If keeping fit is on your list of 2017 resolutions, then an activity monitor should be at the top of your accompanying shopping list.
We’ve already looked at the items you need to get your hands on if you want to work out at home, but an activity meter isn’t just for those into hardcore exercise. Tracking various measures such as your heart rate, sleep and general activity levels, a fitness monitor is a great investment for anyone looking to lead a healthy life. Which is pretty much all of us, right?
We’ve rounded up ten of our favourites here. So take a look, take your pick, and see if you can grab a bargain in the New Year sales!
Before we start, a quick note on the different sorts of meters on the market:
- If you simply want to keep an eye on your daily activity, an activity bracelet should suit you just fine.
- If you’re a little more active and want to track your runs and rides, you might want to consider a sports watch.
- And if you’d like to combine business features with cool apps and slick design, it’s worth investing in a smartwatch.
And now for our recommendations…
#1 Garmin Vivofit 2
This affordable and user-friendly activity bracelet acts as a pedometer, activity tracker, sleep monitor and calorie counter. At a lightweight 25 grams, it features a handy backlit display and comes with two straps in different sizes. The impressive one-year battery life lets you keep track of your progress 24/7 and there’s even an audible alert to let you know when you’ve been idle for an hour or more.
#2 Jawbone UP3
Like the Vivofit 2, Jawbone’s UP3 is a stylish activity bracelet, which allows you to monitor your sleep, activity and even heart rate. This alone gives you a good overview of your general health.
Unlike Garmin’s offering, however, the UP3 includes a Smart Coach feature that remembers your workout patterns to help you make healthier choices and celebrate your successes. It’s water resistant, but not waterproof, although you can’t have everything.
#3 Polar A360
Boasting a built-in heart rate monitor, the Polar A360 is a versatile activity meter with a wealth of features. In addition to the “standard” running, cycling and swimming functions, it enters into smartwatch territory with smart notifications and a colour touchscreen. It might be a little more expensive, but this portable personal trainer is an impressive piece of kit.
#4 Garmin Forerunner 235
Featuring a built-in heart rate monitor like its Polar A360 rival, this GPS running watch also tracks speed, distance and calories, as well identifying heart rate zones and periods of inactivity. Battery life is approximately 9 days and you can sync the watch with a compatible smartphone to view emails, texts, call alerts and calendar reminders. You can use it to control the music on your smartphone, too!
#5 Suunto Ambit3 Peak
This is one for the adventurers amongst you. Not only does it track the likes of speed, pace and distance, but it acts as a route navigator, compass and altitude meter. It shows sunrise/sunset and temperature and even offers bike power support. To top it all off, the battery life is impressive and it’s waterproof to 100m. Time to get outside!
#6 Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire
This high-performing offering from Garmin is one of the most comprehensive sports watches on the market. In addition to its built-in heart rate monitor, it can be used not only for the “usual” running, cycling and swimming, but also skiing, rowing, golf and hiking. Extremely versatile, it’s the perfect triathlon companion – and it looks the part, too.
#7 Samsung Gear S3
This classic, user-friendly timepiece is for those who value style as well as function. Like its S2 predecessor, the S3 continues to track running, biking and hiking, but has also added some useful features for other activities, such as skiing and strength training. It’s great for checking emails and apps, answering calls and the like, but it’s not waterproof, so swimmers might want to look elsewhere.
#8 Sony SmartWatch 3 SWR50
Sony’s sporty GPS-enabled model is affordable and simple to use. Functions include a calorie counter, distance meter and pedometer, and you can even load it with music. It’s waterproof too, which is almost essential given the British climate.
#9 Pebble Time
This might not be the all-singing, all-dancing model some of its competitors are, but what it does, it does extremely well. The backlit colour e-paper display helps extend the battery life to up to a week, it’s waterproof to 30 meters (you can wear it in the shower and pool!) and it measures steps, distance, calories burned and sleep. There’s also a steel version if you’re after something a little slicker-looking.
#10 Apple Watch Sport
We couldn’t create an activity tracker list without at least one Apple smartwatch, and we’ve gone for the Apple Watch Sport. This is Apple’s “affordable” option, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. It’s great for communication, health tracking and developing a workout plan, and weighs a lot less than any other Apple Watch. Plus, it’s pretty scratch resistant, which is perfect for a fitness device.
Feeling inspired? No need to head to the shops – just hop over to the retailers online and make your purchases. Then put your lovely new kit somewhere you can see it to remind you to work out!
Read on! If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy the following:
- New year, new you: 6 gadgets for getting in shape
- What your headphones say about you
- 6 food gadgets to warm those winter cockles
*These items were in stock at the time of writing, but we cannot guarantee the availability of popular products, sorry!