By Amy Schlinger
Ready to take your workouts and fitness goals to the next level? *Raises hand rapidly.*
Well, it’s time to invest in a fitness tracker then. A tracker gives you the ability to dive deeper into your workouts—both in real-time and post-sweat session—to see things like heart rate, calories burned, pace, distance, and more. These #s will help you better understand the work you’re putting in day in and day out…for better results!
What to Look for in a Fitness Tracker
When spending major $$$ on a tracker, it’s important that you get one that suits your needs (and workouts). “Ask yourself what range of activities you’ll be using your tracker for,” says Chelsey Wilkens, NASM-certified personal trainer at Soho Strength Lab in New York City. “Are you going to sleep, run, swim, lift and do yoga in it?” If so, then it’s important to be sure the watch or band can track these activities. If you want to be able to see your running or hiking routes post-exercise, too, you’ll want your tracker to have GPS mapping.
Some watches even come with apps that allow you to track your menstrual cycle. “What our bodies go through, whether it’s stress, travel, or menstruation, affects how we bring ourselves back into balance,” explains Wilkens.
Don’t Forget Style and Comfort!
You’ve got the features you’re looking for, now you need to be sure the tracker fits your style—you’ll be wearing it every day, after all.
Do you want a smartwatch or just a tracker band? There are leather, cloth, and rubber band options, too. “I like something comfortable and discreet,” explains Wilkens. “I prefer a cloth band, as it’s more comfortable to sleep in, and a tracker without a watch face, so I don’t have to worry about it lighting up in the middle of class or accidentally dropping a weight on it.” There are many different styles and sizes, so be sure you find the one that’s right for you.
Now that you know what you’re looking for, here are some of the best fitness trackers for women. Find one that fits all of your needs.
(Featured photo: Shutterstock)
Garmin Vivomove HR Sport
If the rose gold + white combo doesn’t grab your attention, the other features will. The face looks like your typical analog watch, but the background lights up with smart notifications, like text messages, incoming calls, and appointment reminders (when paired with a smartphone). The touch screen also allows you to monitor steps, calories burned, distance, heart rate, intensity, and even your VO2 max while exercising.
Fitbit Flex 2
If you’re looking for a lower profile tracker that doesn’t resemble a watch, try this small and subtle model from Fitbit. The low-profile band tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, hourly activity, and even your menstrual cycle so you notice patterns in your energy levels over the course of the month. Pair the band with your smartphone and lights will flash when you get calls and text messages, or haven’t moved in a while. Up and at ‘em!
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro
This tracker is water-resistant up to 50 meters, so don’t worry about swimming, showering, or getting caught in the rain with this baby. The band is designed to pair with Under Armour’s apps, like Map My Fitness and My Fitness Pal, so it’s super easy to keep tabs on your overall fitness and eating habits.
Garmin Vivosmart 4 Activity and Fitness Tracker
For under $100, you can own this extremely slim, all-day activity tracker that tracks your steps, total calories burned, VO2 max, and stress levels (warning: you might not like what you see). It also knows when you fall asleep and measures your REM sleep, and the battery lasts up to seven days!
Suunto 3 Fitness Sports Watch
Waterproof up to 30 meters, this sports watch is made to be worn 24/7 so you can track your activity ALL day, every day. The battery lasts five days with one charge (three hours when using GPS training mode)! You can also create customized training plans to follow, which is extremely helpful if you’re training for a race.
Apple Watch Series 5
Pair the watch with your smartphone and you can make and receive calls on your wrist, as well as receive and respond to text messages via the scribble pad or voice feature. You can also track your menstrual cycle using the Health app, which then connects to your watch. The watch also has an auto-pause feature, which is great if you’re running in a city and have to stop for traffic lights—it knows when you’re not running, when you start again, and tracks your run accordingly.
Choose from six different colorways, ranging from classic black and silver to bold yellow or orange and black. The watch automatically tracks your sleep at night, then provides a full analysis the following day, along with workout suggestions based on how much recovery you need. Did we mention that it has a built-in GPS, too?
Misfit Vapor X
Bring your Google Assistant along for the ride (or run, or swim, or hike…). This watch is extremely lightweight and versatile enough to go from the gym to the office. Map out your running route ahead of time, then pull it up on the watch using its touchscreen. The built-in altimeter and accelerometer can tell you how much altitude you gained and just how fast you’re going. It’s also water-resistant up to 50 meters. Go ahead, dive in!