In recent times, people have become obsessed with their fitness and health status. Working for long hours with little or no physical movement and relying on processed and junk food to sustain our daily energy requirements has led to an alarming increase in heart-related complications.
People are making extra efforts to ensure their wellness though it may be challenging in finding the right routine that will provide good vitals, exercise, sleep and mindset.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to keeping tabs on your fitness goals and health status. Fitness trackers monitor vital statistics like calories and sleep patterns.
Those with an inbuilt heart rate monitor assess your fitness and flag out any irregularities your doctor should be aware of.
Fitness trackers with heart rate monitors vary in many aspects like pricing, features among others but, with so many options in the market, you will always find one that suits your health needs. Before buying a fitness tracker, below are a few things you should consider.
Physical Activity-You need to first highlight the type of workout you usually undertake. Consider the type of fitness tracker features that may be beneficial to your routine.
If your workout involves low-intensity exercises like walking or yoga, a fitness tracker with basic features like sleep and heart rate monitoring is enough.
For more intense workouts like swimming and running, the device should have more advanced features like waterproofness and measure distance covered and calories burned along with the basic features like heart rate monitoring.
Wellness Features-Along with heart rate monitoring, some devices give you vital statistics like distance covered and calories burned among others.
Though these devices are not meant to prevent or cure any diseases, they provide you with valuable insights regarding your mental and physical state.
Power-Fitness trackers are mostly powered by batteries or need to be charged. You need to check the tracker’s battery life. Settle for a tracker that will keep up with your fitness activity needs.
Compatibility with your Smartphone-Smartphones are probably among the most important devices that we use and having a fitness tracker that is compatible with them is a plus.
Most fitness trackers allow you to receive calls and notifications on them without having to interrupt your exercises or activities.
Design-Fitness trackers are supposed to feel comfortable. A light one that fits perfectly on your wrist is ideal and won’t cause any unnecessary discomfort.
Here are some of the 10 best fitness trackers that we have rounded up.
The Apple Watch is a great activity tracker, aiding in monitoring your heart rate at the same time offering so much more.
You can check your heart rate at any given time by opening the Heart Rate watch application on the Apple Watch.
Flashing green LED’s at the back of the watch constitute light-sensitive photo-diodes that detect the volume of blood flowing through your wrist. Using that data, the watch calculates the number of heart beats per minute-your heart rate.
To be able to measure your heart rate accurately, the watch should fit perfectly on your wrist. Your heart rate is monitored continuously though you have an option of checking manually using the Heart Rate application on the watch. You will also be able to see your workout, breathing, walking and recovery heart rates.
The Apple Watch measures your heart rate throughout your workout after which three minutes later after the exercise, it determines the recovery rate.
This information is used in determining the calories you have burned during your workout. The watch also boasts a long battery life, usually about 18 hours of regular use.
Fitbit Charge 3
The Fitbit Charge 3 is among the best fitness trackers in the market. It is designed to keep track of heart rate, steps, sleep, calories burned, distance covered among others.
It’s designed to work with various exercise types like running, swimming, yoga, circuit training, and weight lifting among others.
It also has an added automatic start and stop function where it pauses when you take breaks in between your workouts and continues to measure your physical activity once you resume. You can also set goals and get real-time statistics on your workout.
The tracker also continuously monitors your heart rate where you can check the heart rate zone you are in during workouts-Fat Burn, Cardio or Peak.
Additionally, you can get a Cardio Fitness Score. The heart rate monitor is also deployed to track your sleep by looking into your deep, light and REM sleep-these stages need to be balanced for you to be well rested.
Charge 3 comes with a SpO
2 blood oxygen sensor that will help in tracking medical conditions like sleep apnea and breathing difficulties. It has a durable battery, lasting up to a week.
Garmin Vivosmart 4
The Garmin Vivosmart 4 is the ideal tracker especially to people that engage different types of exercises.
The tracker comes with an inbuilt 24/7 heart rate monitor, VO
2 Max testing (used for HIIT classes like cross-fit) and an automatic exercise detection useful in case you forget to start tracking a workout session.
The wearable comes with a running, walking, cardio, and yoga profiles among others. You can also track swimming as it’s 50 meters water resistant.
It also comes with a Body Battery energy monitoring feature that uses a combination of heart rate variability (HRV), sleep, stress and activity data to inform you whether you need a rest or you need to keep exercising.
The inclusion of a pulse oximeter sensor enables the fitness tracker to monitor further your health and aids in detecting sleep apnea.
Since the device does not come with a GPS tracker, it uses an accelerometer which relies on the steps you make when determining the distance covered. It’s compatible with Android and iOS and has a durable battery that lasts seven days.
Withings Steel HR Sport
Designed to look more of a watch than a fitness tracker, the Withings Steel HR comes with a host of features especially when coupled with a smartphone.
The tracker is designed to work fine when used in about 30 physical activities which include swimming, running, basketball and badminton among others.
To be able to accurately measure the distance you have covered accurately and to collect and store your exercise route information, you have to pair it with your smartphone to exploit the GPS feature.
The Steel HR Sport also comes with an accurate heart rate and sleep monitor and can calculate your VO
2 (an estimation of your general fitness).
It’s sleek and comfortable to wear with an amazing 25-day battery life.
Fitbit Alta HR
If you are looking for a sleek and slim fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor, then the Fitbit Alta HR is the perfect pick.
It has a sleep tracking feature whereby, you are not only able to view your sleep stages (light, REM and deep) but also served with insights on how to improve your sleep. This feature gets better as the tracker gets to know your habits over time.
Alta HR has a heart rate monitor that examines how hard you are working. Your resting heart rate is determined, an essential indicator of fitness and to what extent you are pushing your body.
Heart rate monitoring is made possible by using the company’s PurePulse technology that detects changes in blood flow to calculate the number of beats your heart makes in a minute.
Its battery is also reasonably strong lasting up to a week after a single full charge.
Garmin Vivomove HR
The Garmin Vivomove HR is an intense fitness tracker masked inside an elegant analogue watch. It doesn’t come with buttons and using it is made possible thanks to its touch screen.
All your phone notifications and calls can be received and read through the Garmin HR, but you still have an option of turning them off.
The Garmin also exploits the presence of inbuilt heart rate sensor to include other wellness features like stress track.
The device tracks your heart rate variability (HRV) and gives a stress level score between 0-100. It also keeps track of the calories burned, steps taken, current heart rate and flights of steps taken al off which can be quickly accessed by swiping through the screen.
The watch can also monitor your heart rate under different workout sessions like strength training, elliptical and running.
Given that the Garmin does not come with an inbuilt GPS, the accelerometer and other algorithms are used in tracking the distance covered.
It also has a strength training mode that has some functions like counting reps.
The Garmin also keeps track of your sleeping patterns with the help of the heart rate monitor to detect sleep. It also comes with a reasonably strong battery that lasts five days.
The Garmin Vivosport tracker is specially designed for runners and comes with an inbuilt GPS and heart rate monitor.
You can switch the tracker into cycling or running modes to have your workout monitored by GPS; however, its tiny monochrome screen makes it difficult to read live workout statistics.
It’s water resistant up to 50 meters meaning you can wear it when going for a swim and provides heart rate enabled metrics like resting heart rate, stress scores based on heart rate variability (HRV), fitness age estimates and VO
It enables users to receive notifications and has a seven-day battery life.
The Polar A370 is a comprehensive wellness and health tracker citing its 24/7 heart rate monitor, sleep tracking along with other features.
It’s up to 30 meters water resistant, and so you can have it on while swimming, however, the manufacturer insists that the watch cannot give accurate measurements as the water interferes with the heart rate tracking thus better suited in testing other metrics.
The Polar keeps track of your daily activities, and on the display screen, you will always find a summary of your day with information like highest and lowest heart rate recordings, details of workouts done, and the number of steps taken. It also measures your current heart rate.
You can also use the device on some activities like aerobics, running and hiking. The A370, however, has to be connected with your phone’s GPS signal along with customizing heart rate zones depending on the particular physical activity you are engaging in.
The A370 uses a unique Sleep Plus technology to track your sleep and gives you insights based on how it interprets your sleep and how you will classify your emotions the following morning.
Unlike other trackers that combine movements and heart rates to detect various stages of sleep like awake, deep and REM, the A370 only provides your lowest HR.
It enables you to receive all notifications from your phone and comes with a four-day battery life.
Garmin Forerunner 235
The Garmin Forerunner 235 is specially designed for runners. It monitors your heart rate through your wrists and uses GPS to measure pace distance and pace to precisely evaluate the number of miles you cover.
It also tracks activities like sleep, the number of steps and calories burned at the same time allowing the user to receive notifications like texts and emails without necessarily having to reach your phone.
Serving a dual purpose of a watch and a fitness tracker, it has a battery life of 11 hours when used in training and nine days when used as a watch.
TomTom Spark 3
Though initially designed for sports, the TomTom Spark 3 has seen various software updates that have given it fitness tracking features like heart rate monitoring.
The Spark 3 tracks activities like calories burned, the number of steps and sleep, but it’s ideal for intense exercises like cycling, strength training and running.
The watch and its application use the data gathered from your pulse during a workout to assign fitness points.
The app also gives you suggestions to your workout say 10 minutes of intense exercise or 20 minutes of lighter workouts for you to reach your daily target.
From your performance, the device will then determine your VO
2 Max and assign you a fitness age.
It also has a GPS tracking system and has a four-day battery life.
With numerous fitness trackers with heart rate monitors already in the market, these are best available. Depending on the type and intensity of your exercises, it won’t be hard to find your match from the list.
Our personal favorite, however, is the Fitbit Charge 3. An invaluable tool to your fitness, which not only did it receive several awards in 2018, but we loved the fact that it continuously monitors your heart rate even when having a swim-up to 50 meters.