Fitbit Zip allows you to connect with your friends and challenge them to competitions! You'll get fit and get social at the same time.
Price: $59.95, fitbit.com
2. If you have trouble sleeping: Jawbone UP24
The Jawbone UP24 may look like a plain wristband, but it packs a serious punch! Not only does it track your activity throughout the day, it monitors your diet, mood, and your sleep patterns on its beautifully designed app—Insight Engine. Insight Engine suggests manageable, attainable goals based on your patterns to ensure that you become the best you one day at a time. Plus, the UP24 wakes you up by vibrating at the optimal moment in your sleep cycle. This ensures that you will wake up refreshed and energized. Yeah, it’s way cool.
Price: $129.99, jawbone.com
3. If you need a little motivation: Polar Loop
The Polar Loop is one of my favorite devices on the market, hands down. The tracking band delivers major bang for your buck with a simple yet life changing feature. While the Loop monitors your activity throughout the day similarly to other products on the market (and allows you to set goals and sync your stats to their online platform), the band also encourages activity, too. If you've been sedentary for more than an hour, your Loop alerts you to get up and moving. (Even if moving means taking a quick lap around the office). The Loop can also sync up with Bluetooth-enabled heart-rate monitors, allowing you to track your heart rate throughout the day.
Price: $109.95, polar.com
4. If you swim: Misfit Shine
If you’re looking for a tracking device for lap swimming, the Misfit Shine is for you. The Shine is a tiny, water-resistant orb that can be worn in many different ways—as a bracelet, a necklace, or even attached to your clothing with its magnetic clip. It’s sleek, unobtrusive, and perfect for the pool. Other neat features? The Misfit has a watch-like battery that doesn’t require any charging. When your battery dies (usually around 4 months or so) you swap it out and go. You can also sync the device to your phone by simply placing the Shine directly on your phone’s screen. Very cool, and very modern.
Price: $119.95, misfitwearables.com
Looking for first-class fitness apps? Check out 5 Amazing Fitness Apps That Actually Get Results.
Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestants’ to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show, Extra, The Doctors and Good Morning America. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and on Pinterest.