Smart Fitness Trackers – A Healthy, High-Tech Holiday Gift

One of the year’s most popular trends in digital health is the rise of smart fitness trackers. Going far beyond merely counting your steps, these devices connect you to a wide variety of online and offline health and fitness tools. They’re all reasonably stylish and affordably priced as well, so they’d make the perfect holiday gift. 

Currently on my wrist is the Nike+ Fuelband, which tracks your steps, calories burned, current time, and progress toward an activity goal on a LED-display. If you already own a Nike+ product, such as an iPod or a shoe sensor, the Fuelband will perfectly complement them.

If you’re a fan of fitness-tracking wristbands, you might also be pleased to know that Jawbone has re-released it’s popular UP wristband. UP has re-engineered electronics that will reliably track your fitness activity and sleep. It has an amazing 10-day battery life as well.

Lark, a company known for its sleep trackers, has also entered the fitness tracker market with its new Larklife fitness device. Designed by a team that includes a Stanford neuroeconomist, a sleep coach to professional athletes, a Harvard psychologist, and the team behind Beats by Dr. Dre, Larklife not only tracks your fitness activity, but also coaches you to build better habits.

Fitbit also has a couple new fitness trackers which may appear small in size, but are big in features.  The Fitbit Zip is a petite tracker (about the size of a quarter coin) that comes in five fun colors. At $60, it’s the least expensive tracker out there. The Fitbit One, which replaced the flagship Fitbit Ultra, tracks your steps, distance, and calories, but also tracks your sleep and gently wakes you up with a built-in vibrating alarm. Both Fitbit devices sync to your phone via Bluetooth and include access to a very robust suite of health and fitness tools.

Finally, Misfit Wearables recently announced the Misfit Shine. The Shine is an attractive, all-metal, waterproof tracker that not only counts your steps, but your bike pedals and swim strokes as well. It syncs using a special technology that doesn’t involve cables, docking stations, or even wireless pairing. The Shine won’t be available until March, but you can head to Misfit Wearables’ website to pre-order one for a friend (or yourself).