Just because the holiday season is here, that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions; after all, you deserve a present, too. And what better gift is there than the gift of health? The newest must-have health accessory is an activity tracker, and it is the perfect way to help you meet your health and fitness goals in 2015.
These devices track everything from your calories burned to your sleep habits to your heart rate so that you can be aware of your daily habits and push yourself to do more. The only problem is, there are so many activity trackers available that it can be hard to decipher which ones are the best. No worries; here are a few of our faves (in no particular order):
If you want an activity tracker that you can put on and leave on for an extended period of time, there is no better option than the Garmin Vivofit. That’s right, you can shower with it on and since it uses a watch battery, you don’t even have to worry about weekly charging sessions (but you will have to replace the battery every year). Just like its competition, the Vivofit tracks your daily steps, activity, and quality of sleep, but it also has an optional heart rate monitor (chest strap sold separately), making this gadget even more versatile. And it still only costs $130 full retail—but it can often be found on sale. We love how it gradually increases your daily goals so that you are constantly challenged, and the on-band display makes it easy to see if you are on track.
This was one of the pioneers of activity trackers, and it’s still going strong. The Fitbit Flex is one of the least expensive options, retailing at $99. It is sleek and available in 10 colors, but you do have to logon to the app via your smartphone or computer to see any kind of stats. That being said, it does have LED lights on the band that let you know if you are getting close to reaching your daily goal (once you have five dots you have made it!). For such a compact package, the Fitbit Flex tracks a surprising number of statistics, such as steps taken, hours slept, calories burned, how many minutes you were active, and even the quality of your sleep. It will also silently wake you up in the morning, so you can say goodbye to your annoying alarm clock. Even though it is not waterproof, and has to be charged every five days, it is pretty cool that it can be taken out of the band and simply put in a pocket.
It may be the middle of the line option as far as Jawbone’s activity trackers go, but we think the Jawbone UP24 offers an impressive assortment of features. For one, we love the built-in alert that lets you know if you have been sitting still for too long, and the alarm that wakes up you at the perfect point of your sleep cycle is just amazing. The partnering app works on both iOS and Android, and even lets you track your caffeine intake so you can see if you should cut back (hint: if you have to track it, the answer is probably yes). It runs about 130 bucks, the battery only needs to be charged once every two weeks, and it will keep track of how many calories you burn during the day, how many steps you take, and how long you are in light and deep sleep. Not only that, but it’s pretty stylish and comes in six on-trend colors. Just make sure to take it off when you shower or swim.