#Fitness Trackers for the Budget-Minded Consumer

There’s no denying that the fitness and wellness app market is abundantly diverse. A plethora of offerings are readily available to track calories burned, miles traversed, and the quality of sleep achieved. However, many still prefer not to tote their expensive smartphone into the gym and instead rely on wearable technology to ensure that their sweat equity pays off.

Fitbit has long been heralded as the go-to device for tracking fitness goals. With a wide assortment of models available, they've been the 800-pound gorilla of the marketplace for almost a decade, even turning back challenges from the likes of Nike’s now-defunct Fuelband. Apple has been making inroads of their own via their line of smartwatches, of which fitness tracking is one feature offered.

While each of the aforementioned devices have their own unique benefits and features, their higher price tags have often kept them out of the hands of budget-minded consumers. As a result, some manufacturers have answered the call to create a line of wearable tech that is both affordable and effective.

Misfit offers an entire line of devices that fall well below the $100 price point. Their popular Flash device tracks almost all of the same things as the more expensive products, but does it for around $29.99. The Fitbug Orb is a small round device that clips on to your clothes or can be worn around your wrist, and costs $49.95. Fitbug also offers a selection of goal-specific programs that can be purchased separately and integrated with your device.

It’s worth noting that many of the lower-priced alternatives don’t have their own display, so you’ll need to pair them with either your home computer or a smartphone in order to read your results. Also, if you're considering purchasing a cheaper tracker, make certain it offers all of the features that are most important to you, as many are stripped-down versions of the more expensive devices. It’s been shown that those who record and track the results of their workouts are more likely to commit to a regular plan of exercise and reach their fitness goals, and with fitness trackers available for any budget, those last 10 pounds may have finally met their match.

Is Tracking #Heart Rate Important?

With the variety of fitness and wellness trackers available, you wonder if tracking your heart rate is important. Some fitness apps and wearable monitors record steps taken, distances covered and calories burned. Others also add heart rate tracking to the list. To determine whether you need a fitness and wellness monitor that includes heart rate activity ask yourself these questions:

1- Do my fitness goals include weight loss? If you are using the tracking device to assist your weight loss, a heart rate measurement determines if you are exercising at the proper intensity level. If your heart rate is too low, you quickly adjust your workout to burn more calories and aid in your weight loss. If your heart rate is too high, you reduce the workout intensity to enhance your fat-burning benefits.

2- Am I training for an endurance event? The use of a monitor that includes heart rate measurements is a wonderful tool to improve your endurance training. Since intervals are an essential key to increasing endurance, the monitor lets you base the intervals on your heart rate response instead of on time or feelings of perceived exertion. As a result, your workout is personal and effective.

3- Do I need to reduce stress? Monitoring your heart rate response to daily activities such as commuting to work, standing in line and responding to e-mails is a way to determine if these activities are stressful for you. Once you have record of your physical response to stress, you are able to find ways to reduce your anxiety through deep breathing, exercise or massage therapy.

4- Do I have a heart condition? If you are under care of a cardiologist, you may want to monitor your heart rate throughout the day and especially during exercise to determine if your pulse stays within a healthy range.

Selecting your fitness and wellness tracker is a financial investment and an important decision. You want one that is effective and easy to use so it remains a motivator for your physical activity. Monitoring your heart rate is one piece of the fitness puzzle that leads you toward results.

Top 3 #Fitness Apps to Help You Get in Shape

Getting in shape and staying healthy is an important process for everyone. One of the best tools for this purpose is a fitness device. These devices help regulate your exercise, keep you on track and prepare you for the next level. However, they are never quite as effective as when they are paired with the right fitness app.

To help you choose the right fitness app, here are the top three you should consider.

Sworkit

This is an extremely versatile fitness app that helps you completely customize your workout. It is great because it breaks down the workout into manageable sections. In addition to this, it teaches you about the research related to the workout, which can be a huge motivator.

Strava

This app is a great option for bicyclists. But, it also helps those who are interested in other activities, like running and walking. Along with tracking your runs or bicycling trips, it gives you lots of data to help you learn more about your workout.

My Fitness Pal

For those looking to track their eating habits, this is the app for you. Along with a database containing over 5 million types of food, you can scan the barcode of the food you are eating. Then, the data is added directly into the app and your calorie intake is recorded. It's simple to use and works great with many types of fitness trackers.

These apps are all fantastic options with amazing benefits. Those who are looking to get in shape and live a healthier life should definitely check them out. Not only do they work well on their own, but they pair nicely with a great fitness tracker.

What To Consider When Picking #Fitness and Wellness Devices

 Everyone's health could use a little boost, and it is hard to do on your own. Fortunately, we live in an age of technology, and there are fitness and wellness devices to connect you to the help you need. The big question you will face is: how do you pick which type of device is right for you?

  There are a couple of types of devices. The first, most obvious type is the wearable tech that tracks your progress. These are the step-counters and the heart-rate monitors that track the amount of exercise you perform. If you already have a type of exercise that you are doing and want to improve your game, this would be a good type of device for you. The sight of your progress will show you where you need to improve and where you're excelling. These devices are for people who prefer to work out alone or are generally self-motivated.

  A sub-group of these devices are sport-specific. A runner's monitor can count how many laps you run. A swimming monitor is water-resistant.

  Then there are types of software that take you through exercises. The Wiifit would be a good example. If you want a gym-like experience where you learn new exercises, this type of software can let you have that in your own livingroom.  Many people need to at least feel as though someone was with them to enjoy an activity. They like company, and benefit from the interactive experience.

  Truthfully, anyone can get something out of expert guidance. This is why many devices bring you a type of coach. These web portals let you meet with trainers that help you with your needs. These trainers will make sure that you are performing the exercises correctly and that you are moving towards your goals. Frequently, the experts can help you with your overall health with individualized advice, too. 

   Once you have decided what you need out of your device, you are half way to getting the device that is right for you. You are ready to pick the right device for you. Here is to getting healthy!