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While you’re working out, do you ever see those super fit joggers that wear those high-tech looking devices on their wrists and wonder what a fitness watch actually is? Fitness watches have now become the norm to keep track of your fitness activities and help you maintain all of your fitness goals.
What a fitness watch does
Fitness watches became popular around the early 2000’s. It is then that manufacturers such as Garmin and Fitbit started coming out with these devices and improved upon their models year after year.
In fact, fitness watches were out previous to the 2000’s in the form of pedometers. However, more features have been added to the later watch models that allows for greater statistics tracking such as with altitude, distance, and acceleration. Furthermore, some fitness watches include heart sensors built into the back of the watch. Some companies even went as far as releasing a watch that comes with an external heart monitor that you attach to your chest.
Below are some of the most common features of a fitness watch. Fitness watches can include:
Heart rate sensor: Fitness watches use heart sensors in one of two ways. Most fitness watches that monitor heartbeats have a heart sensor built into it. It senses the pulse that is coming from your wrist. Conversely, some fitness watches come accessorized with a heart sensor strap that you can attach to your chest. These are generally a bit more accurate, but the wrist sensors are also very good if you are you do steady activity instead of doing intervals.
GPS tracking: Some fitness watches have GPS tracking. This means that they are able to pick up signals from the 31 GPS satellites that currently orbit the Earth. With this, fitness watches are also able to monitor accurate distance traveled and altitude as well as your particular location on Earth. These watches come at a slightly higher price point, but they are also very useful if going out on a trek in the wilderness. Fitness watches that have GPS tracking can also trace the route that you take on your excursions and save important locations. This allows you to trace back the route you have taken in case you get lost.
Date and time display: Of course, a fitness watch will display the current date and time. It would be pointless to wear a fitness watch on one arm and another one on the other just to show the time.
Sleep monitoring: A fitness watch can detect your sleep patterns and let you know how well you are sleeping. Simply put it in sleep mode and let it do its thing.
Accelerometer: Fitness watches sometimes have an accelerometer built into it. This is particularly accurate when used in conjunction with the GPS capabilities of some of the fitness watches available today.
Altimeter: Fitness watches that have a GPS sensor can also detect the elevation in relation to sea level. This is important if you are going to be hiking on a hill or mountain using a map. It is not enough to have a compass in hand since a mountain map will show elevation data.
Pedometer: A pedometer is the most basic feature of a fitness watch. As mentioned, the concept of it a fitness Watch was built upon the pedometers that were popular before the year 2000. The pedometer feature of fitness watches count the amount of steps that you are taken within a certain interval of time. As an added bonus, most current fitness watches will keep track of how many times you are active throughout the day and let you know if you have been inactive for too long.
Activity goal tracking: Built into most fitness watches is the ability to calculate your current fitness level. From there, the fitness watch suggests your next fitness goal. It will keep track of your run or walk sessions and display the history of your statistics so that it can monitor your progress.
Calorie counting: Using some of the statistics from the above, most fitness watches will display the amount of calories you are burning as you go about your day. This is a great motivator if part of your fitness goal is losing weight.
Social media sharing: Last but not least, most fitness watch manufacturers also maintain online communities that can be accessed for free. There, you can chat with like-minded individuals who want to lead an active lifestyle. By syncing your fitness watch to these online community apps, you can upload your statistics so that others can see your progress. This further adds to the motivation to stay active while being social.
Top 3 best selling fitness watches
Some of the most popular fitness watch manufacturers today are Garmin, FitBit, Polar, and Nike. These companies have nailed the fitness watch industry and are selling new and improved models every year.
Below, we have made a list of the fitness watches that have the most sales on Amazon. Not surprisingly, these fitness watches also have very good reviews as you will see throughout this article.
Garmin Vivofit fitness band
Garmin is one of the leading specialty watch companies in the world. The manufacturer fitness watches and GPS hiking watches for almost every popular sports. The Vivofit Fitness Band is now one of garmin’s most popular fitness watches and it comes at a very affordable price. For under $50, you can get it without a heart monitor. However, the Vivofit also comes with the heart monitor for an extra $40.
Below are some of the best features of the Vivofit band:
Heart monitor: With the more expensive model, the Vivofit has a heart sensor built into it. Using the heart sensor, the Vivofit learns your fitness level and assigns you a fitness goal every day according to your particular needs.
Move bar: The move bar is a red bar that appears on the Vivofit display whenever you have been inactive for over an hour. For every 15 minutes of inactivity after that one hour, it displays a red arrow after the bar. With this feedback, you can constantly monitor your activity levels and maintain the motivation to live an active lifestyle.
Stylish: As you can see from the image, the Garmin Vivofit is very sleek and simple. Although it it has a somewhat feminine feel, it can be used by men and comes in masculine as well as feminine colors.
Sleep monitor: The Vivofit will track the quality of your sleep while it is in sleep mode.
Stays charged for up to a year: Since the Vivofit battery lasts for up to a year while it is always turned on, you can leave it running indefinitely as it tracks your fitness levels and goals. There is no need to keep recharging every few days since the only battery upkeep needed is a battery replacement every year.
Sync with Garmin Connect: The Vivofit can sync wirelessly with Garmin Connect in order to provide a complete picture of your goal achievements. You can display your virtual badges within the Garmin online community and join in on online fitness challenges.
Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband
The Fitbit Charge HR is much like the Garmin Vivofit when it comes to features. However, it does come at a slightly higher price point. It can connect to your phone with an app that can display all of your Fitness statistics. As an added bonus, it tracks the amount of calls that have come through your phone daily so you can see your call notifications.
Smartphone compatibility: The Fitbit charge HR is compatible with over 150 of the leading smartphones on the market today. It comes with an app that can be synced with your phone so that you can track your progress. You can see graphs of your statistics as you do your workouts.
Heart monitor: Like the Vivofit, the Charge HR has a heart monitor built into it. It is always on so that you can read your heartbeat statistics anytime of the day and night. It will tell you what heart rate zone you are in so that you can better adjust your workouts according to your fitness goals.
Monitor your sleep: You can monitor your sleep continuously with the Charge HR and it also has a silent alarm that you can set.
Workout tracking: By calculating your active minutes and steps, as well as the distance you have traveled and your heart rate, you can better track your workouts. Once your workout statistics have been gathered, you can upload them to your phone to view them in a graph.
Call notifications: Since the Fitbit Charge is wireless enabled, it can sync up to your phone and display you call notifications along with the caller ID and the time each call was received.
Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness watch
The Fitbit Blaze is slightly different from the Garmin Vivofit and Fitbit Charge because it is a GPS watch. This means that it can track a multitude of extra statistics such as acceleration, speed, location, and can even trace your routes while you are out for run or hiking long distances.
PurePulse heart monitor: Using the Fitbit Blaze trademark pulse heart monitor that is built into the watch, you can track your pulse every minute of the day. Also, you can view your exercise intensity by checking the heart rate zone of your heart beats.
Multi-sport tracking: Using the program within the Blaze Smart Fitness watch, you can track your activity statistics using several external devices that are compatible with the watch. You can track your fitness level when you are doing cardio, biking, or cross-training.
Fitstar workout: The Fitbit Blaze comes with the Fitstar app which gives you step-by-step instructions on how to execute each workout move; complete with graphics.
Trace your routes: Perhaps one of the best features of a GPS watch is the fact that you can trace the routes that you have taken while you are working out. You can sync this with your phone and display a map along with your saved routes. This also means that you can retrace your steps and go back to a previous location. However, as this is not technically a hiking GPS watch, you cannot save particular hotspot locations.