By Sarah Finley
Started a new fitness routine or want to get healthier? Here’s how to use a Fitbit to track your progress or give yourself a little daily motivation.
Fitness trackers, such as Fitbits, have been evolving for years. In fact, there's now several different Fitbit types to choose from. And, with every new upgrade comes a new app or function that can help us assess our health and fitness more clearly. All this forward (and upward motion) means that the list of best fitness trackers is regularly changing. And this potentially matches up to your needs and demands even better each time.
If you’ve checked out the specs of all the fitness trackers out there, and settled on the Fitbit brand, the next thing you’ll need to do is decide which one is right for you. The brand offering contains both trackers and smartwatches and, within those, there are also different versions to choose from.
Starting life as a tracker, the original Fitbit design features a smaller, slimmer wrist band while the smartwatch design is a little bigger and bolder, designed for smarter interaction with apps. Both models share some functions. But which one is right for your lifestyle and goals? Do you want to track your running miles, or would you prefer to know you’re getting enough quality sleep every night?
We explore the different versions of Fitbit’s fitness trackers and watches, considering who they’re right for. And, the best news is that all Fitbit trackers are easy to use. All you need to decide is which one to invest in.
These are the top 5 Fitbit types
Some Fitbit types are specifically geared towards those who are more active, such as long-distance runners and cyclists. The Charge range covers this demographic.
Classed as fitness trackers (rather than smartwatches), the newest design in the collection – the Fitbit Charge 4 – has clever functions such as SmartTrack™ automatic exercise recognition and cardio fitness score, which allow you to track workouts and routes.
The built-in GPS will also give you a more detailed analysis of your workout, with real-time pace and distance results without having to refer back to the app. Other features include reminders to move and also daily calories burnt. This is helpful if you’re hoping to lose weight or want to burn a certain amount or calories every day.
Health conscious and want a more detailed picture of how your body is functioning? Plus, how you can make changes to improve your health? Then Sense smartwatch is a good option.
Called an advanced health watch, it monitors factors such as your heart health and skin temperature, potentially alerting you to any new illnesses. The watch even has a function to manage your stress levels. As well as encouraging you to log how you’re feeling on a daily basis, the sensors on the smartwatch’s base gives you a daily stress score to help you keep track.
Additionally, if you are looking for a better night’s sleep, the Sense will also score your sleep quality every night and track the stage of your resting cycles.
Many Fitbit types help with getting better rest as sleep is important to our health and wellbeing. And, despite experts saying that we need around seven to eight hours of sleep each night, many of us don’t get anywhere near the desired amount. One of the highlights of the Fitbit Inspire range is that they come with built-in sleep trackers to help monitor and understand your sleep patterns.
You can use the related Fitbit app on your phone to see how well you’ve slept. You can even maximise your sleep by programming reminders for when you should be going to bed.
As your daily activity levels will also affect your sleep, make the most of this tracker’s other features, such as the Active Zone Minutes. It's an all-day activity tracker that encourages you to keep up your efforts with fitness goal celebrations.
If you want your children to be as health conscious as you, a fitness tracker is a great way to physically show them the connection between regular movement and the way it affects your body.
Fitbit’s Ace range, including the Ace 2 (which launched last year), is a way for children aged six and above, to do just that. This is one of the Fitbit types which helps them build healthy habits via a fun interface that tracks their daily activity and sleep patterns.
The brightly coloured bands also have parental controls. So, you can work on healthy habits as a family, and can be worn in the water. Bring on the family swimming trips!
This smartwatch series is a bit of an all-rounder. It's ideal for those of you who are active daily, but who also want to track wider lifestyle goals.
As far as fitness goals are concerned, the Versa tracks your activity throughout the day – in steps, distance and even floors climbed. In addition to this, the in-app workout intensity map gives you a detailed picture of your outdoor workout. It highlights everything from heart rate spikes to the most energetic moments of your workouts.
Menstrual tracking is also a feature on this smartwatch, which can also monitor your sleep patterns (better still if you put it on sleep mode to give yourself a break from smart-phone notifications). The latest version of this particular Fitbit, the Versa 3, has fresh features too, including a built-in GPS and even a Google Assistant.
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