Fitness Tracker Reviews

You’ve resolved to make 2014 a healthier year, and the latest trend in the fitness industry, the exercise band, is the perfect tool to help you set real goals and measure them daily. You can even recruit friends and family to join you and compete to see who can do the best job of reaching their personal goals. These high-tech fitness trackers help you record and analyze everything from exercise statistics to diet and sleep patterns. You simply download the app or register on the website of your exercise band of choice, strap it on your wrist, and start working toward a healthier you.

Fitbit Flex $99.95Fitbit Flex

This is band I chose for a couple of reasons. The soft, rubber band is slim and comfortable, and you can wear it 24 hours a day, even in the shower. While it doesn’t have a digital display to show you up-to-the-minute stats, it does connect wirelessly to your smartphone giving you immediate access to that data on the Fitbit app. It measures the number of steps taken, distance and calories burned, in addition to active minutes and sleep patterns. It also has a silent, vibrating alarm that wakes you up naturally without the noise.

Fitbit Force $129.95

The Fitbit Force is the cream of the crop of the Fitbit products. The main difference between this one and the Flex is the Force has a larger band with digital display clock and instant data info. If you instant gratification is a prime motivator for you, this may be your best match. The tracker sends push notifications when you are nearing your goals and has an altimeter to record the number of stairs climbed. The only downside is it does lack a heart-rate monitor, which some may want in a complete fitness tool.

Jawbone Up 24 $149.99

This band looks cool – very cool. In fact, this was my second choice after the Flex because of style consideration alone. However, after reading several online reviews, it seems that for everyday use it’s bulky and limited in adjustability. While the first version of this product, the Jawbone Up, lacked wireless syncing and was mostly only compatible with Apple products, the next generation Up 24 does link through Bluetooth and works on most newer smartphone platforms. Many users also prefer the Jawbone Up app to the Fitbit app for its extreme user friendliness.

Nike+ FuelBand SE $149

Without a doubt the most recognizable brand, the Nike FuelBand is also an enticing option. It stands apart from its competitors by calculating Fuel Points from your movements. Set a goal, reach it, and you the band lights up with a success message. It also can be used to measure sleep patterns, has a digital display and can double as a watch. The main downside is the sheer bulkiness and inflexibility of the band.

Bowflex Boost $49.95

The best thing about this product is probably the price tag. For $100 less than some of its competitors, this band is comfortable and adjustable and may be a viable option if you own an iPhone or newer Android device. Like the Flex, it lacks a digital display, so you will need to check the app for progress reports. But it does use red, yellow and green lights to give you an idea of where you are in relation to your goals for the day. While the Boost app doesn’t keep a record of daily data, it will save you your weekly, monthly and yearly totals. If you are serious about investing in a solid fitness tracker, however, this may not be your best option.