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Personal Best Fitness Blog

Tools and Trackers for the Fitness Geek

Phil Ray - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fitbit Tracker

Fitbit recently lifted the lid on its new fitness tracker, with the Fitbit Charge landing in time for Christmas. It will keep tabs on your steps, distance traveled, calories burned and floors climbed using the array of on board sensors.

In our Fitbit Charge review we said that the "Fitbit Charge is a decent fitness tracker in its own right but feels somewhat confused with the Fitbit family." Anyone thinking of buying the Fitbit Charge should be aware that the Fitbit Charge HR will land early next year, bringing continuous heart rate tracking to the Fitbit mix.

Perfect for: People's whose Fitbit Flex trackers are looking a bit long in the tooth - the Charge is the natural successor.



As we said in our Jawbone UP Move review, you shouldn't have to pay top dollar for a standard activity tracker. The Jawbone UP Move's tracking is one of the best you can buy, and at just £39.99/$49.99 it's also one of the cheapest fitness bands too.

Not only will it track sleep and steps, you can also assign a boggling array of activities from weightlifting to Zumba to peaks in your day, which offers a fairer reflection of your day's calorie burn than many of its more expensive peers.

Perfect for: Bargain hunters - at such a low price it's hard to fault the Jawbone UP Move.



Misfit Shine

With former Apple bods behind it, it’s of little surprise that the Misfit Shine is different to all the rest. Hewn from aircraft-grade aluminum, this 9g, coin-sized tracker is designed to have some flexibility in how you choose to wear it. You can sport it on your wrist like a watch, sling it round your neck, pop it in your pocket or whatever you like, really.

It keeps a count of your steps and records your effort for certain sports too such as cycling, running, tennis, basketball, football and - thanks to its waterproofing - swimming too. Once you’re done, tap it onto your mobile and it’ll transfer all the data by NFC, or Bluetooth if you can’t manage that. It’s decent, it’s inexpensive and the battery lasts for four months on a single charge.

Be sure to also check out our review of the Misfit Flash, the new cut-price fitness tracker which boasts the same features as the Misfit Shine in a cheaper package.   Perfect for: People who hate charging their gadgets - the Shine has a battery life measured in months, not days.



Polar FT1

Polar has a range of fitness trackers to choose from, but it describes its budget FT1 model as the "first step into training". All it does is track your heart rate, so there's no ability to see how much distance you've covered in a day or how well you're sleeping.

It's decently designed but it's very much a one-trick pony, even though you can quickly pull up summaries of a training session as well as checking on your current heart rate.

Perfect for: Anyone with a dodgy ticker who couldn't care less about steps, calories or how deep their slumber was.



Garmin Vivosmart

The Garmin Vivosmart, the Vivofit's natural successor, offers users a combo of smartwatch and activity tracking features in one slick device packing a nice, curved OLED display. It’s got all the same fitness features of the Vivofit plus the kind of notifications you’d expect from a smartwatch too.

The alerts come by way of vibrations in the wrist and you'll see an overview of what's happening on the OLED screen. You can then swipe that alert to see more. It's all powered by the Garmin Connect app. You can swim with it and you only have to charge it once each week.

Perfect for: People already using Garmin Connect for their run tracking - the Vivosmart adds a wealth of extra daily data to the fold.



MyFitnessPal™ by MyFitnessPal, LLC.

Lose weight with MyFitnessPal, the fastest and easiest to use calorie counter available. With the largest food database of any calorie counter (over 1.2 million foods) and amazingly fast food and exercise entry, we’ll help you take those extra pounds off! There is no better weight loss application — period.

 Connect your Fitness gadget to MyFitnessPal account to automatically adjust your daily net calorie goal and import the data measured by your tracker.




SparkPeople provides a fun, supportive environment that encourages you to live life without limits by setting positive, attainable goals that will change your life. By simply creating a SparkPeople member profile you can take advantage of our nutrition and fitness tracking systems, which allow you to dynamically link data tracked with Fitbit to your account.

 Track all your activity, including your weight, fitness and sleep. Start tracking now.



Microsoft HealthVault™ by Microsoft

Microsoft HealthVault is a free service that lets you store health information from many sources in one online location, so that it’s always organized and available for you to share with your family and those you trust with your care.

 Link your accounts now to share your Fitbit  or Nike+ Fuel Band SE body statistics with HealthVault.



Digifit® by Digifit, Inc.

Get Fit & Stay Healthy with Fitbit and the Digifit, the first and most comprehensive heart rate monitor for the iPhone. Digifit tracks your workouts indoors with fitness sensors or outdoors with GPS. Turn GPS off to conserve battery life and track your cardio activities for hours.

 Link your Fitbit and Digifit accounts, and your workouts are “automagically” posted to your Fitbit account and Fitbit activity.



Want more information about fitness tools and gadgets?  Check out these websites:

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