An activity tracker or a fitness tracker is a small wearable device having sensors that track and monitor a user’s activity. The data collected by influencing the sensors on the device is usually logged in a timely manner and can be viewed using a paired application. Activity trackers are widely used in sports, medical and security related industries, however we will be talking about its importance in health and fitness. The working of a wearable fitness device is simple, the movements that are tracked are based on sensors used in the physical device and the software or application interprets and logs the data collected from the sensors, thus enabling the user to easily get a gist of his activity by a click of a button or sometimes just by a glance.
Activity trackers range from $7 to $400 depending on the build quality and the technology used. The more budget friendly alternatives are MiBand and Jawbon Up Move. If you are curious to experience a wrist band tracking your daily movements, then entry level activity trackers are the way to go.
Here are the top 5 things a cheap activity tracker could do for you:
- Count steps: One of the most basic features available in a wearable device is a pedometer. A pedometer tracks how many steps you have taken during a certain period of time. Most applications will also divide your steps between steps walked and steps taken while running.
- Calories burnt: Fitness usually boils down to the intake and burning of daily calories. If you need to burn that extra cheese burger you had, you better know how many calories you need to burn. A fitness tracker by tracking your movements calculates the amount of calories burnt. Ofcourse, the calories burnt differ from person to person, hence most apps prompt you to create a profile where you need to enter your height and weight.
- Track sleep: Who sleeps with a timer on? Your smart wrist band would know when you fall asleep and the moment you wake up. Some medical experts claim that the quality of sleep is what matters, hence the tracker apps segregates your deep and light sleep cycles. Again this is achieved by using researched algorithms that differ from brand to brand.
- Alarm: Nobody likes a noisy and annoying alarm; you could be woken up by a slight vibration on your wrist. Setting an alarm is one of the most valuable features topped with a smart alarm that wakes you up just when you are in your light sleep zone.
- Heart Rate monitor: While this feature may not be available in a $10 product, you can find one on a Mi Pulse that costs a mere $17 or $12 if you keep an eye out for a discount. A heart rate monitor could be useful to conclude how fast you could recover from a certain physical activity and assess your cardiovascular capacity.
Before you go and buy one, make sure you check out the battery life and compatibility of the wearable device. Usually they last for a 15-50 days on a single charge.