Ready to take your workouts and fitness goals to the next level? Thought so!
That may mean it’s time to invest in a fitness tracker. These devices will give you the ability to dive deeper into your workouts, both in real time and post-sweat, to see things like heart rate, calories burned, pace, distance and more. These numbers will help you better understand the work you’re putting in day in and day out, leading to better results.
What to Look for in a Fitness Tracker
When spending major money 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 and nutritionist in New York City. “Are you going to sleep, run, swim, lift and do yoga in it?”
Whatever your level of activity, it’s important your 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!
Once you’ve found the features you’re looking for, then you need to match the tracker to your style. You’ll be wearing it daily, after all!
Do you want a smartwatch or just a tracker band? There are leather, cloth, and rubber options for your wrist, 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.”
Within this wide range of features and styles, we found some of the best fitness trackers for women. Which one fits all of your needs?
Garmin Vivomove HR Sport
If the color combos don’t grab your attention, the other features will. The face looks like your typical analog watch, but when paired with a smartphone, the background lights up with notifications, including text messages, incoming calls, and appointment reminders. (You can even get a playful “Let’s get coffee!” suggestion.) The touch screen also allows you to monitor steps, calories burned, distance, heart rate, intensity, and even your VO2 max while exercising.
$166 (onyx with suede), $223 (rose with white gold), amazon.com
Fitbit Inspire 2
If you’re looking for a lower profile tracker that doesn’t resemble a watch, try this small and subtle model from Fitbit. An entry-level fitness tracker (which explains the relatively inexpensive price), it tracks your exercise sessions and heart rate, plus monitors your breathing patterns while sleeping, all for under $100. And while many trackers boast about long battery life, independent reviews confirm that the Inspire 2 actually has it—the longest battery life of any Fitbit device, up to 10 days on one charge!
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
This tracker is water-resistant up to 50 meters, so you shouldn’t have to worry about swimming, showering, or getting caught in the rain with this baby. It pairs via Bluetooth with Android and iOS smartphones, so it’s easy to keep tabs on your overall fitness and eating habits. Bonus: It analyzes sleep patterns too.
$120-$329 (price varies by color), amazon.com
Garmin Vivosmart 4 Activity and Fitness Tracker
For just under $100, you can own this extremely slim, all-day activity tracker that tracks your steps, total calories burned, VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption) and stress levels. It also knows when you fall asleep and measures your REM sleep.
Suunto 3 Fitness Tracker Sports Watch
Waterproof up to 30 meters, this sports watch from Finland-based Suunto is made to be worn 24/7, so you can track your activity all day, every day. You can also create customized training plans to follow, which is extremely helpful if you’re training for a race.
$162-$240 (price varies by color), amazon.com
Apple Watch SE
Apple’s high-functioning midline watch pairs with the Health app to do a lot of things, including measuring current heart rate and detecting anything unusual (rhythm too high, low or irregular). You can also track your menstrual cycle. Meanwhile, once you pair the Apple Watch SE with your smartphone, you can make and receive calls and texts on your wrist. The watch’s auto-pause feature works 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. Ready to splurge? The newest model, Series 7, boasts a larger screen, plus the ability to measure blood-oxygen level and take an ECG. (The 7 starts at $399.)
Choose from five different colorways, ranging from classic black and silver (or black and copper) to bold yellow to pink and rose. 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?
$165-$220 (price varies by color), amazon.com
Oura Ring Generation 3
Here’s a twist: Instead of using a watch or fitness band, what if you could attain all of the same health data by wearing a ring? With multiple tiny sensors inside it, the popular Oura Ring works as a fitness tracker (compatible with the Apple Health and Google Fit apps), period predictor (using your temperature and other data to analyze your cycle), sleep tracker and more. Lots of people, athletes in particular, find a ring more comfortable to wear than a band; NBA and WNBA players are among those wearing them. On the other hand, not all the Oura features are available yet, and after the first six months, you’ll need to commit to a subscription (currently $5.99 monthly) to maximize its use.