Smartwatches and fitness trackers

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Smartwatches and fitness trackers

Smart watches and fitness trackers have become so much a part of the health and fitness scene that they are almost as necessary as a pair of running shoes. If you’re in the market for either, then there are some key things you need to consider before you buy one online.

What activity do you want to use your fitness tracker for?

Different fitness bands are geared towards different sports. If there is a certain activity you like or want to do, then make sure the fitness tracker you choose is designed for it. It may sound like a no brainer, but if you want to measure your swimming, then make sure it is water resistant and that swimming is recognised by the software. The same would apply if you want to run, cycle or box.

What sort of features do I need in my fitness tracker?

If you are new to exercise or just branching out into this kind of fitness equipment, then an entry-level activity tracker is a good choice. This will record how many steps you have taken, and most will estimate how many calories you have burned. However, if you want something more advanced then you will need to look at a device that offers features like a heart rate monitor, GPS tracking and automatic activity recognition.

Is my fitness tracker compatible with my other devices?

Syncing your devices is critical if you want to track your progress using the companion app or website. Some fitness trackers come with cellular connectivity and internal storage – so you don’t have to bring your phone with you to listen to music or make phone calls.

Is there a difference between a sports watch and a smart watch?

The short answer is, yes. A smart watch is more of a lifestyle choice and is built to run applications of any type – messaging, emails, health, sports, games, entertainment and the list goes on. While a sports watch is built with a particular purpose in mind – giving athletes accurate information about their training and performance and then collating and analysing all the data it records. That being said, there is some crossover. Many smart watches will track your steps, and some sports watches will pair with your phone and allow you to send texts or calendar notifications.

What are the features of a sports watch?

  • Multi sport tracking: this allows a user to seamlessly switch between different sports, whether it’s running, swimming and cycling, or everything in between. Switching your fitness watch to a specific sports mode will allow you to measure and record information relevant to that activity.
  • GPS: this track your position anywhere in the world. For the dedicated runner or cyclists, GPS will allow keep an accurate track of your kilometres in real time and use this data to calculate your pace and speed. This helps you to reach your goals faster and gain a better insight into your training. For the hikers and mountain bikers, some high-end sports watches even include built-in barometric altimeter.
  • Advanced metrics: these can include: HR max, cadence, stride length, vertical oscillation and ground contact time.

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