We’ve all seen a few of our friends hop on the fitness train at some point, and whether it’s getting really into Strava, starting an incredibly cringey fitspo Instagram page, or turning their one-bedroom apartment into a home gym, all of these folks have one thing in common—they love gear. And we don’t blame them! Stocking up on gear can change your whole fitness routine and greatly improve the performance and efficiency of your workouts, and one of the most common (and practical) pieces of gym kit on the market is the fitness tracker: a wearable device that measures your vitals and logs activity to gather data on your overall health.
You’ve probably heard about the big brands and the common use cases for fitness trackers: being able to count steps, track your heart rate during workouts, and record mileage on long runs or bike rides. While these are all great features that make it easier for you to plot out your long-term health roadmap—and playfully shame your buddies for not hitting an arbitrary 10,000 steps a day—you shouldn’t get bogged down by all the bells and whistles a particular tracker has. At the end of the day, it’s about prioritizing your health, and picking up a fitness watch is a great way to get on track to hit your wellness goals in 2022. It’s not only an investment in your future; it’s also a daily, physical reminder that you’ve made a commitment to giving your body the tools it needs to keep chuggin’ along.
Yep, we here at Rec Room want to help you stick around long enough to send your buds as many memes as possible—our collective raison d’être—which is why we’ve compiled a short list of some of the best fitness trackers on the market, from high-tech smartwatches to no-frills activity monitors and more. Kick back, guzzle a protein shake, and enjoy.
Fitbit Charge 5
Fitbit is likely the first company you think of when you hear the term “fitness tracker”—its smartwatches and fitness bands have become the gold standard in the industry, and for good reason. Fitbit’s new Charge 5 has a ton of sweet features, including a daily stress management score, your real-time pace and distance (without your phone) using the built-in GPS, heart health metrics with notifications from the Fitbit ECG app, and much more.
Garmin Vivoactive 4S GPS Smartwatch
Runners and other endurance athletes (aspiring or otherwise) have probably ogled a Garmin fitness tracker or two, but this Garmin Vivoactive 4S GPS Smartwatch takes the cake. It comes with a broad range of all-day health monitoring features such as the Body Battery energy monitor, which logs your respiration, menstrual cycle, stress, sleep, heart rate hydration, and more—along with music storage and on-screen, animated workouts.
Apple Watch Series 7
If you’ve been thinking about copping an Apple Watch, but haven’t been ready to pull the trigger, here’s your sign. For members of #TeamApple, the new Apple Watch Series 7is the natural progression after you pick up a MagSafe case, charger, and some AirPods. Besides having all of your texts, calls, and notifications sent to your wrist, the Apple Watch lets you measure your blood oxygen levels; take an ECG anytime and anywhere you want; track your heart rate and get irregular heart rhythm notifications; monitor your sleep and track recovery goals; sync your favorite music, podcasts, and audiobooks to your wrist; and pay instantly and securely using Apple Pay without having to dig around for your wallet.
If you’re talking pure aesthetics, the Samsung Galaxy Watch4 is number one. It’s sleek, low-profile, and super customizable, and if you’re running Android, the Galaxy Watch4 becomes an extension of your phone, allowing you to talk, stream and text from your wrist. Plus, the Advanced Run Coaching and VO2 max readings are Samsung’s most sophisticated tools yet for assessing your cardio levels, and the auto workout tracking feature lets your Galaxy Watch4 automatically log your workout metrics in case you forget to activate an exercise tracker (which happens a lot).
Amazon Halo Band
The Halo Band, an affordable fitness tracker option from Amazon, is perfect for no-frills wellness mapping, especially if you already wear a watch on one hand. The screenless, Alexa-enabled activity tracker features a huge library of workouts, measures the quantity and quality of your sleep, and comes with daily meditations from experts including Headspace. The Body Composition tracker measures body fat percentage, and the unique “tone of voice” analysis helps you see how you sound to others to help strengthen your communication. It also comes with six free months of Amazon Halo, “the health and wellness membership designed to help you improve your health by better understanding it.” (It’s only $3.99/month after that.)
Garmin Vivosmart 4
The pared-down version of Garmin’s Vivoactive 4S GPS Smartwatch, this low-profile tracker takes up less space on your wrist, and only displays the essentials, including time, date, heart rate, and battery life. But just because it’s small, doesn’t mean it’s low-tech—an advanced sleep monitoring system measures the amount of time you’re in REM and can gauge blood oxygen saturation while you snooze. You can also choose to receive vibration alerts for calls, texts, and other notifications.
See you at the gym—wait, did you get workout shoes yet?
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.