HOW TO BUY A FITNESS TRACKER

Whether you’re a runner, swimmer, biker or superspy, there’s a fitness tracker out there for you–here’s how to find it

ALERTS
A tracker’s screen can give notifications of texts, calls, emails and other events on your phone.

STEP COUNT
A tracker like the Fitbit Charge 3 will use accelerometers to estimate how much you’ve walked.

HRM
A heart-rate monitor uses a sensor on the back of the tracker to continually take your pulse.

Take the first step


Deciding which features you need and which you don’t–is the best place to start. A basic tracker like the Xiaomi Band 3 will keep tabs on your steps and how many calories you’ve burned (and it’s water-resistant, so safe for the shower), but more advanced models will have features like GPS– useful for phone-free route-mapping.
O Get this:
Xiaomi Band 3
£27 / mi.com

Follow your heart

Not all trackers monitor your heart rate, but it can be worth investing in one that does. Keeping an eye on your ticker is a great way to gain some insight into your overall health and see how your fitness is improving over time. TheApple Watch Series 4 monitors your heart throughout the day and will alert you if it detects any issues. O Get this: Apple Watch Series 4 £399 / apple.com

Fit for purpose


There’s more to a tracker than what it does and doesn’t track: it’s also worth thinking about how practical a band is for whatever activity you’re doing. If you’re swimming, of course, you need to check the water-resistance; and if you want to get really active, opting for something rugged and compact–such as the Withings Pulse HR– would be a sensible choice.
O Get this:
Withings Pulse HR
£120 / withings.com

Health screening


A budget tracker like the Fitbit Flex 2 doesn’t have a screen, relying instead on your smartphone to show you how you’re doing. To decide if you’d be better off with a screened model, consider whether you want to see your progress during workouts in realtime. While there are clear benefits to having that interface, itis an added drain on battery life.
O Get this:
Fitbit Flex 2
£50 / fitbit.com  

Lasting benefits

The differences in battery life among trackers are huge. The MoovNow is a great option for long-term use as its battery can last an incredible six months.
O Get this:
Moov Now
£60 / moov.cc 

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