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Last Updated on 2014-11-29 by Kassandra
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I am sharing this information today because:
- This has been something I have been interested in and researching for a while.
- After the holidays, everyone usually tries to complete a weight or health goal, and these babies can help you achieve that!
As my readers know, I have a few businesses – but they are mostly businesses I can do from home or from some place where I don’t need to be active. However, at this time I still also work for a tech company. And I found that I am rarely active.
They say that in order to lead a healthy lifestyle, you should walk at least 10,000 steps a day. But when you work in a cubicle job, you rarely get that many steps in.
So I started looking for devices that would help me lead a more healthy lifestyle.
The biggest things for me when looking for a health/fitness band are the following:
- heart rate
- sleep tracker
- step counter
Everything else I found were either superfluous or were awesome perks!
The reason I needed a heart rate monitor was because I actually have a heart condition. And although I have an ICD implant, I need to be able to monitor my heart rate when working out and doing strenuous activity to ensure that I’m not only staying in whatever zone I’m trying to focus on, but also to ensure I don’t get into the “danger zone” as it were.
As for the step counter — well, I live a mostly sedentary lifestyle and need to change that. So if I know how many steps I’m taking over the course of the day, I can do something differently to ensure I hit that goal.
And as for the sleep monitor … Our bodies require 6-8 hours of sleep (this is debateable, but for most people it’s true). And due to our lifestyles, we rarely get 6-7. We like to stay up late, have to get up early for work, and try to squeeze out every little drop of time we can for our days. But if we don’t get enough sleep, we overwork our bodies and can cause some pretty damaging things to occur. So being able to track my sleep, see how I feel when I get plenty of sleep vs just enough (or too little), and see how being active can cause my sleep patterns to change is not only informative it’s just plain cool!
Some of the brands / companies listed have other devices that might be of more interest to you, but I’ve only listed ones I’ve considered purchasing, and those would include devices with a HR monitor. So be sure to check out the accompanying websites!
The FitBit Surge is the one of the newest of the line from Fitbit. It’s not even out yet! But I’ve provided you with a link to compare the products they currently have with what they are coming out with.
Although it’s a pricey tag on it ($249.95) here are the features it has:
— Calculates steps, calories, distance
— Sleep Tracking
— Auto Sleep Detection
— Silent Wake Alarm
— Floors Climbed
— Active Minutes
— Continuous Heart Rate
— Caller ID
— Text Notifications
— Music Control
— GPS Tracking
It’s basically a smart watch with health benefits, honestly. And based on the image I’m sharing on the FitBit line, you could probably get away with the Charge HR, since the only differences between it and the Surge are:
— $100 difference
— No text notifications
— No music control
— No GPS tracking
Garmin VivoSmartFor the Garmin choices, the difference between the VivoFit and the VivoSmart is that the VivoSmart has:
— auto sync (with BlueTooth)
— smart notifications
— vibration alerts
— OLED displayDownside is that it only lasts up to 7 days and the VivoFit lasts up to a year or more.Price Tag of VivoSmart: $169.99
Price Tag of VivoFit: $129.99
One of the cool things listed for the Garmin device that wasn’t on the FitBit chart was that there was a personalized daily goal. FitBit may have this, but it wasn’t listed in it’s chart.
My Basis PEAK
Price Tag: $199.99
This items totes “advanced heart rate technology” that is based on your blood flow. Algorithms and fancy science speak says that as your heart beats, your blood ebbs and flows and changes the amount of light that is reflected. Using this, the device from this company can apparently provide a better heart rate detection.
WHEN YOU’RE EXERCISING:
— Gives a more true account of the number of steps for walks/runs
— Uses HR and motion detection to provide “proper credit” for calories burned
— 24/7 HR monitor (no chest strap required)
— Checks perspiration levels to give you a better understanding of your physical exertion
— Detects skin temperature so you can see how your body reacts day & night
It looks like this is mostly focused on running, walking and cycling but you should check the site for more information as I’m not sure how well this device works with other forms of exercise.
WHEN YOU’RE SLEEPING
— Says it’s the “only” tracker to automatically detect your sleeping cycles (including REM and deep sleep … but I know other devices tote the same thing)
— Offers in-depth data on sleep quality
— Automatic sleep detection
— Both HR and accelerometer data combine to provide rich sleep insights
— Understand sleep trends based on your ongoing average
— Set habits to build consistent sleep patterns
They also say on their site that this sleeping part of the device was developed in partnership with leading academic institutions, so I’m a little more inclined to believe what they’re saying.
WHEN YOU NEED A PUSH: This device uses a “habit system” to help you make small but powerful changes to your sleep or activity patterns.
— Automatically adjusts weekly goals based on your performance
— Habit notifications when you’re on track or need a nudge
FUTURE FREE UPGRADES: On wrist alerts coming as a future upgrade, such as …
— habit notifications
— smartwatch notifications & alerts
One of the other super cool features of this device is it’s ability to be water resistant up to 5 ATM (which I believe is 50m).
This one was a little tricky to share, because they have several items to choose from.
SAMSUNG GEAR S:
— map run
— track steps
— HR monitor
— count calories burned
— get vital health info over time
— integrates with “S Health” and “Nike+ Running” and “MapMyRun”
— SmartWatch Features
SAMSUNG GEAR LIVE:
Seems to be similar to the above, but with limited features … I would go to their site and compare to see which is best for you.
SAMSUNG GEAR FIT:
Nothing super fancy … Seems to be a basic step counter but with some SmartWatch features. Also has HR monitor.
For this device, They used to have the Jawbone UP and UP24 … Now they have the UP24 and 2 new devices, but no original UP.
I personally tried out the UP24 and for the most part I was ok with it (although it didn’t have a HR monitor … their UP3 does though) … The only major issue I had with the UP24 was it kept snagging on everything … So I’m really glad they had a 60 day money back guarantee, because I really tried to be ok with the snagging… Just couldn’t take it in the end.
One of the cool things about their new UP3 is that it has advanced sleep tracking (similar to one of the previous products where it reads your HR and skin temp) AND it also apparently learns your activities.
Atlas (Top of My List)So, I saw the demonstration for this little baby and was FLOORED with what it could do …So the reasons why this device is at the TOP of my list, is because not only does it calculates your calories burned, but it:
— identifies your exercises
— counts your reps
— evaluates your form
— allows you to set the calories you want to burn
— display that provides you with feedback on type, quality & speed of exercises (including # of miles ran, laps in the pool, weight benched, etc)
— helps anticipate plateaus and find what makes you stronger faster
— learns new exercises you teach it
— weight input
— smart rest timer that suggests the perfect time to start your next set of reps based on your HRClick here to see all of the current capabilities.
Here was their IndiGogo page to get funding that goes into more detail about how this all works.
The only things that bother me about this particular device is that:
— it doesn’t have that sleep function
— no GPS at device launch
— if the screen cracks you must purchase a new device (but I think that’s the case with most fitness devices)
— some kettlebell exercises could potentially damage the device