We are all looking to get in better shape, get better sleep, and stay healthy. Unfortunately, we don’t see ourselves in an objective light. A light jog can seem like a marathon and that weekend hike didn’t burn as many calories as you think. It’s important to track your activity to see if you are really getting the effects you want but tracking every moment is tedious, time consuming, and often impossible. That’s why the good folks at companies like Nike and Jawbone have created lightweight wearable devices that do all the work for you and help you track and visualize your activity and health.
Nike+ FuelBand is one of the most popular fitness trackers on the market. The wristband sensor tracks all of your daily activities like walking and running, sports, dancing, and any other physical activity you participate in. It takes all that information and let’s you know how many steps you’ve taken that day and how many calories you burned. You can set a daily step or calorie goal and use your mobile device or computer to visualize and track your progress.
FitBit offers a similar wristband tracker as the FuelBand but along with tracking your physical activity it also tracks how many hours you sleep and the quality of your sleep. It also offers a fun way to gamify fitness and challenge your friends to get fit together. Set a goal and see whether you can beat your friends’ progress.
UP by Jawbone is another lightweight wristband that offers a wide variety of features. As the other two, it provides all-day activity tracking, how active you’ve been, the intensity of your workouts, and calories burned. It also tracks your light sleep and deep sleep and how many times you woke up, log your mood and compare it to your activity levels, reminds you when you’ve been inactive for too long, wakes you up with a smart alarm that finds the right moment in your sleep cycle, and let’s you find all sorts of connections and patterns in your activities and your mood.
BodyMedia FIT armbands have many of the same features as the wristbands but they also a large variety of third-party apps designed to give you an experience best tailored to you. Digifit is an app that tracks your heart rate, blood pressure, weight, and other metrics. Diabetes Pal is specifically designed to help people suffering from diabetes to track their glucose level, activity levels, nutrition, and medication. Sleepio is a sleep coach app that helps you improve your sleep patterns without relying on medications.
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