Get Moving with Gadgets

This month, we’re challenging you (and ourselves, of course) to get moving more! Read our best tips for meeting this 12 Healthy Habits goal, and find some techniques that can help you get up and get going, too. While you’re at it, keep tabs on how much you’re moving with these wearable devices and apps that track fitness and motivate users. By Jessica Cassity, Photos by Randy Mayor

12HH_fitbitforce

FITBIT FORCE ($130, fitbit.com)
PROS: Adjustable wristband with a small screen that displays your stats with the click of a button. It tracks steps, distance, stairs climbed, calories burned, active minutes, and sleep. Progress is updated to the app on your phone, tablet, or computer via Bluetooth. You can input extra details, such as activity type, and link to a food-tracking app.
CONS: You can’t choose when the device syncs and instead must wait until it does so automatically every 15 minutes. A cord is needed to connect the device to a USB outlet for charging.

12HH_nikeplus

NIKE + FUELBAND SE ($149, nike.com)
PROS: Its single button scrolls through a large, colorful display of time, steps taken, and calories burned. The band vibrates hourly to remind you to move and can be used as a silent alarm clock. It can be synced to an app on your iPhone or iPad or to your computer via Bluetooth or USB. The original FuelBand gave you a daily goal; this new band allows you to break your day into hourly goals—and comes in three bright colors.
CONS: This band just tracks exercise—there’s no option to monitor sleep or food. If you forget to wear it one day there’s no way to upload that activity online. Also, this band is compatible with iPhones and iPads only.

12HH_jawboneup

JAWBONE UP ($130, jawbone.com)
PROS: An elegant wrist-worn tracker that automatically counts steps, distance, calories burned, active time, and sleep. You can add details like type and intensity of exercise in the UP app on your smartphone or tablet; the app interface design is very good. The band buzzes every 30 minutes if you’re inactive. It syncs with apps such as MyFitnessPal if you’re tracking calories.
CONS: No data is displayed on the band—you have to consult the app on a phone or tablet to track your progress. The newest model uses Bluetooth to upload data to the app; other models have to be plugged into the phone. There have been some water-related reliability issues, but the company says they’re cleared up.

App images courtesy of Nike, Fitbit, and Jawbone.

COMMENTS

  1. Julia Byerson

    I have the FitBit Force and you actually can choose to sync the device manually whenever you want using the app as long as you’re connected to it via BlueTooth on your device or if you’re using the wireless dongle through the FitBit dashboard.

    February 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm
  2. Kathy Smith

    Please be careful of some of these devices. I bought my daughter the Fitbit for Christmas and she has to send it back due to a severe rash on her wrist. She said friends have the same issue. The company is very good about returning the product.

    February 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm

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