Slackin? Get Trackin!


Image Map


Spotted on the wrist of many these days, are these colorful rubber bracelets cheerfully flashing numbers and lights. Wearable tech is the talk of the health, fitness and now fashion industry, and there are a plethora of new fitness bands and activity trackers from which to choose. The Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up and Nike Fuelband have been joined by the Polar Loop, Samsung Gear Fit and Garmin Vivofit, among others. Slim and trim, these little bracelets track your every move, monitor your sleep, count your calories, and coach your workouts, keeping a watchful eye on your fitness 24/7. Highly functional with great sporty style, here are 9 of the top fitness bands designed to keep you on track all day and all night.

ROW 1: JAYBIRD REIGN $199.99. Coming in October 26 is a new entry into the fit band category, the Jaybird Reign, which has been getting rave reviews. Syncing with an app that monitors all your activities and rest patterns, the primary goal of the Reign is to get you in the “Go Zone”, the perfect balance of both. Too little activity is monitored as is too much, with reminders to pick it up when you’re slacking or chill out if necessary. The Reign is waterproof, can be worn swimming, and also synced with an ankle strap included to track your cycling workouts.

POLAR LOOP $109.95. The Polar Loop monitors a vast assortment of activities and sports, and displays such information as heart rate, calories, steps, and distance. Calculations are based on your individual data of weight, height, age, and gender, as well as activity intensity. The Loop is waterproof and can measure activity when swimming. With 24/7 tracking, the Loop automatically monitors your sleep time when you lie down and body movements slow.

JAWBONE UP24 $149.99. The colorful rubber Jawbone UP24 uses a precision motion sensor and powerful algorithms to track and quantify your steps, distance, calories, activity and sleep. It syncs wirelessly with your computer using Bluetooth Smart to provide real-time feedback, while the home screen serves as your daily dashboard to check overall progress. The UP app measures calories burned based on age, gender, height and weight, and can use either a picture or detailed nutrition label for its calculations. The duration and effort level of a variety of different workout types are monitored, so estimated caloric burn can be calculated for non-step-based activities as well.

ROW 2: SAMSUNG GEAR FIT $149.99. Compatible with Samsung Galaxy devices, the sleek looking Samsung Gear Fit measures your heart rate, calories burned, distance traveled, steps taken and activity speed, and also displays emails, texts and alerts on its curved 1.84-inch Super Amoled® face. Always-on tracking provides personalized real time coaching through the integrated Mobile S Health Partner to actively support and motivate you to achieve your fitness goals.

FITBIT FLEX $100. Slim and minimal in design, but bright and colorful, the Fitbit Flex is consistently rated as one of the top fitness trackers for functionality and style. During the day, the Fitbit Flex tracks steps, distance, and calories burned, and at night, monitors sleep quality. The Flex syncs wirelessly with your computer, iPhone, iPad, or Samsung Galaxy for real-time access to your stats on the Fitbit dashboard. We should mention the Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently investigating complaints of skin irritations caused by the device, and another Fitbit product, the Force, was recalled for similar complaints.

SOLEUS GO $129. New from Soleus, the GO monitors activity, calories and sleep at the touch of a button. A dedicated exercise mode separates strenuous from daily activity and tracks distance, pace, and speed. Compatible with Apple and many android based smartphones, the GO syncs wirelessly to display your daily activity as well as current weather, texts and phone alerts.

ROW 3: GARMIN VIVOFIT $129.99. New from Garmin, one of the leading manufacturers of GPS tracking devices, is the Vivofit fitness band. Displaying steps, calories, distance and time, it pairs with a heart rate monitor for fitness activities. With the touch of a button, the Vivofit syncs with Garmin Connect on your computer or smartphone for a complete picture of your fitness and progress, and it monitors your sleep as well. Vivofit tracks your current activity level, and then assigns a daily attainable goal, prompting movement after an hour of inactivity. As milestones are met, the device automatically adjusts your goals for the next day.

SONY SMARTBAND TALK. Coming soon is the update to the Sony Smartband, the Smartband Talk, the fitness band that in addition to the full array of activity and sleep tracking functions, allows you to make and receive calls. Beautifully designed with a curved e-ink display and refined graphics, the Smartband talk is as much a statement piece as activity tracker. While it syncs with multiple fitness apps, it is said to be best paired with Sony’s LifeLog activity tracker, which also keeps a record of music listened to, movies watched, and photos taken, giving a thorough overview your daily life.

NIKE+ FUELBAND SE $99. One of the original fitness trackers, the FuelBand SE is a smart, simple and fun way to get more active. Measuring activity in NikeFuel, which also provides access to the a whole online fitness community, the FuelBand SE tracks the intensity of your workouts and monitors sleep with Nike+ Sessions. It syncs wirelessly with most smartphones to provide constant feedback and motivation as you need it.