How to Decide on What Fitness Tech is Right for You!

What Technology Are You Wearing?!

Black Friday might not be the same crowded and crazy event this year, however, it doesn’t mean we can’t still take advantage of some deals! When shopping for yourself or others, there is an extremely large variety of fitness accessories for purchase. Accessories for exercise and fitness tracking can become super costly the more specific you’re trying to get with your goals.


From headphones to watches and heart rate monitors, there’s a lot to consider when purchasing! Below we’ve rounded up what to consider when buying and what is hot on the market right now based on the best and most efficient models.


Watches

Smart watches are a great way to track your activity levels whether you're more advanced or just starting out. When deciding on a watch, think about what you or the person you are buying for will specifically use the watch for. Is it needed to pace yourself or track distance while running? Is it needed to track your daily step intake? Do you want to start monitoring your heart rate during any type of exercise? Do you need a GPS or screen to look at during exercise? Does it need to fit within your budget? How long is the battery life?


There are a ton of questions to ask yourself when contemplating what kind of watch to buy, so make sure you’re not just buying it because your friend recently did or can't think of another gift. Smart watches can cost anywhere from $50 to $500, so narrowing in on why you need yours is essential. Typically, the more expensive the watch the more accurate it is at tracking calories, heart rate, steps, and more because it will have more features to calculate your data.


According to a comparison done by Best Reviews, the top 5 watches to use for fitness activity line up as:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Active 2

  2. Samsung Galaxy Fit 2

  3. Fitbit Versa 2

  4. Fitbit Charge 4

  5. Garmin Venu

(Nott, 2020)



Heart Rate Monitors (Chest Straps)

Heart rate monitors are included in most smart watches, however, some would rather wear a chest strap as the watch might get in the way or be bothersome during workouts. Chest straps tend to get a more accurate reading than smart watches as well. Research by the Cleveland Clinic shows they are 99.6% accurate at reading your heart rate so if not going for comfort, then accuracy is a winner for these devices (Etiwy et al, 2019).


Chest straps sync with your mobile device, such as a smartphone, to show you your readings through an app of their own or with an app already on your smartphone. Also, consider how hard you or someone else is exercising while using a chest strap. Durability and being sweat proof is a must. Best Reviews has gone ahead and rated the top 5 heart rate monitors as well and they are as follows:

  1. Polar H10 HR Monitor

  2. Garmin Chest Strap HR Monitor

  3. CooSpo HR Monitor

  4. Wahoo TICKR & HR Monitor

  5. CatEye HR-12

(Nott, 2020)



Headphones

Headphones for exercise might be an essential part of your gym experience and they can get pricey! There are many different ways to exercise, however, two things all exercise types have in common are moving around and sweating. Whatever the exercise of choice might be your headphones need to stay in your ears and be sweatproof! Typically, runners find themselves in a bind most because they are constantly bobbing as they run, and need a pair of headphones that are durable while staying put. Even resistance training in the gym can be a challenge for headphones to stay put!


Recently, the NY Times put out a review on what headphones and earbuds are best for exercise in 2020. Their top pick was the Jabra Elite Active 75t. However, if budgeting, their top pick was Aukey Latitude EP-B40 (Dragan, 2020).



Sleigh those Deals!

There is so much technology for tracking our activity levels and so many competing brands it makes it extremely difficult to find the best fit for you or who you might be buying for. The easiest way to decide is to narrow in on what you think is essential to your own or the gift receiver’s fitness needs.



References

Dragan, L. (2020, November 6). The Best Workout Headphones. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-workout-headphones/


Etiwy, M., Akhrass, Z., Gillinov, L., Alashi, A., Wang, R., Blackburn, G., Gillinov, S. M., Phelan, D., Gillinov, A. M., Houghtaling, P. L., Javadikasgari, H., & Desai, M. Y. (2019). Accuracy of wearable heart rate monitors in cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy, 9(3), 262–271. https://doi.org/10.21037/cdt.2019.04.08


Nott, M. (2020, November). 5 Best Heart Rate Chest Straps - Nov. 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://bestreviews.com/best-heart-rate-chest-straps


Nott, M. (2020). 5 Best Fitness Trackers - Nov. 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://bestreviews.com/best-fitness-trackers



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