What Makes Fitness & Activity Trackers So Popular?

Whether it’s an attempt to lose weight, an ongoing campaign to build muscle, a mission to get yourself looking and feeling good ahead of your next summer holiday or you’re simply attempting to improve your well-being; more of us than ever before are taking health and fitness seriously. Some have taken to joining a gym while others have developed their own methods of getting fit and healthy, with fitness and activity trackers proving to be popular and much-loved training partners.

Wearables including smart watches and activity trackers are everywhere these days, and many of the world’s tech giants have developed their own range of products to help people to monitor their health, check their messages, update social media and more all from one device on their wrists.

Fitbit Ionic - shop.bt.com
Fitbit Ionic – shop.bt.com

Fitbit activity trackers have been around for almost a decade now and the brand has produced some of the industry’s leading fitness watches and activity trackers that have not only set the bar but have constantly raised it with each new release. As such the industry is filled with activity trackers and smart watches capable of helping people to achieve their health and fitness goals and transforming lives in the process; making them far more than just gadgets.

Activity trackers with heart rate monitors

Over the years activity trackers have developed from primitive smart watches capable of telling wearers the time and how many steps they have taken into highly advanced activity trackers with heart rate monitors, calorie counters and the ability to record different types of sporting activity ranging from running and spinning to playing cricket or lifting weights.

The ability to monitor your heart rate is something that a lot of wearers have found useful, especially those who are trying to improve their overall health and fitness and not simply to lose weight or build muscle mass. Your optimum heart rate is associated with factors including your age, height and weight but it can be improved as you get fitter which means this handy feature is every bit as effective as stepping on the scales to monitor weight loss.

Heart rate monitors are used by professional and amateur athletes alike to understand whether or not the exercise is intense enough to have health benefits. For many it’s important to reach between 60 and 80 per cent of your maximum heart rate in order for the exercise to have a significant effect on your health and fitness; but for others activity trackers with heart rate monitors are used more out of interest than to analyse their performance, showing just how much of a workout they get each day on the way to and from work or while taking the dog for a walk for instance.

Which activity tracker is best for me?

When it comes to choosing an activity tracker it’s important to look at the various features available across the range, and for you to make a list of the pros and cons. Not everyone wants to lose weight and similarly not everyone is looking to burn a certain number of calories and to hit a certain number of steps each day.

All fitness and activity trackers are different but they offer a range of similar features. The key to picking the right activity tracker for you is to decide on exactly what you’re looking to achieve from your fitness regime and to then compare your goals to the features of each of the fitness watches.

The reason for this is that you can find fitness watches and activity trackers made by one brand that are completely different. As we touched upon earlier, Fitbit activity trackers range from sleek and compact designs capable of recording data that you need to read or view on a smartphone app through to larger designs that show you real-time data and even larger models like the Fitbit Blaze that fully integrates with your smartphone apps and music.

Fitness watches can be as technologically advanced as you want them to be, you just have to decide on its main purpose. If you’re heavily into your fitness and you’ve set yourself targets and are dedicated to working out several times a week, but aren’t that bothered about using it for apps and music, then there are a wealth of activity trackers that are kind on the bank balance and excellent workout partners.

If you’re looking for an all-singing-all-dancing smart watch that combines the best of your smartphone with the best of an activity tracker then you’re slightly more limited and likely to pay more, but you’ll soon be amazed at the various capabilities of these gadgets.

Which Fitbit activity tracker is best?

The Fitbit Alta is the smallest in the range and is easy to use. As with all Fitbit activity trackers it instinctively knows when you’ve started to exercise and counts steps, calories burned, sleep and more; and this can all be monitored on the small display or via the associated smartphone app.

Fitbit Alta - shop.bt.com
Fitbit Alta – shop.bt.com

The next one up is arguably the most popular model at the moment, the Fitbit Charge 2 which looks and feels like a typical watch with all the benefits you want and expect from a Fitbit activity tracker. As the name suggests it is the second generation model and features a watch face, step and calorie counter, sleep tracker, heart rate monitor, stopwatch and more handy features for fitness enthusiasts.

Fitbit Charge HR 2 - shop.bt.com
Fitbit Charge HR 2 – shop.bt.com

Finally, as we referred to previously, there is the Fitbit Blaze which is physically the largest and most advanced of the brand’s range of activity trackers and fitness watches. Capable of displaying workout routines on the watch face as well as enabling you to control your music, read text messages and use apps; it is the perfect blend of a smartphone and an activity tracker that helps you to stay connected while working out.

What’s the difference between a smart watch and an activity tracker?

Essentially the main differences between a smart watch like the Apple Watch and an activity tracker is the ability to use the smartphone or tablet features like apps, music player and phone compatibility.

Apple Watch Series 3 - shop.bt.com
Apple Watch Series 3 – shop.bt.com

While the Fitbit Blaze enables you to do a lot of the same features, it is predominantly an activity tracker that has been developed as a rival for the Apple Watch for those who want the best of both in one handy gadget. You get some of the smart watch features on models such as the Fitbit Charge 2, like phone call and message notifications on your wrist, but you cannot write messages or make calls.

So, if you’re looking for a smart watch with fitness in mind look no further than the Fitbit Blaze; but if you want an activity tracker first and foremost that will help you to monitor and improve your health and fitness levels, Fitbit have plenty of different styles for you to look at. If you want to try something a bit different, then BT Shop also stock a range of great activity trackers from brands such as Jawbone.

To find out more about our range of wearables including smart watches and activity trackers, visit the BT Shop online store today.

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