The best fitness bands: Which one’s right for you?

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  • With the New Year fast approaching, and our exercise routines likely to kick up a gear, what better excuse is there to invest in a fitness tracker?

    They’re the new buzzword in the fitness world and everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Barack Obama has been spotted wearing them, but what exactly are fitness bands? And what’s the best fitness device for you? Here, we’ve answered a few of the most common questions about these nifty gadgets and even rounded up our favourites…

    What are fitness bands?

    Whether you wear them as a bracelet, a watch or even a small clip on your belt – fitness bands are wearable electronic monitors that track every move you make and send the results to your smart phone, tablet or desktop computer. They can range from the simplest pedometer (that counts your steps) to high tech devices that track everything from the quality of your sleep, to monitoring your pulse.

    How do fitness bands work?

    The most basic fitness bands contain an accelerometer that measures how many steps you take, by measuring your orientation and acceleration to see whether the device is horizontal or vertical and whether you’re moving or sitting still. This information is usually sent via Bluetooth to an app on your phone or computer, where it is cleverly analysed to show how many steps you’ve taken that day.

    By entering your height, age and weight into this app, it will also work out how calories you’ve burnt. You can make your results more specific by inputting the exact exercise you were doing if you’ve been out for a run or popped on an exercise DVD. More advanced bands can even monitor everything from the quality of sleep you had at night or warn you by buzzing when you’ve been sat still too long – they’re pretty nifty!

    Why should I get fitness bands?

    It’s a way of getting to know you’re body more personally and getting specific results tailored to your lifestyle. Most supporting apps allow you to enter in the food and drink you’ve eaten each day, or partner with weight loss apps like weight watchers, so you can see all your health and fitness results on one handy app.

    You’ll soon learn more about your body and the way it works – particularly for the third of your life that you spend asleep. They’re a great way to motivate you to get moving – so no more couch potatoes allowed!

    Are fitness bands too expensive?

    There are a few expensive brands out there, but unless you want one that does everything under the sun, you’ll be able to find a basic tracker that will suit your needs and not cost you a holiday.

    Want to know which one is best for you? Here’s our top picks…