Fitbit first made a splash in the wearable tech space back in 2007. Sure, there were fitness watches from companies like Polar and Garmin, but many were too feature-heavy, expensive, and, frankly, not attractive.
Fitbit brought a delightful and streamline activity tracker to the market that was at a lower price than the competition. As they've produced more fitness trackers to meet various demands in the market, they've maintained their fun-spirited customer base.
There are plenty of reasons to get a Fitbit band and not another competing brand..
You can track your general activity levels and heart rate. You can also accurately track calories burned vs. calories consumed.
No matter what kind of fitness trend you'll get up to this year, you can be sure a Fitbit will be there to count every step.
Before you get a Fitbit, you should know a few things before deciding which one is perfect for you.
Intuitive App Interface
No matter which Fitbit you choose, each syncs to Fitbit's intuitive app interface.
When you first download the app and pair your Fitbit, the app will prompt you to set up certain goals and displays. On your home screen, you'll get to see how many hours you've been active, how many steps you've taken, and how many calories you've burned.
The app is also where you'll add any activity that your Fitbit didn't track. You can also get in touch with your competitive side and see how many steps your friends are taking.
Continuous Heart Rate Tracking or Not
One of the main differences in some Fitbit bands is the presence (or lack thereof) of a continuous heart rate monitor.
Having a heart rate monitor for your workouts can be highly beneficial for individuals who are trying to understand how hard they're working during a workout.
But what's the benefit of having one on all the time?
If you're trying to change your diet or lifestyle, having continuous heart rate monitoring can help you understand how the changes you're making are affecting your heart health. On the flip side, a Fitbit could even help you know when to go to a doctor if your heart rate spikes.
In some cases, if you already have a serious health condition, a Fitbit can really help. The Ionic was recently developed to help diabetic patients keep track of their glucose levels.
The Alta HR, Charge 2, Blaze, and Ionic are the Fitbit bands that have heart rate monitors.
If you want a device that will simply act as a pedometer, opt for the Zip, Flex 2, or Alta.
Pedometer Vs Performance Watch
Seventy percent of adults in the U.S. don't get enough physical activity. Sometimes it's due to individuals not really knowing how much activity they're getting or underestimating it.
An easy fix if you're in this boat is to get a tracker. If you're just starting out in fitness, a tracker that acts as a pedometer like the Fitbit Flex 2 would serve you well.
The benefit of adding a fitness tracker to your life if you're making a lifestyle change is that you can gradually learn how much activity makes a difference to your body.
If you're already incredibly active, you'd likely prefer a performance watch.
In most cases, people consider a performance Fitbit to be one that tracks heart rate and shows your stats in real time. It might even have GPS.
Models that meet these criteria include the Charge 2, Ionic, Blaze, and Alta HR.
However, if you're a swimmer, you won't be able to take any of these models into the pool since they're only splash-proof. For swim tracking, you'll need the Flex 2 which is completely waterproof and has automatic swim tracking.
Style Choices & Accessories
The awesome thing about Fitbit bands is that there are plenty of styles to choose from and the Fitbit accessories range by far allows for the most personalisation.
For something toned down and easy to disguise, you'll likely prefer the Flex 2. You can purchase several cases like a rose gold necklace or colorful silicone band which the small tracker slips into.
If you want something that looks more like a smartwatch, the Ionic or Blaze will make better choices. You can change out the band on both models for a leather or stainless steel one.
Of course, if you want something completely out of sight, you can clip the Zip to your pants or bra.
Fitbit has done a fantastic job of partnering with 3rd party manufacturers to ensure there are tons of accessories and cases that go with each model. It's a feature that makes Fitbit bands highly customizable and a great option for those who don't want just another activity tracker.
GPS Tracking or Not
Being GPS-capable is another factor to consider. Having GPS independent of your mobile phone means you can leave the phone at home then see your splits after.
If you're an avid outdoor walker, runner, or cyclist, a GPS-enabled Fitbit will likely be a great option for you.
The Fitbit Blaze has connected GPS, meaning you need to have your phone on you as you exercise outside. On the other hand, the Ionic has built-in GPS, meaning you can leave the phone (and extra weight) at home.
Both will tell you when you've reached certain mile markers during your workout. Both watches will also automatically figure out what kind of activity you're doing that requires GPS.
If most of your workouts involve lifting or using the elliptical, a GPS-enabled Fitbit likely won't match your needs.
For those of you who do most of your workouts inside, the better option will be the Charge 2. It includes steps, heart rate monitoring, VO2 Max, and guided breathing.
It's also a thinner, sleeker model which blends in with your outfits. You can also rely on this model to automatically track what kind of workout you're doing.
The Best Fitbit Bands For You
After considering what kinds of activities you primarily do, which features you want, and your style, you'll be able to determine which of these Fitbit bands is best for you.
Once you get used to your Fitbit and get some good sweat sessions in it, you'll need to know how to clean it. Check out this article to learn how to clean your Fitbit.