When it comes to staying motivated during the festive season, most of us can admit we’re guilty of falling off the bandwagon. But thanks to the latest fitness tracker technology, we can now get a gentle push to keep moving – quite literally.
In fact, a recent review conducted by researchers in Belgium, which looked at 35 international studies involving more than 2,800 participants, showed that interventions where participants wore wearable devices to track their physical activity were effective in increasing physical activity, with those who wore activity trackers increasing their daily movement by an additional 2123 steps a day.
The once humble wrist-odometer has come a long way in recent years, with the latest devices now able to determine your blood oxygen saturation levels (how much oxygen your red blood cells are carrying), heart rate, calories burned, stress levels and sleep patterns in addition to how many steps you’ve done for the day.
Here we look at some of the latest fitness tracking devices that can help you keep track of your health and stay motivated during the holiday period.
Fitbit Inspire 2, RRP$179.95
From tracking steps, distance travelled and sleep to monitoring your heart rate and calories burned, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is an easy-to-use fitness tracker that provides personalised guidance to help keep you motivated to reach your health goals. With an impressive battery life that lasts up to 10 days, the addition of Active Zone Minutes and a one-year free trial of Fitbit Premium, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is a functional, yet stylish device sporting a sleek interchangeable and waterproof band. Health data can also be viewed on a smartphone or android via the Fitbit app.
Huawei Band 4, RRP$69
If you’re after a practical yet easy-to-use activity tracker, Huawei’s Band 4 offers the best of both worlds. Don’t be deceived by its colourful 2.5D touch screen (which offers various watch face displays if you’re feeling creative) this tracker features a built-in USB plug meaning you can charge it anywhere, anytime, with a fully-charged device lasting more than six days. As well as tracking activity, heart rate, steps, distance, speed and calories, the Band 4 – available in either black, pink or burnt orange – also has a blood oxygen saturation function. Detailed health data can also be viewed on a smartphone or android via the Huawei Health app.
Apple Watch (Series 6), RRP$599.
If you’re looking for a more advanced smartwatch, the latest Series 6 Apple Watch is full of high-tech features that, in addition to being a fitness tracker, also includes on-demand blood oxygen readings, heart rate tracker with irregularity alerts, sleep tracking, activity sharing function, interchangeable watch face displays as well as the ability to text and call from your wrist. Available in aluminium, stainless steel and titanium finishes which come in silver, gold, grey, red and blue – with the added bonus of interchangeable bands – the Series 6 also comes with an Always-On Retina display which means the watch face is significantly brighter outdoors, making it easier to see on-screen data, time and notifications. With an 18-day battery life and new dual-core processor which allows apps to launch 20 per cent faster, the Series 6 is also water-resistant to 50m, making it ideal to wear during for water activities. Health data can also be viewed on a smartphone or android via the Apple Watch health app.
Garmin Vivomove HR, from RRP$329
Prefer the look of a real watch with moving hands, with the added function of monitoring steps, calories burnt and heart rate? Enter Garmin’s stylish Vivomove HR, a hybrid smartwatch with hidden features that track your activity, heart rate, calories, steps, distance travelled, elevation and stress levels. Available in rose gold, light gold, silver and slate stainless steel with the option of silicon or leather bands, the Vivomove HR has a battery life of up to five days in smart mode and up to two weeks in hand-time only mode. Health data can also be viewed on a smartphone or android via the Garmin Connect app.
Samsung Galaxy GearFit2 Pro, RRP$370
Samsung’s smart and versatile sport band sits between Apple’s popular smartwatch series and Fitbit’s Inspire 2, in that it offers the best of both worlds without being too heavy on the high-tech features, but offering plenty of options to help track your fitness, sleep and nutrition, with the added bonus of a motivational coaching function. In addition to a built-in GPS tracking feature, the GearFit2 Pro can link to a smartphone or android to provide a more in-depth look at your health data.