The Apple iOS 8 and Google Android L operating systems are making a huge push into fitness tracking this year. Both feature brand new fitness data aggregation apps designed to help you count steps, count calories and more.
Of course, to make the most out of the new features, you’ll need to purchase and import data from an activity tracker.
That may sound expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. The latest generation offers a wide range of different features to choose from at incredibly reasonable prices. Each may not offer to track everything, but with some smart shopping, you can easily find one that tracks just the data you care about.
Here are five of our favorite trackers that can get you started down the path to good health, each for around fifty bucks.
The small, clippable Fitbit Zip keeps tabs on your steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. It’s a good start, but what makes any Fitbit product stand out are the extra tools offered behind the scenes. Fitbit products easily interface with fitness apps you may already be using (e.g., Myfitnesspal, Loseit) and offer fun award-style badges to celebrate your hard work. There’s even a food plan tool on the Fitbit website that helps you monitor and modify your calorie consumption to kick your overall health into high gear. There’s a lot to like about the Fitbit ecosystem, and the Zip buys you in for a fraction of the cost of a $129 Fitbit Force.
The Fitbit Zip wireless activity tracker is compatible with most Apple iOS, Google Android and Windows Phone devices. It’s available in your choice of five colors: white, black, blue, magenta and lime.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to good health. And while there are plenty of fitness trackers out there that will monitor your sleep quality and patterns, few do it as inexpensively as the coming Fitbug Orb. It’s a tiny clippable tracker that counts steps, distance traveled and calories burned. And if you’re willing to wear it to bed, it’ll keep track of how soundly you sleep, too.
The Fitbug Orb Activity Tracker and the accompanying Fitbug app are compatible with most current Apple iOS and Google Android devices. The Orb is currently available in three different colors: hot pink, black and white.
Swimming is an incredible way to stay in shape – it’s a low-impact, full-body workout that burns a ton of calories. The only problem is that most fitness trackers can’t follow you into the pool. But the coming Misfit Flash can – it’s designed not only to count steps, distance and calories burned, but its waterproof design can help you track your time swimming, too. It tracks plenty of other sports, including cycling, tennis and basketball.
The Misfit Flash and accompanying Misfit app are compatible with both Apple iOS and Google Android devices, though you can just tap its face to get a visual approximation of how close you currently are to your daily goals. It’s manufactured in six eye-catching colors, including frost, onyx, fuschia, zest (neon green), wave (blue) and reef (teal). The Flash is slated for release on October 15.
Striiv Play Wireless Smart Pedometer
Having trouble staying motivated? You may find it’s easier to stick to a new fitness regimen if you turn your effort into a game. That’s the idea behind the Striiv Play Wireless Smart Pedometer. It lets you compete against friends to see who takes more steps, climbs more stairs, burns more calories or logs more minutes of activity. There are even iPhone games you can play that are powered by your own activity.
The Striiv Play Wireless Smart Pedometer is compatible with most recent Apple iOS devices (iPhone 4S or later, iPod Touch 5th generation, new iPad and iPad Mini). It’s available in only one finish, with a black polycarbonate face on a nickel-plated clip.
LifeTrak C200 Core
If you’re looking to lose stubborn body fat, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your heart rate to make sure it stays “in the zone.” That’s why I like the simple, wrist-worn LifeTrak C200 Core. It adds pulse tracking in to the basic suite of data collected by other inexpensive fitness monitors. It will even factor your pulse in to calculations of calories burned, allowing it to come up with more accurate estimates than the competition.
The LifeTrak Core C200 is a stand-alone device and does not connect to your smartphone or tablet. You can get it in white or black with a wide range of available strap colors (e.g., pistachio, orange).
This article was written by Fox Van Allen and originally appeared on Techlicious.
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