You either own one now or thinking of buying one. And you know others who already have one. It’s probably not something you absolutely need, but you’re tempted anyway as it may do you some good. In other words, a fitness tracker may be in your future.
A fitness or activity tracker is a wristwatch-like wearable that monitors critical physical activity such as your heart rate, and uses it and other physical characteristics to help you monitor your physical activity or condition. With this information, the tracker can predict or determine what your body is doing. Trackers are wearables that implement what has come to be known as preventative healthcare.
Fitness or health trackers are widely used for personal activity monitoring. They count your steps and tell you how many miles you have walked. They indicate your heart rate and suggest that you speed up or slow down your activity for the best physical outcome. They can even give you some feedback on your sleep habits. The whole goal of the tracker is to help you get or stay in good physical shape for health reasons. If used correctly they can improve your quality of life.
Other applications include medical monitoring and sports training. Medical monitoring is used when a person’s physical conditions are critical and should be observed continuously over time to better diagnose the problem and prevent a negative outcome. As for sports training, the tracker can help you train for better performance by observing the patterns of physical conditions over time.
Dozens of fitness trackers are on the market at very reasonable prices. Popular brands include Fitbit, Garmin, Everlast, Lumo, Misfit, Lintelek, Tom Tom and others. Smartwatches like those from Apple and Samsung incoprorate fitness tracking capability. Prices run from just under $100 to several hundred dollars.
With the proliferation of wearable health monitors among fitness enthusiasts, it may be worth posing the following question: Is the data being produced by these devices always accurate and reliable? Wearable health and fitness monitors can encounter environments not anticipated when they were originally designed. Newer designs offer improvements that provide more correct data.
This first generation of fitness trackers is slowly yielding to newer and better trackers thanks to some technological breakthroughs and developments. Here’s a look at how these clever devices can be improved.