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A Healthier You – Wearable Technology, Fit for Your Life

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We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

You may be wondering what a fitness tracker has to do with RV travel. Healthy living and regular exercise are among the keys for a happier, more fulfilling life. No matter your lifestyle, keeping track of your daily movement is integral to a well-balanced fitness routine.

Fitness Trackers
In this review, I’ll show you the ins and outs of choosing the right fitness tracker for your personal needs.

Fitness trackers, also known as activity trackers have been around since the early 2000s, Prior to that, wearable heart rate monitors became a reality in 1981. Evolving from early pedometers, activity tractors not only count your steps, but now also track heart rate, sleep patterns and calculate the number of calories expended.

Fitbit began in 2009 as a clip-on activity monitor and has morphed into wearable trackers in the form of fashionable jewelry.

Fitbit is not your Grandma’s Pedometer

Choosing from a minimal display size to a 1.3 by 0.8 inches OLED display, makes Fitbit trackers fit for every fitness need.

There are several trackers available on the market today. The choices are abundant. This article is about Fitbit products.

Easily track your active minutes, calories, distance, steps, heart rate and sleep patterns. Some versions, such as the Charge 2, also offer guided breathing exercise mode for gentle recovery after exercise or after a strenuous work day.

Fitbit Flex 2 – Low Price But Packs a Punch

Fitbit Activity Trackers range in price from $58.95 for the Fitbit Flex 2

This slim band tracks steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes. This tracker can go in the swimming pool with you or in the ocean or the shower. The Fitbit Flex 2 is a tracker that can be removed from the band and comes with SmartTrack that recognizes your particular workout and records the data in your Fitbit app. You can get call and text notifications, along with sleep tracking as well.

Fitbit Charge HR

The Fitbit Charge HR is reasonably priced at around $79.99. This tracking device syncs easily and wirelessly to tablets, computers, smartphones and over 150 iOS devices. Syncing range is 20 feet and requires an internet connection, USB port and Bluetooth.

The Charge HR is sweat, rain and splash proof, but not waterproof.

*Warning: Do not use if you have pacemaker or other internal or implanted medical device.

Fitbit Alta HR

The slim, attractive design of the Fitbit Alta HR is priced at approximately $148.95.

This is not your typical tracker. With continuous heart rate monitoring, you can also measure calorie burn and utilize workout zones to determine the best intensity for your fitness routine.

The Fitbit Alta HR automatically tracks sleep time in light sleep and REM sleep.

As with the other fitness trackers, you can also sync your daily stats to your computer smart phone tablet or iOS devices. Track your steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes and even customize your clock face and tap the screen to bring up your stats.

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate & Fitness Band

This is my personal favorite and the tracker I wear all day, every day. The Fitbit Charge 2 has continues, automatic heart rate monitoring to maximize calories burned all day. Somewhat wider than the Fitbit Alta HR, this tracker sports a larger face for greater visibility.

The OLED screen, not only gives you all the requisite stats, but you can also see calls, texts and calendar notifications. Easily monitor your sleep patterns and understand your fitness level with personalized Cardio Fitness Score, along with connected GPS with pace and status of your run.

Track your all-day-activity including steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes. Set your tracker to receive notifications to move with a slight vibration and on-screen notification.

One feature I thoroughly enjoy is personalized guided breathing sessions to help you find calm and recover more fully from strenuous exercise routines.

Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch

This is the newest and the brightest of Fitbit products. The Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch is, by far, the most complete Fitbit on the market. At a price of $298.95, you get a lot of technology strapped to your wrist.

Along with the benefits of the Fitbit Charge 2, the Ionic Smartwatch also gives you personalized workouts with step-by-step coaching, right from your wrist. You can store and play approximately 300 songs, plus download playlists from Pandora.

The built-in GPS will track your pace, distance, routes, all with continuous heart rate monitoring. An added bonus is the ability to access your favorite apps for sports, weather and even make payments with the built-in NFC chip.

Effortlessly track workouts, all day activity and sleep patterns. Also, track steps, distance, calories burned, time and weight. Set goals and connect with others in the Fitbit app for greater accountability.

The larger face, increased pixels and amplified brightness will give you a clear view of your fitness goals and accomplishments.

While none of these fitness trackers can force you to get in better shape or maintain your fitness level, having a coach on your wrist is a great way to keep moving and stay motivated.

My Fitbit Charge 2 leaves my wrist only when it needs charging, which is approximately every four days, or when I’m showering. I have mine set to notify me of calls and texts from my smart phone and to gently remind me to get up and move.

Fitness trackers, no matter the brand, can help keep you mindful of your fitness needs and goals.

 

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  • Hi Sue, What great timing! I have been thinking of looking into getting a FitBit monitor. I am drawn toward the Flex 2 or the Alta HR. I really do not want phone, email and text notifications coming through since I like unplugging! And I like the waterproof aspect of the Flex 2. For my simple needs, that of monitoring activity and sleep, and being waterproof, perhaps the Flex 2 is the one for me? Please help….I am ready to place my order!

    • Hello, Annie. The Flex 2 is an excellent choice. My daughter has that model and loves it and the waterproof feature is extremely desirable. I like the display on the Flex 2 over the Alta HRs display. The cost is reasonable and you get a ton of features at that price-point.

      I hope this helps you in making your decision.

      All the best,
      Sue

  • Hi Sue,
    I like the Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch, since it provides personalized workouts with step-by-step coaching and comes with songs. I like to have a wearable with music. But with a price of $298.95, it is higher than my budget. Do you have Fitbits with song and price is around $150. Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Anthony, that is a really nice activity tracker, isn’t it. That one is on my wishlist. I believe the Ionic is the only member of the Fitbit family that allows you to play and store music selections. I have the Charge 2 and the only thing it lacks is the music ability.

      With that said, here is one (not a Fitbit) that does play music and it is priced at about $150.00: http://amzn.to/2FEPueD

      I hope this helps, Anthony.

      All the best,
      Sue

  • Great article, Sue.
    I have always wondered about the various fitbits. As a matter of fact, I just thought they were just ‘stylish’ wristbands – another ‘fad’ that people wear. Now I can see the difference and the worth. Are they also waterproof?
    I will definitely have to check out one of them more closely. Maybe I can add it to my life as well.
    All the best.
    Michelle

    • Hi Michelle, I’ve had a Fitbit fitness tracker for the past 4 years and I find them assets to my fitness goals. The Flex 2 is waterproof and the others are sweat and splash proof, but not fully waterproof. If you need any further suggestions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

      Thank you so much for your comments and your interest.

      All the best,
      Sue

  • Hello Annie, wow so much to know about fitbit! It makes one think so successfully also about movement yes?
    And also thought it was a fad. But after reading this I can see the value. Thanks for informing and educating me!
    In peace and gratitude,ariel

    • Hi Brittaney, I really enjoy using the Charge 2. You can toggle between your favorite fitness routine, running, bicycling, treadmill, weights, exercise. You can monitor your heart rate the entire time and then use the “relax” mode to come down after your work out. Thank you for your comments.

      All the best,
      Sue

    • Hi Craig, The Charge models are reasonably priced for all their functions. I’m glad you found value in this review post. Thank you for your comments.

      All the best,
      Sue

  • Sue,

    Thanks for your helpful post. I have been looking into fitness trackers for about a year now and still have not gotten one. The price seems to have come down in the year that I’ve been looking, which is good for me. I am always on the go and I would be curious to see my stats. I think they are a great encourager to be active.

    Lisa

    • Hi Lisa, you absolutely pinpointed my exact reason for having a fitness tracker. There really are a great encourager to get up and move, to track your stats and keep a record of your heart rate. I sync my Fitbit daily (continuous sync) to the app on my phone and computer. I can track what I eat, calories and water intake as well. Let me know if you need any help making a decision. I’m happy to help.

      All the best,
      Sue

  • Dear Sue,

    Thanks for the detailed post on A Healthier You – Wearable Technology, Fit for Your Life and this is the first time I come across these Fitness trackers. Really useful information, is that it will be a great help to the heart patients? Please advice…

    Your Friend,
    Paul

    • Hello Paul, Thank you for your comments. Yes, I absolutely do think a fitness tracker would be beneficial for heart patients. One of the things these trackers do, and do very well, is monitor heart rate continuously. Because you sync your tracker with an app on your computer, smart phone and/or iOS device, you have those statistics available to you.

      Thank you for asking such a great question, Paul.

      All the best,
      Sue

  • One of my dearest friends has one of these fitbits. I know she loves hers and she has described hers to me and all of its capabilities. However the one thing I have always wondered about is you can sync this to your phone right? And if so does it only work with the Iphones?

    • Hi Melissa,

      I have mine synced to my android phone as far as the tracking goes. I have not yet figured out how to sync calls and texts to my Fitbit. I had an android previously and was able to do it, then switched to an iPhone and was able to sync calls and texts too, but with this android I haven’t been able to figure it out, but I know it’s possible. I absolutely love mine and thinking seriously about getting the next model up. Please let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to assist any way I can.

      All the best,
      Sue

  • Hi Sue,
    I have been looking into getting new fitness tracker for my husband. I have heard so much about the fitbits. This article helps a lot to get a good look at the options. His company offer incentives and HSA deposits based on goals met through fitness tracking. He has been using a cheap “drugstore” model this past year. He likes the idea but its “buggy”. It does not have all the features of the fitbit. I think he could gain more from using one these. Do you know if they work with a program called virgin pulse? That is what his company uses for tracking.
    Thank you,
    Christina

    • Hi Christina, I’m linking the page on the Fitbit.com website forum here

      It appears you are able to sync with Virgin Pulse, but it takes some effort to do so.

      Some time today I’ll be updating this article with two new trackers that have come on the market in the past month. I hope this post helped you with deciding which fitness tracker would fit your husband’s needs best.

      If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

      All the best,
      Sue

  • Sue,
    I got my aunt an Alta HR for Christmas. It is easy to charge and when connected to a Phone and E-mail account, it will update you on battery charge and weekly or daily goals. Setting goals is easy on the app. You can track your meal inputs and how much energy you use daily. Tracking you weight is also available.
    If you have a friend that you like to compete with, you can load their information and compare.
    This device is very easy to learn how to use and can be adjusted for the information that it gives on the wrist.
    This device is so much better than the previous tracker (Jawbone) and you can change the band to match different clothes. This is important for some as they do not want to just have a black watch.
    Great for value for the money.
    John

    • Hi John, thank you so much for your comment. I love my Charge 2. These handy fitness trackers serve a very important role in our health and fitness goals. On the Charge 2, I can toggle between jogging, weight lifting, stairs, etc. and I’ve used the stopwatch feature as well. I like the ability to change the band too and now that Fitbit trackers have been on the market a while, the bands have come down in price significantly.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying your fitbit. They work hard to keep us motivated, don’t they!

      All the best,
      Sue

  • Hello Sue,

    This is really an interesting device, I do believe a fitness tracker would spur me on to exercise more ambitious as I love statistics. Then I could see and check my improvements much better. It also looks great with all the different colours you can choose among.

    The Fitbit Alta or your favourite Fitbit Charge would be the ones I’m interested in. The Fitbit Alta looks great with its slender looks. The Fitbit Charge has got more features, but the wider strap would perhaps disturb me a bit.

    May I ask, is the fitness tracker also showing the time of the day like a watch? How about wearing the Fitbit during night, does not the display light disturb your sleep?

    Looking forward to hear the answer on my questions.

    Kind regards,
    Pernilla

    • Hello Pernilla, thank you so very much for your comments. To answer a few of your questions, I started with the Charge HR and when they came out with the Charge 2, I liked the additional features. Yes, this tracker, like all the Fitbit line shows the time of day like a watch. You can also wear it for sleeping so you can follow your sleep patterns. There is, though, a light that comes up when you move your wrist and that disturbed me during the night a bit. I guess it’s something you could get used to.

      I hope I answered your questions to your satisfaction. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

      All the best,

      Sue

  • My hisband has a Fitbit Charge and my daughter has a Fitbit Alta. I have a knockoff that I loved until my phone updated and could no longer interface with the app. That is a real problem. Many of the knockoffs do not update their apps to make them compatible when your mobile operating system updates, but Fitbit does.

    I have been thinking about the Alta HR or the Charge. I wasn’t exactly sure of the difference in features, though until reading your article. I think either would ultimately work for me, though I lean towards the Charge. My budget, however leans toward the Alta HR.

    Thank you for writing such an informative article!

    • Hi Anita, it’s so nice to see your comment! I’ve had the Charge HR and the Charge 2 and so far the Charge 2 is my favorite. I’m also looking seriously at the larger one too, if my budget allows. Anita, I love how easily you can sync your phone and Fitbit and also get notifications for calls and texts. I love technology! My daughter has the Alta HR and loves it because of it’s slimline fit.

      On those occasions, usually every other day, when I do hit the 10,000 step level, you get light buzzing and fireworks on the watchface. It’s just fun to see.

      I’m glad you found benefit in this article, Anita. Thank you so much for your comments.

      All the best,
      Sue

  • Hey Sue,

    I agree with you that a fitness tracker has everything to do with RV travel! RV travel and Fitbit are both about living healthy happy lives! 🙂

    I personally think that Fitbits help people to track their activities and reach their health goals. And all those different models are great opportunities for any person to meet their individual needs.

    Thanks for the great info.

    • Hi Eliane, thank you so much for your comments. I completely agree that Fitbit does motivate you to move. My Fitbit gently buzzes when it’s time to move and then cheers you on when you complete your goal.

      Thanks again, for your visit.

      All the best,
      Sue