The Best Tools to Track Your Fitness in 2019
Accountability is key in any fitness regimen, whether you’re counting reps in the gym or calories in the kitchen. Fortunately, technology has made it easier to track your fitness than ever.
Whether you’re looking to optimize your workouts or just drop a few pounds, there are a plethora of apps and tracking devices to help motivate you and keep you on track. The biggest challenge is choosing the right one!
Options (and price points) run the gamut, but to help you get started, here is a sampling of some of the most popular and best-reviewed activity monitors on the market right now.
The Fitbit Charge 3 tops several lists of the best fitness trackers for its accuracy, battery life, ease of use, and reasonable price tag ($150). It reliably tracks steps, heart rate, and even quality of sleep, and starts recording your workouts once it senses 10 minutes of continuous movement. The user-friendly Fitbit app enables you to connect with a large network of other Fitbit wearers, as well as choose which smartphone notifications to receive on your device.
If you’re just dipping your toe in the activity-monitor pool, the Fitbit Flex 2 is a good way track your fitness with minimal investment ($60). It tracks your movements automatically and even reminds you to stand up if you’ve been sitting too long, but doesn’t monitor your heart rate (so while it can tell you how long you slept, it can’t tell you how well). The Fitbit Flex 2 has no display screen, so you’ll need to log in to the Fitbit app or website (which also allows you to connect with other Fitbit users) to access information about your activities.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus. It’s geared toward experienced outdoor adventurers and will set you back $800 ($1,150 if you want all the bells and whistles). In addition to detailed topographic maps and a compass (which is great for hikers), the Fenix 5 Plus offers tons of analytics for runners, such as cadence and vertical oscillation, in addition to the traditional offerings (pace, distance, calories, etc.). It will also hold 500 songs, give you the weather report, and comes with Garmin Pay.
More than just a way to track your fitness, of course, Apple’s newest smartwatch offers more features than almost any other tracking device, including an electrocardiogram (ECG) app that’s been certified by the Food & Drug Administration. It also has GPS tracking, an altimeter, Bluetooth connectivity and Siri support. Like most Apple products, it’s not cheap ($400), but has a large contingent of decidedly devoted fans.
Popular among Android users, the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro fitness tracker ($180) also comes with lots of smartwatch features, including the ability to store and stream music, sending text messages and making phone calls. It auto-tracks a wide range of activities, offers a nudging feature when you’ve been idle too long, and displays a map of your route when you log a run or bike ride with its built-in GPS.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are as almost as many fitness tracking devices on the market as there are workouts, so you may need to do more in-depth research before you find the right one for you.
If you’re more concerned with tracking calories in than calories out, there are plenty of affordable (and free) apps and websites available to you, such as MyFitnessPal, Lose It!, SparkPeople, FatSecret, and Cron-o-meter. You can even sync them with your fitness tracking device, if you’re using both.