Find the Best Activity Tracker: Easily Track Fitness Activity


“Today’s the day I’m getting into shape.”

I think I’ve said that about a million times over the past few years. I just couldn’t stay motivated to work out, even though I cringed when I looked at the fat guy staring back at me in the mirror. And swimsuits? Forget it. I’ll keep my shirt on, thanks.

It may be hard to stay motivated once the mirror is out of sight, but one thing I can do well is finish goals. It can be as simple as getting that next Xbox Achievement or crossing off things on my To-Do list. So when I decided for the millionth time to get into shape, I knew I needed help. I wanted a fitness tracker to track my progress in a way that would make me want to work out more.

Activity Trackers are the latest fitness craze. They make it easy to stay on track with your workouts, because they reward you for the stuff you do on a daily basis. Let’s face it, not everyone can finish a P90X workout. They’re amazing, don’t get me wrong, but they’re a little intense sometimes. The best activity trackers will record your everyday fitness activities and let you know how you’re doing. That way, if you have a day when you really haven’t been as active as you should be, you’ll get that reminder that you need to pick it up a notch.

What do Activity Trackers do?

In a nutshell, the best activity trackers will track how much physical fitness activity you get – no matter how small. They can count how many steps you take, miles you travel, calculate how many calories you burn, what food you eat and, through the accompanying apps, share this information with your friends so you can “keep score”. There’s nothing quite like seeing your friend push it a little further to make you say “I want more too!”

For those of you who want the research, several studies have shown that people who track their food intake are much more likely to lose weight. In fact, dieters who used food journals lost nearly twice the weight of those who didn’t.  Similarly, social exercise can amplify the effects of exercising alone.

I should mention that the terms “activity tracker” and “fitness tracker” are used interchangeably by several manufacturers. Even though the FitBit, Nike FuelBand or the Jawbone Up may be labeled differently, the general purpose is the same.

How to Find the Best Activity Tracker

We’ve had fitness trackers for years, they just weren’t very effective. They were called pedometers. You took a step. It increased the number. That was about it. The best activity trackers available today are much more sophisticated, but still as easy to use. Some can even sync with heart monitors or bathroom scales to give you a more complete picture of your overall health.

There are many different designs which will allow you to choose what features are important to you. Do you need something water resistant so you can wear it in the shower? Do you want something that looks more like a piece of jewelry so it won’t cramp your style? How about a discrete belt clip or shoe clip tracker? All these options are available, and more are ready to hit the market soon.

Five of the Best Fitness Trackers

Nike FuelBand Activity TrackerNike FuelBand

The Nike FuelBand is one of the first products I looked at, having been familiar with the Nike+ Running system for several years. The Nike+ was primarily a running tool, allowing me to record my runs, check split times (lap times), PR’s (fastest times for certain distances), and overall miles ran. The problem was, if you weren’t running or walking, the Nike+ couldn’t track what you were doing.

Enter the Nike FuelBand.

The FuelBand tracks almost any fitness activity that you can do, and converts it to FuelPoints. Nike’s proprietary FuelPoints system takes into account things like weight, height and general fitness level to try to create a more accurate report of how you’re doing in your workouts. You can also compare your FuelScore with your friends and the entire Nike community. While the Fuel system does take a bit of getting used to, the collaboration opportunities are amazing. It’s definitely worth looking at. Check out our full Nike FuelBand review!

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Fitbit One Activity TrackerFitBit One

Fitbit has taken the fitness scene by storm. But, they’re not a company to rest on its accomplishments. The FitBit One is the newer version of the popular FitBit Ultra. It adds wireless syncing of your fitness activity so that you never have to plug your FitBit into your computer. The ultimate in convenience, whenever you are in range of your PC (or certain smartphones and tablets), the FitBit will silently sync your data. No more fumbling with a fragile USB connector.

Other enhancements include a brighter display and the ability to measure your sleep quality. Should you come across an activity that the FitBit doesn’t recognize, you can manually enter the information on the web tracker. Design, compatibility and flexibility – theFitBit One is one of the best activity trackers on the market today.

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FitBit Flex Activity TrackerFitBit Flex

The FitBit Flex is the more stylish sibling of the FitBit One. Internally, the device works exactly the same. The Flex can sync your data via wireless or Bluetooth, just like the One. It can track your sleep patterns, just like the One. It uses the same website and app as the FitBit One. So where’s the difference?

The FitBit Flex is housed in a flexible band only slightly bigger than, say, a LiveSTRONG bracelet. It has no display, instead opting for a subtle strip of LED lights in the band. This makes the FitBit Flex look less like a digital watch than the Nike FuelBand. It’s available in several colors so it’s a great way to mix style and fitness. Look at our full Fitbit Flex review!

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Jawbone Up Activity TrackerJawbone UP

Speaking of style, the Jawbone UP comes in more color options that any other fitness tracker on the market today. Jawbone has a history of making innovative, high quality wireless products, and the UP is no exception. The UP looks like a bracelet, meaning it can be worn all day without looking out of place.

One of the nicest features is the silent vibrating alarm, making it great for those who share a bed. The UP app was initially released for iPhone and iPad devices, but is now available for certain Android smartphones. There is no web app for this product, so make sure that your device is compatible.

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FitBit Aria

FitBit Aria

The final piece of the FitBit puzzle is the Aria smart scale. After all, how do you know you’re making progress toward your goal if you don’t measure how you’re doing?

It may seem like I’m a big fan of FitBit – and with good reason. The Aria brings the exact same app and support to the Aria that they do to the Flex, Force and the rest of their fitness monitor lineup. The Aria adds extra components to the mix though. The FitBit Aria will track your weight, body fat percentage and BMI for you and up to eight other users. Don’t worry though, the Aria keeps the information private, so you’re the only one that will get to see what your magic little weight number is.

The Aria comes in either black or white, which should blend in well with most bathrooms. It syncs automatically via Wi-Fi through your home network to FitBit’s servers. By the time you step off the scale and pull up the app on your computer or phone, the information is already uploaded for you to check out your progress. Sure, when it comes down to it, all you really need is an old-fashioned analog scale to keep track of your weight. But, if old-school analog was good enough for you then you probably wouldn’t be here, right?

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It’s Gametime

These are some of the best activity trackers I’ve found on the market today. No matter what your goals are, whether you’re looking to get off the couch or whether you’re looking to take your game to the next level, there’s a fitness monitor for you.