April 19, 2016
Words by Randy Em
Being Bevel Clean involves more than just looking your best. At the end of the day, it’s more about feeling your best. So when it comes to encouraging and advancing fitness goals, it makes perfect sense to leverage wearable tech to help hit those milestones, and to offer tangible numbers to get there.
There are about a million different types of fitness tracking devices on the market today, and admittedly it can get tricky navigating the noise. The boom of healthy lifestyle tech over recent years has been overwhelming, but for good reason. The positive is that the integration of digital devices has allowed us to track our heart-rates, daily steps, calories burned, and even sleep habits with a level of convenience that we’ve never seen before. So whether you’re into intense training or just casual fitness, here are some options to consider when looking to dig deeper in achieving those health-related goals.
For Multi-Sport Activity:
Garmin vívoactive® HR
An upgrade to last year’s original vívoactive®, Garmin knocks it out the park with this year’s iteration, the vívoactive® HR. Think a slimmed down design sporting all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from most fitness trackers, and then some.
No matter the sport — running, paddle boarding, skiing, hiking, basketball — the Vivoactive HR is a beast that handles elevation metrics, optical heart-rate monitoring, GPS tracking, and even syncs to your phone for smart notifications. For those who are heavily active and need a more robust option, this is worth a look.
Garmin Forerunner 630
On the higher-end, Garmin’s Forerunner 630 is a watch that aims to provide the most advanced running analytics than any other device. It’s interface and usability is top-notch, filled with little quirks active users will find useful. Think vibration pulses every time you hit a mile-mark, split screens for easy data access and predicted race times based off running. Even more? It’ll also display standard info, like pace, speed, and timing. But for anyone serious about next-level training, like for a marathon, this’ll give you lots to work with.
Moto 360 Sport
If you’re looking for something slightly dialed down from the Garmin and more simplistic (and if you’re a fan of Android Wear), Moto’s 360 Sport option boasts some solid functionality that tracks steps and distance. Third-party apps like Endomondo, Ghost Racer, FitBit, and RunKeeper are also compatible. You’ll even be able to tether the device without the need for carrying your actual smartphone. To further help the cause, the accuracy of the GPS on this thing is superb!
Outside of running, it works well as an everyday watch (comparable to a sporty Timex or adidas option). It’s well-priced for its capabilities and can transition seamlessly into your casual day-to-day wardrobe.
For Heart-Rate Monitoring:
TomTom Spark Cardio
Though it’s not completely necessary for every level of fitness, keeping tabs on your heart-rate during exercise offers different benefits depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Typically, athletes use heart rate monitors for various reason — working out on a consistent regimen while lowering the heart-rate needed over time, shortening the time it takes to return to a resting heart-rate post-workout, lowering your resting heart-rate all together — the possibilities are endless. And while chest monitors will always remain king for accuracy in this regard, a handful of wrist devices have jumped into the fold, offering their own solutions to measuring beats per minute (BPM).
The TomTom Spark works in this sense, by providing a slightly-better-than-the-competition’s read on all your heart-rate metrics throughout the day. It also combines with the GPS-tracing (that TomTom is known for) and activity tracking tools to make this one of the the better mid-tier devices out there.
For Casual Fitness:
There are those that may not mind incorporating a sportier look into their everyday wear. But for those that prefer to keep it separate, the Misfit Ray can solve a few problems. Whether you have issues needing multiple wearables and not wanting double-iterations of watch-like devices on your arms, this device has your back. And the ability to wear a piece of tech seamlessly within your non-activewear wardrobe? Done.
The Ray monitors steps, distance, sleep, and calories burned by using a 3-axis accelerometer to track your movements, also giving you nudges in those moments when you’ve been stationary for an excess amount of time. It has a silent alarm to wake you up in the morning and can be donned either as a bracelet on your wrist or as a necklace around your neck.
Withings Activité Sapphire
Much like the Misfit Rays, the Withings Activité Sapphire accomplishes similar tasks (tracking steps, distance, sleep, and calories burned) but goes further on the casual spectrum than the former. The battery life is insane, boasting up to 8 months, and its companion app (iOS only) is a powerful and well-equipped interface for seeing the visuals of your activity tracking.
It’s a seriously stylish watch that doesn’t seem like wearable tech at a glance. Well-suited for those who are looking to keep tabs on physical activity during regular life as opposed to during the fitness regimen. The only roadbump here is the price-tag. But if you want something that is lifestyle seamless, this is a solid bet.