There’s well known response that professional photographers use when asked, “Which is the best camera?” They always reply, “The one you have with you.”
It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent thousands of dollars on a camera and lenses, if you left it at home when you encounter an incredible scene or event, it’s not much good to you. (Thank goodness for smartphones with cameras!)
The same is true of fitness trackers or watches. The one you’re wearing is best.
To continue with the camera comparison, you can spend a lot of money on fancy equipment, but you don’t need to, to get great results. If the basics are there, you’ll still do a great job – look at the quality of photos we get from phones. The same is true of fitness watches and trackers, you really don’t need to spend a fortune to get great features, and more importantly, great results.
Let’s check out what to look for.
Firstly, the must haves – features that are essential to a good fitness watch:
- The ability to track distance, steps, calories burned – great for setting goals
- Heart rate monitor – it’s a great insight into your fitness level. As you become fitter, you’ll find that your heart rate while exercising may not be as elevated as when you started out, which is a great sign. But it can also help prevent overexertion if your heart rate becomes really elevated. How quickly your heart rate recovers from exercise is also a measure of fitness – the faster the recovery, the fitter you are. And if you’re looking to lose weight, heart rate zones can help you customise your exercise to suit your goals. At 50-60% of your maximum heart rate, you’re using 85% fat to burn calories. At 60-70% of your maximum heart rate, that drops to 65% fat being used. And at 70-80%, you’re only using 45% fat to burn calories.1
Finally, your resting heart rate is a very good measure of cardiovascular health. A heart rate monitor will let you see at a glance what shape you’re in.2
- Ability to track sleep. Sleep quality is very important, and a good fitness watch can help track what’s going on when your eyes are closed. (Learn more about why sleep is important here)
- Whether it’s protection from sweat, the shower or a swim, it’s a great feature to look out for
- Bluetooth connectivity to smartphone. Apps are a great extension to a fitness tracker, allowing you to monitor your results over time, as well as let you know when you’ve got a phone call or message
- Long battery life and easy charging
- Clear, readable display – including a clock of course
Now let’s look at some features that may not be essential, but would be desirable:
- Sedentary (movement) reminder – don’t sit too long, it’s not good for your health
- Workout modes – record specific activities like runs, rides or walks
- Alarm, Stopwatch and Timers
- Temperature detection
- Do not disturb function
- Auto screen lock to prevent turning on/off functions accidently
The Quantum Fit Health Tracker covers off all the must haves and nice to haves above, and seamlessly connects to the WoFit app on your smartphone. It’s also incredible value. Check it out – that’s a great first move.