2017's best fitness trackers
Need some fitness motivation and want to push yourself harder? Think tech. People who use trackers are 30 to 40 percent more active, research reveals. "Trackers help facilitate self-awareness and mindfulness, which are necessary for behavior change," explains Lee Jordan, an ACE-certi ed health coach and behavior change specialist. Adds star trainer Harley Pasternak, "A tracker unshackles my clients from needing a gym or equipment to get in their activity that day." Ready to receive feedback on a whole new level? These smart fitness watches will help you keep tabs on your progress, and push through plateaus. To help you choose your arm candy, here is our review of the best fitness trackers on the market now.
Apple Watch Nike+
Apple's newest fitness tracker, the Apple Watch Nike+ ($400; bestbuy.com) logs miles via its built-in GPS. You can also preschedule your runs, get alerts when friends who are also in the Nike+ Run Club head outside for their workout, and see constant reminders of your last mileage.
Misfit Phase Hybrid
The Misfit Phase Hybrid ($200; kohls.com) counts steps and calories burned, tracks sleep, and periodically vibrates to prompt you to move. We also appreciate that the battery lasts up to six months, so you don't have to constantly worry about charging it. And the style-conscious will love the sophisticated analog watch design.
Count every flight of stairs at work—and never miss a call or text—with the WiseWear Calder ($330; macys.com), which looks like jewelry. Bonus: A panic button links directly to your emergency contacts.
This is the ultimate gadget for snow- and surfboarders. The Nixon Mission ($400; amazon.com) puts health stats and slope or water conditions on your wrist. Plus, you can keep note of your distance and speed while you're out shredding.
Twist your wrist to scroll through stats, training plans, watch faces, and even caller ID on the running-focused Huawei Fit ($120; amazon.com). Not a runner? No problem: We also love that it records biking and elliptical activity.
Fitbit Flex 2
Not only does the Fitbit Flex 2 ($80; amazon.com) autotrack land moves, but it also ensures you get credit whenever you're in the water. What's more, you can trade the classic band for a luxe-looking bangle or pendant if you prefer.
ASUS ZenWatch 3
Don’t let the elegant exterior of the ASUS ZenWatch 3 fool you ($230; asus.com). This sweat-resistant gizmo can handle hard-core workouts. Bonus: it's super fast-charging and gets to 60 percent in just 15 minutes!
Slip the Kinematix Tune ($200; amazon.com) insoles into your runners and clip on the connective docks. The app will offer analysis of your technique, plus form-saving exercises.
Photo: Garmin Vivosmart HR
Garmin Vivosmart HR
A monitor is no good if you aren't moving. The Garmin Vivosmart HR ($145; amazon.com) vibrates after every hour you're still, reminding you to get off your butt. The heart rate monitor helps keep you on task during your workout. The device also critiques your activity level, then develops daily goals to complete.
Photo: courtesy of Microsoft Band
Microsoft Band 2
The handy features of the Microsoft Band 2 ($239; amazon.com)—a GPS that records your running, biking and hiking routes, a UV sensor and the ability to pair with your Starbucks card—make it a standout. This iteration features a curved screen to more comfortably fit your wrist.
Samsung Galaxy Gear S2
The Samsung Gear S2 ($299-$450; amazon.com) bundles all your fitness, personal, and business needs into one tech piece. It follows your exercise and food choices (like caffeine vs. water intake) and can sync with other apps, like Nike+ Running. (Oh, and it's a phone, too!)
Fitbit Charge 2
The Fitbit Charge 2 ($150; nordstrom.com) calculates steps taken, calories burned, elevation climbed, and distance traveled, giving you a clear picture of how much you're moving every day. Plus, unlike many fitness trackers that require you to signal when you're beginning and ending a workout, the Charge 2 detects an uptick in activity automatically.
Photo: courtesy of Withings.com
Misfit Shine 2 Swimmer's Edition
Outlined with LED lights, the orb-shaped dial on the Misfit Shine 2 Swimmers Edition ($120; amazon.com) glows when tapped to reveal your movement progress, and tracks movement in and out of the pool. Never lose count of your laps again. Bonus: It vibrates for call and text notifications as well as reminders to get up and move.
Apple Watch Series 2
In addition to all the other bells and whistles it's known for, the Apple Watch (starting at $369; apple.com) is a top-of-the-line health and fitness tracker. The watch tracks your heart rate, nudges you to move more after a period of inactivity, counts your steps, tracks your workouts, and paints a clear picture of your overall fitness with colorful charts and graphics.