5 Fitness Trackers For Home Workout Sessions
Here's what you need to know to pick the right one for you, as well as the best fitness trackers available in 2021
Looking to get fit in 2021? The best fitness tracker—a.k.a. fitness band—is a decent place to start, especially if you're trying to stick to New Year resolutions. Even the best fitness trackers cost less than the best running watch, not to mention the best smartwatches.
Staying in shape, or just getting into shape is hard work. It’s especially hard to do on your own at home, without any help, coaching or encouragement. That’s why a lot of people turn to technology to keep themselves active and engaged in their health and fitness journey. A fitness tracker—either a fitness band or smartwatch—can remind you to exercise, monitor your activity level and keep you honest about your workouts. The best fitness trackers are the next best thing to having your own personal trainer.
Fitbit charge 4
The Fitbit Charge 4 is packed with exercise-tracking features that make it a must for any fitness enthusiast. It also monitors your heart-rate, menstrual cycles, sleep, blood oxygen levels, skin temperature, and offers guided breathing sessions. The built-in GPS helps in mapping your outdoor runs, and the band can also survive a swim.
The Active Zone Minutes feature gives you a daily and weekly score for activity above and beyond going for a walk. This is exclusive to the Charge 4, which is a little surprising. Other devices continue to use the ostensibly similar but actually somewhat more primitive 'activity minutes'.
If you're into sleep tracking (why?!) the Charge 4 is also very well endowed with features. An overall 'sleep score' attempts to rate your night's efforts at dozing, and those with a Fitbit Premium account can see a detailed breakdown of how long they spent in the various stages of slumber, from light to deep to REM to, er, awake. So that's nice.
Perhaps more useful is a blood oxygen tracking feature that could alert you to health issues such as sleep apnoea. The Charge 4 is not a medical device so it won't literally 'alert' you via any messaging. All this is packed into a slim form factor and comes at a price that won’t burn a hole in your pockets. INR 12,749
Xiaomi Mi Band 4
Is it possible to have a great fitness band for well under $50? The Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is evidence that yes, you can. It has many of the most common features you’d get in a much more expensive Fitbit model. It does activity tracking, for example, with a half-dozen workout modes including treadmill, outdoor running, cycling, walking, and swimming (yes, it is waterproof as well). That said, the number of programmed workouts is a little limited when compared with other activity trackers that know a much broader range of activities. In addition, it includes all the usual basic tracking features, such as steps counted, distance and calories burned.
You wouldn’t expect it at this price point, but the Mi Band 4 also includes a heart rate monitor and has the ability to alert you if it senses anything anomalous. You can also use it for basic sleep tracking, though the band can’t record detailed data like the quality of REM sleep you’re getting. For that, you’ll need to step up to a more premium band.
The inch-long AMOLED display is bright and colorful, making it easy to see in bright sunlight. Even so, you get a generous battery life—it can go nearly three weeks between charges. It manages to last this long by keeping the display off except when you need it—you can configure it to turn on when you lift your wrist, or only when you tap the screen.
Garmin Venu SQ
Garmin’s answer to the Fitbit Versa 3 is the Venu SQ. While the two look similar, the Venu SQ edges past based on the sheer number of fitness tracking and activities on offer. Besides the exercises, it can also monitor your stress and energy levels, sleep and menstrual cycles, blood oxygen levels, hydration, and breathing. There’s also a personal running coach onboard to help you train for your next race. INR 20,990.
Apple Watch Series 6
Every year, Apple releases a new watch, and every year, we say the same thing: It's not necessary to upgrade if you already have an Apple Watch, but if you're looking to buy one for the first time, it's the best one you can get. Last year, Apple released two, the Series 6 and the SE. The Series 6 has all of the bells and whistles, including a faster charging time, blood-oxygen monitoring, and integration with Fitness+, Apple's new on-demand streaming service that will integrate your workouts between the watch, your phone screen, and your Apple TV.
If you can still find an affordable Series 5, get that instead. However, the Series 3 still remains at the sweet price spot of just under $200. Like everyone who has found themselves pacing around the kitchen trying to close the red Move ring, I've found Apple's fitness rings are still the most addictive and effective fitness game I've come across.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
If you’re into Samsung’s ecosystem, then the best wearable for your home workout is the Galaxy Watch 3. It tracks over 120 exercises, and also comes with features like heart-rate and blood oxygen monitors, sleep tracking, and advanced running metrics. All this is offered in a beautiful looking watch with a classic round design, and a rotating bezel to navigate through various apps and services. From INR 29,990.
Amazfit Bip U
Not all fitness trackers need to cost a small fortune. While most start around $100 and prices can easily climb as high as $300, the Amazfit Bip U—while not bearing the most professional or reassuring name—is a solid, dependable and surprisingly feature-laden budget fitness tracker. It’s inexpensive enough that it almost qualifies as an impulse purchase.
Despite the low price, it’s a smartwatch with a wealth of fitness tracking capabilities. Unlike many trackers and smartwatches, it has an always-on color display. And you get more than a week of battery life, not just days or (in the case of Apple) hours. You can expect to get close to 9 days out of the watch between every charge.
The Bip U does all the basic fitness tracking, such as steps, distance, sleep monitoring, heart rate and more. It also features a SpO2 sensor, meaning it can measure your blood oxygen level like the newest Apple Watch and other high-end fitness bands. There’s no GPS on board, though, so you need to bring your phone along if you want to track the details of your outdoor run. But the band can track more than 60 kinds of exercises and sports, including running, cycling, yoga, fishing, badminton and kickboxing. It’s also waterproof and tracks swimming.
You might appreciate the fact that this band monitors your stress level and makes breathing exercises to help you keep it under control. You also get notifications from your phone, so you can monitor your texts and calendar appointments from your wrist.