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There are fewer things that are more stress relieving and better for your overall mental and physical well being than exercise. What’s great is it doesn’t matter what your idea of exercise is anymore — running, hiking, biking, swimming, etc. — it all gets you moving and sweating, and a fitness tracker can help you engage with your personal flavor of fitness.
The best fitness trackers are more advanced than ever. Once touted as a convenient way to see how many steps you took throughout the day, today’s fitness trackers can measure your distance when you run, how long you need to recover before your next workout and even keep you connected to your phone without having your phone on you.
Fitness trackers have come a long way in helping people live healthier lives. They give you that little extra push when you need it most. Real-time information on how you are progressing towards your fitness goals keeps you engaged in your fitness. Likewise, help form your community, whether between groups of co-workers, friends or your family, makes achieving fitness goals easier than ever. Fitness trackers do wonders for motivating and enabling people to be the healthiest version of themselves.
How We Picked the Best Fitness Trackers
We looked for the most robust fitness trackers that give you a complete picture of your overall health. Here are some of the criteria we used to pick the best fitness trackers:
Activity Tracking – Walking or running isn’t everybody’s bag, so we looked for trackers that have a multitude of activity tracking choices to choose from like biking, hiking, swimming and a variety of sports, just to name a few.
Health and Wellness – We’ve also learned that exercise is only half the story of overall health. Rest and recovery are the ying to exercise’s yang. We looked for fitness trackers with sleep and stress tracking to help you recover from your fitness activities.
Battery Life – Depending on the fitness tracker, the battery life can vary tremendously. For smartwatches that double as fitness trackers, ie. Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch, expect about a day, but for others, you should be getting several days worth of battery life, and in some cases like the Garmin Fenix 7, weeks’ worth.
Additional Features – All high-level fitness trackers will provide stats on your heart rate and steps, and most have built-in GPS, so we looked for features that make certain fitness trackers stand out. For instance, Apple Watch features Fitness+ and full Spotify capabilities so you can ditch your phone while listening to music. The Polar Grit X Pro has elevation detection so you can see how much you’ve climbed or descended. Features like those make your fitness tracker unique and help you achieve your personal fitness and wellness goals.
The Best Fitness Trackers for Sale in 2022
The best fitness trackers are more than just step counters, they’re tools to help you stay active, stay healthy and change your life for the better. When you’re ready to reach your fitness goals, check out our recommendations for the best fitness trackers below.
1. Apple Watch Series 7
As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There isn’t too much difference between the last generation and the Series 7 except for a larger display that is reinforced with better protection from dust, scratches and cracks, and faster charging. And that’s fine because the previous generation was packed with great fitness and health features, and so is this one. All of Apple’s usual health features are there — the activity/exercise rings as well as the Fitness+ workout streaming services to keep you motivated. It also tracks your sleep and overnight respiration so you can see how well you are recovering. For Apple users, it’s hard to beat.
2. Fitbit Charge 5
The Fitness Charge 5 is packed with features for casual users who want to check in on their wellness to all-out athletes who train daily. For starters, the OLED color screen looks great and has an always-on feature. The activity tracker features 20 exercises and even recognizes certain activities and logs them even if you forget to. The GPS in combination with the app maps your workouts and provides great stats like your pace and heart rate zones during your workout. The rest and recovery information it provides also helps you keep from overworking yourself. It’s robust and one of the best available.
3. Whoop Strap 4.0
BEST FOR SERIOUS ATHLETES
When it comes down to straight-up activity level and recovery statistics, the Whoop Strap 4.0 is about as robust as it gets, but that’s it. The Whoop Strap 4.0 doesn’t even have a screen, so wave goodbye to any additional features (even telling what time it is). It requires a $30 a month subscription which is a significant investment (that’s $360 a year or the same price as all your streaming services combined). For those who love cardio-intensive workouts and want to optimize their workouts, it’s definitely worth looking into, but for most people, you’ll want to find a less expensive option.
4. Polar Pacer Pro
BEST FOR RUNNERS
If running is your thing, this is a great fitness tracker to have on your wrist. All of its features are solely to ensure that you get the most out of your runs. With heart rate tracking, pace, distance, and GPS, the Polar Pacer Pro helps you optimize your cardio sessions. There’s even sleep and recovery tracking to keep you from over training. If you’re not a runner, you should definitely look elsewhere, but for serious runner junkies, this fitness tracker is a smart choice.
5. Garmin Vivomove Sport
Tihs fitness tracker from Garmin is a classic-looking stylish watch that’s worthy of the office or date night but secretly has fitness tracking capabilities. Tap or swipe the screen and you unlock the hidden touch display built into this analog-looking watch face. Through the Garmin Connect app, it can track a selection of outdoor activities as well as your heart rate, O2 levels, stress and menstrual tracking for women. Unfortunately, you do forgo any built-in GPS with this option, which stinks for those who like to see where they’ve run or hiked. That aside, it is a solid option for those who want to maintain a classic style and also have activity tracking benefits, too.
6. Withings Pulse HR
For the price, you get a lot of fitness activity tracking capabilities and technology. You can track over 30 activities and get the most out of your workouts with heart rate zones. Even if you forget to arm the activity before you start, the activity recognition can still give credit where credit is due. Sleep tracking provides insights into how well you are recovering and will even serve as a neat alarm clock that gently vibrates on your wrist when it’s time to get out of bed. With all the features and 20 days worth of battery life, it’s a great pick for those on a budget.
7. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
BEST FOR SAMSUNG PHONE USERS
Much like the Apple Watch for iPhone users, you just won’t find better synergy between a Samsung phone and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. The latest Samsung Smartwatch has powerful sensors that not only track your activities but also now feature better sleep tracking (it can even track snoring) and can analyze your body composition such as BMI body mass index). Like the Apple Watch, you can only really expect about a full day of battery life, but it’s brighter, faster and overall better looking than previous Galaxy Watch models. Definitely worth the upgrade for Samsung users.
8. Polar Grit X Pro
The Polar Grit X Pro is a great tool for any outdoor athlete to have at their disposal. Beyond the usual features — heart rate tracking and GPS — it also tracks hill ascents and descents which is great for hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers to see how much elevation they are working with. It also has tools to help you plan routes for your outdoor cardio sessions as well as refueling tips and reminders during intense cardio sessions. It’s super durable and has a 100 hour battery life (or about four days worth).
9 Garmin Fenix 7S
If you are a serious athlete or an uber-active person who likes to bike, swim, run and you have the coin to spare, the Garmin Fenix 7s is simply awesome. It has impressive battery life that lasts weeks, GPS tracking with topographical maps and a ton of fitness data that you can really nerd out on. There are also training guides and coaching programs so you can get the best workouts possible. This fitness tracker is also about as durable as they come, and stylish to boot. It’s expensive but worth it.
10. Oura Ring Gen 3
The only fitness tracker in our lineup that doesn’t go on your wrist, the Oura Ring is a less intrusive option to track your overall wellness. Built-in sensors track your O2, heart rate, heart rate variability and even your body temperature. It also tracks your steps and the calories you’ve burned throughout the day, but it’s not as intensive on actual workout tracking. The bread and butter is really sleep and recovery. It is worth noting that there are some pretty scathing reviews found online exhibiting horrible customer service from Oura, so be warned. The product itself though is a unique and ambitious take on a wellness and activity tracker.
11. Amazfit GTS 3 Smart Watch
With 150 sport modes, this might be the end-all watch for sports buffs. If you’re into more than one sport and can never find it on the drop-down menu, then the Amazfit GTS 3 might be the right fit for you. The latest and greatest from Amazon’s fitness line, the GTS 3 hosts a ton of new features and syncs to any android or iPhone device. Have Alexa track you no matter where you are and use this watch daily to watch your health stats rise so you know when to recover. This is the ultimate watch for any multi-sport enthusiast.
12. Garmin Vivoactive 4 GPS Smart Watch
A fitness tracker and a smartwatch with GPS tracking? Say no more, we’re on it. If it’s from Garmin, we know it’s high quality and the amount of attention paid to every detail is for your health enhancement. Watch your daily stats rise, know when it’s a recovery day and learn when it’s time to push a little harder. Every activity is saved and can sync to your phone at a moment’s notice. Get push notifications at any time or turn them off completely, it’s up to you. Check out Garmin’s latest and greatest smartwatch for your holiday shopping list.
13. Fitbit Versa 3
The Fitbit Versa 3 is a supercharged fitness tracker that provides insights into your overall wellness as well as helps track your fitness goals. Heart rate and a step counter are a given, but the Versa 3 can store and play music and podcasts from Deezer, Pandora and Spotify while you work out, so you can ditch your phone. Beyond fitness, the Versa 3 looks after your overall wellness with a sleep stage tracker and sleep score and provides guided breathing exercises. It’s like a life coach on your wrist.
14. Coros Apex
GREAT FOR BEGINNER
This watch-plus-app combo can be handy for those who want a ton of workout insights, but might not know where to start. Based on your desired activity level and fitness goals, it creates daily fitness goals for you and provides a handful of valuable fitness metrics such as target rate zones, Vo2 max and suggested recovery times. Plus, it can log and track roughly 20 different activity types. It does lack a touchscreen and doesn’t have the sharpest display, but it’s a great watch for someone looking to start getting into fitness.