Whether you get or give this season (or both), here's what you should know
After working from home for a year and a half, many of us will have "get in shape" as our best New Year's promise, which means that training trackers will be in high demand this holiday season. But you may be wondering which training tracker is best for me – or for someone on your "nice" list?
Some of the leading manufacturers of training tracking devices have launched new models in recent months, and there are about fifteen hundred different options to choose from between. But they can be divided into a handful of categories based on a person's needs and desires. We have selected a recommendation for the best training tracker in each category that will work perfectly as a gift for someone else, or as a motivational tool for you. But before we dive into these, a few notes:
Aaptiv, the extraordinarily comprehensive exercise app available at no cost with Haven Life Plus, a driver of the Haven Term policy for eligible policyholders, works seamlessly with many exercise trackers, whether you want to run a marathon or do a quick workout at home.
Also, in these pandemic times, many exercise trackers now have oximeters, but we would suggest that if you are worried about either your oxygen level or the possibility that you have Covid-19 you should run out for a quick test, do not end up for a run.
In this article:
If you want a straight exercise track
Fitbit Charge 5
If what you want out of a fitness tracker is in fact is fitness, there is a lot to say about Fitbit. Their trackers do not have much in the way of apps, notifications and other smartwatch features, but they are fantastic (and accurate) when it comes to heart rate measurement, sleep tracking, fitness and training details – they can record 20 different types of activity. One of the popular training features for this portable device is close sleep monitoring. Your Fitbit can track your sleep by monitoring the level of oxygen in your blood throughout the night. The sleep tracking capability not only gives the wearer an overview of sleep quality, but it also describes each night's cycles and sleep patterns. The Fitbit app is user-friendly and frequently used, which means you can easily join a community of other Fitbit users, which can be useful when you need a little encouragement or friendly competition. You can also choose the Fitbit premium which has even more activity tracking features to help you reach your training goals.
Charge 5 is Fitbit's latest tracker and, in the spirit of being more about fitness than multitasking, it does not have Spotify support which was available on its predecessor Charge 4. If it is a dealbreaker, Charge 4 is still available (and a little cheaper). What the 5 has (and the 4 does not have) are several new features that Fitbit has either added or will soon add: an electrodermal activity sensor (known as an EDA) to detect stress (available now) and an ECG sensor which monitors for signs of atrial fibrillation (still). This takes Fitbit's heart rate monitor to a whole new level. There will also be a Daily Readiness score that will assess three different factors – fatigue, heart rate fluctuations and recent sleep – to let you know how ready you are for exercise.  The fee is reasonably priced, but it has some features , such as GPS, which are usually reserved for more expensive competitors. The Zone Minutes feature encourages people to try high-intensity workouts; the category "outdoor training" is for the opposite type of activity: walking, hiking and golf. Overall, Fitbit is a strong choice for measuring your daily steps (pedometer), physical activity, calorie burn and heart rate measurement.
While Charge 5 is our favorite, be sure to explore other Fitbit fitness band models such as Fitbit Inspire, Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ace
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If you want an entry-level smartwatch
Garmin Venu Sq and Sq Music Edition
Next on our list of best fitness trackers we have Garmin. If you want something with a more bell-like look and features than Fitbit, but do not want to break the bank, another 50 bucks or so will give you a Garmin. Their entry-level Venu Sq and Sq Music are available in a wide range of colors and track an equally wide range of activities. For people who have not exercised for a while and wonder "am I dying or just out of shape?" there is an oximeter, along with heart rate and stress meters. Whatever you want to monitor, the company is known for tracking with precision. Both versions of Sq play music, but the Music version stores your songs on board, which can be useful if you go offline. And if you go far beyond the grid, you can also benefit from the barometric altimeter and gyroscope. Like Fitbit, Garmin also has a fitness community called Garmin Connect that lets users track, compete and interact with other Garmin carriers. Like the other training tracker on our list, Garmin watches are available in a variety of models and prices. Some other popular Garmin devices to check out are Garmin Fenix and Garmin Vivosmart.
If you're an iPhone user
Apple Watch (obviously)
If you or your gift are Apple fans, there are there a good chance an Apple Watch will be your favorite tracker. An important difference between these and more traditional training trackers is that each Apple Watch series is made with multitasking in mind. Is it useful to receive smartphone notifications, emails, use your "phone" and basically have a computer on your wrist while exercising? Or does it distract you from exercise and create a situation where you are always on the clock and can never trim the constant flood of information that defines modern life? It's up to you, but Apple's smartwatch is really full of features: Most iPhone apps are available on the watch and optimized for its screen. Speaking of the screen, its always-on mode shows distance, heart rate and other statistics without having to be pressed. The fitness watch tracks most types of training including swimming tracking (though not with the same granularity level as some dedicated trackers) and it also sends smart notifications and encourages users to stand / move every hour and do other things that do not count as a "workout" but will to prevent you from fading completely during the workday.
If you buy your first Apple Watch, it makes sense to get the latest version. But if you already have a new model, there is no point in upgrading. Although the latest version (Series 7) has a better screen and some new features compared to other newer models, the changes are not radical.
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If you are an Android user
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
If you want to avoid reaching for your phone but still need Its features when you work out, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is for you. Just like with an Apple Watch, the screen is easy to read and the watch tracks a range of workouts, including swimming. It also encourages activity and has automatic training detection – whether it will work if you run to take a train depends on how serious you are about taking it. The Group Challenge Train feature can be seen as Fitbit-like: it allows users to join friends or strangers to participate in competitions to stay motivated.
If you are a serious runner
The Coros Pace 2  While all exercise trackers monitor running, dedicated runners can take advantage of a GPS watch designed with them in mind. The affordable Coros Pace 2 has 15 activity tracking modes for different types of running, fast GPS retrieval. run-specific measurement values such as power and a function for making training plans. Route tracking is good and battery life is remarkable – 20 hours in standby or 30 hours with GPS enabled. It will also track swimming, as even serious runners sometimes need to change their routine.
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