Tracking your Fitness

Tracking your Fitness

By Chris Strub

Gone are the days of carrying a pen and paper in your sweatsuit pocket to keep track of your daily workouts. Personal fitness tracking devices are becoming ubiquitous amongst runners, yoga lovers and gym rats alike. The idea of knowing how much activity your body does (or doesn't) get on a daily basis can be a motivational factor well beyond your long-lost New Year's resolution. The multitude of options out there begs the question of which device to invest in.

The answer will vary based on your individual fitness goals. When considering a device, be sure to ask the following questions:

 What will you use it for? A pedometer allows a user to simply count the number of steps they take in a day, with 10,000 steps per day being a commonly touted goal. However, if exercising more vigorously, a more advanced tracker can monitor statistics like your heart rate, calories burned, distance covered and more.

 How is the battery life? Basic pedometers use considerably less battery life than more advanced trackers. Some devices last a few days; others can go weeks without being plugged in. If you're always on the go, picking a tracker with a standard USB plug can help.

 Does it sync automatically? Syncing processes for each tracker vary, and can last anywhere from 10 minutes to seamless, cloud-based tracking. Ritualistic processes of having to plug your tracker in often discourage users from wanting to continue its use.

 Most importantly, pick a tracker that looks and feels right to you. For trackers that will be visible all the time, consider spending a bit more to have something elegant and low-profile.

Nike+ Fuelband SE - $149
FitBit One - $99
Jawbone Up - $149
Basis B1 - $199