Work Life Balance

Our favorite gadgets to track your health and wellness

May 03, 2016

Top Fitness Trackers

Students, professionals and full-time parents alike have realized the importance of managing personal health and wellness as a way to increase productivity and lower stress. It’s been proven true that eating poorly will stress your system, and lacking sleep will strain your body of its much needed rejuvenation time. Just like in any business, gathering and analyzing data are important tasks that can help us become accountable to our personal promises while improving our overall wellbeing. Here are some top tech tools that can help us track our progress.

Top fitness trackers to manage your health and wellness

Fitbit One – For the busy bees

This product is one of the most popular activity tracking devices that is compatible with all major systems including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Instead of a wristband, it simply clips onto your clothing and is one of the more affordable health and wellness devices. The Fitbit One replaces its predecessor, Fitbit Ultra, and boasts new features like a silent alarm that vibrates at a set time to gently wake you up. This is one of our top recommended health and wellness tracking tools that is perfect for students, professionals and full-time parents with busy schedules, and it’s hard to beat its affordability. Don’t just take our word for it though, hear it from the experts in this PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice review:

In a nutshell, the Fitbit One is a super-smart pedometer that tracks how many steps you take in a day, the flights of stairs you climb, the distance you travel, the number of calories you burn, and even how much restful sleep you get. In other words, it automates the hard work of keeping track of your overall fitness, and uploads the data to an excellent companion Web account where you can add even more information, like what you've eaten, as well as other activities that the Fitbit can't track on its own, like lifting weights or cycling. All these features, plus great compatibility with other apps, make the Fitbit One our Editors' Choice among fitness gadgets for non-athletes

Basis Carbon Steel Edition – For the data driven

This is another PC Magazine Editor’s Choice but for a slightly different category. It is one of the more pricey products, reaching approximately $200, but for good reason. The amount of information that is available through its measurement software and features is absolutely amazing for those data analysts out there. It is a wristwatch that has sensors built in to monitor heart rate during work, study or sleep hours. It can even recognize when you are performing specific activities such as walking, running and biking. It also measures skin temperature and perspiration which can be helpful when estimating the amount of calories shed.

All of the information gathered and wirelessly synced over Bluetooth then can be accessed through an excellent web interface. Part of its benefits in terms of measuring heart rate comes in the form of tracking whether or not you are in a light or deep sleep, which can greatly impact your energy and productivity levels throughout the day. Like the Fitbit One, it is compatible with all major systems, and is perfect for the more calculated individual that puts a high value on performance.

Striiv – For the social sharers

Although it is more of a lesser known product, its unique characteristics are perfect for the industry influencers and social sharers out there. The Striiv Smart Pedometer is a part touch screen gadget that has a number of built-in mini apps to help motivate you and others in the community. Set walking goals, and monitor your progress either on the device itself or through a web app. It also allows you to share your progress with friends, or engage in lighthearted competitions as you work towards daily metrics.

As a nonprofit institution, this is a UMass Global favorite for its capability to let you participate in charity walks where donations are made based on how many people reach a certain activity level. Striiv was recently voted by fans as one of the best among a new breed of fitness gadgets according to life hacker. As you progress towards your walking goals, you can share it with friends on Twitter and Facebook, and interact with others who also use the Striiv to stay in shape. The Striiv even has a built-in game that challenges you to rescue animals on an enchanted island, but to do so you have to get active. The game rewards you for walking, running, and taking the stairs instead of elevators.

Garmin Vivofit – For the frequent flyer

According to the Wire Cutter, the Garmin Vivofit is the best fitness tracker for most people because it is the one that they are most likely to use consistently. One of our favorite features is the fact that it’s waterproof! The device fits securely on your wrist, has an easy-to-read display, and can be used in the pool, shower or ocean. It can basically live on your body for a year before needing to change the battery, so there is no downtime for a weekly recharge. These features are what set the gadget apart from its competitors.

The display features a “move bar” along the tip that helps motivate you to get up and go. Wired’s Christina Bonnington explained, “Using the Vivofit, I got up from my chair more, took more walks, and, in general, felt better.” It automatically sets a daily step goal for you based on your activity in recent days, but interestingly enough a big day of activity or lazy Sunday on the couch with family will only result in a slight adjustment to the following day’s goal. This means that instead of big peaks and valleys, the more gradual approach leads to goals that feel more realistic and reachable.

Nike+ FuelBand SE – For the fitness focused

Of course the leader in sports marketing finds itself on the list. The Nike+ FuelBand SE is the brand’s latest fitness technology that tracks your physical activity and helps motivate you to move even more. It trails your entire day, including workouts and displays your progress toward personal goals by measuring steps taken and estimates how many calories you burn. Although it is great for staying constantly connected to your iOS device or Windows PC, it is not compatible with Android devices.

The product claims to have sleep tracking capabilities, but not in the traditional sense as other options that measure fluctuations in rest patterns including deep or light sleep states. As with many other items that store data in the clouds, the Nike+ FuelBand has a social networking feature that allows you to create a group and interact with your peers or colleagues. Although this is the latest technology from the sports brand, it is important to note that there are other fitness products in the Nike+ family including a sports watch and Xbox Kinect software for gamers.

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