Wearable technology has improved over the years with more colours and styles on offer than ever before. Now, you can get fit and be stylish at the same time with the best budget fitness trackers.
Buying a fitness tracker can give you the motivation to keep fit and get healthier; having those stats instantly available on how your run went, how far you've walked, and how many calories you've burned can be an incentive to keep going when before you might have given up.
Best Fitness Trackers
1. Fitbit Versa 2
With Alexa built-in to this new Fitbit, you can not only track your fitness but also ask all sorts of questions - it's like those futuristic films of the 1960s where everyone's talking to their watches, it really is.
2. Fitbit Ionic Health & Fitness Smartwatch
This is not just any Fitbit, it's a Fitbit to rival the Apple Watch and looks similar, too. It's certainly not slim and discreet but this gives more appeal as a unisex bit of kit. You can leave your phone at home if you're at the gym or out running thanks to the built-in GPS. PurePulse tracks your heart rate accurately and the personalised fitness coaching gives you encouragement to keep going when you feel you're flagging! The watch can store around 300 tracks so that should be enough music to fuel your workouts.
3. Apple Watch Series 4 GPS
When it comes to wearable tech, the Apple Watch is a desirable bit of kit, but for the price, it's not something you'd purchase on a whim. This watch will almost make your phone obsolete with the ability to answer calls, make calls and pretty much organise your life! Made of top quality materials including Ion-X strengthened glass, Sapphire crystal and a ceramic back, it's perfectly crafted and the options to personalise are endless.
4. Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Running Watch
Designed for runners, Garmin's running watch gets consistently good reviews and it does exactly what you'd imagine it to do u2013 tracks and monitors your runs. It will gently nudge you when it feels you've been idle for too long but not in a Boot Camp kind of way. Garmin have been top of their game for years helping us get from A to B in our cars so as you'd expect, the GPS runs like a well-oiled machine.
5. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, from £229
At first glance, you'd never know this was a fitness tracker u2013 pretty and delicate, this watch is operated via a rotating bezel, rather than a touchscreen. You can't link to WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger but you can access Spotify offline is you're in need of something fast to run to. This watch is super smart and friendly (if you can believe it) greeting you with a 'hello' when you take it off the charging port. Currently available in colour of the moment, rose gold, black and silver. johnlewis.com
6. Bellabeat Leaf Health Tracker
Instead of wearing a watch every day you can opt for a Bellebeat, which you can rock as a necklace or bracelet. This is great for me because some watches can irritate my skin. Aside from this, it'll not only look good, but it also has fantastic functions like an alarm.
7. Fitbit Inspire HR Health & Fitness Tracker
Fitbit is a popular brand in this market, and for good reason. This sleek fitness tracker gives you all-day activity tracking, heart-rate monitoring, sleep tracking and calorie burn, with reminders to move and automatic exercise recognition. For the swimmers out there, it's water-resistant up to 50m and you'll get up to five days battery life from one charge. It's pretty accurate, although no fitness tracker will ever truly be able to tell you your exact stats to the decimal, and is comfortable and lightweight.
8. NURVV Run Insoles & Coaching App
Smart trackers don't have to be solely on your wrist or around your neck, as these insoles clearly demonstrate. These award-winning lightweight trackers monitor every step of your run, meaning you can get super accurate data while you're on the move. By measuring from your feet, NURVV Run provides you with unique real-time insights telling you how to make every run a success. NURVV's coaching app provides tailored training guidance and live, real-time coaching helps you hit your running goals. If you're a serious runner, these are for you.
Today’s fitness trackers work in harmony with your body and are very intelligent, alerting you to when you need a screen break at work, or when it's time to switch off the TV and head to bed, or even prompt you to drink some water. You can also sync your fitness tracker with your phone so you can instantly see phone calls and text messages. This is all on top of shaping your fitness progress too, and keep you on track to achieving your goal whether it’s couch to 5k or training for a triathlon.
Get one with guided breathing sessions to help you stay calm in times of stress – you can also learn more about your body and monitor your periods. If you want to coordinate with your outfit, simply change the strap on your Fitbit. If you love staying connected, then blow the budget on an Apple Watch.
Tips for making the most out of your run
The guys at NURVV Run have shared some of their running tips to get you out and about during lockdown - especially when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
1. Wear the right gear
Ever heard the saying there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear? While it’s not 100% true – no running jacket is going to help you in a monsoon – the right kit can definitely make the difference between a soggy, cold run and a warm and slightly drier one.
These wet-weather basics will make rainy runs much more comfortable:
A cap – a hat with a brim keeps rain out of your eyes (especially important if you wear contact lenses) meaning you can actually see as you run. Go for a running-specific one made from breathable fabric.
A water or wind-resistant jacket – don’t run in a fully waterproof jacket as waterproof fabric traps moisture and warmth, meaning you’ll soon overheat. Instead, opt for a lightweight wind and water-resistant layer.
Shoes – if you have more than one pair of running shoes, choose those with the best tread to give you more grip on wet and slippery surfaces.
2. Dress for the temperature
When it’s raining outside it’s tempting to wear ALL the layers but you’ll soon get too hot. Instead, check the weather forecast and dress for the temperature.
In most cases, a lightweight rain jacket over your usual sweat-wicking running top should be fine. On warmer days skip the jacket – you’ll end up carrying it – and accept the fact you’re going to get slightly wet.
3. Waterproof your gadgets
NURVV Run is rain- and mud-proof, so no need to worry about running through puddles (although leave puddle jumping till the home strait to prevent waterlogged shoes). Our trackers even allow you to record your run phone-free, so you can leave your phone at home and still capture all your running data.
If you are taking your phone and it isn’t water resistant, keep it in a waterproof pocket or small ziplock plastic bag to protect it from rain.
4. Banish the chafe
Chafing can happen on any run but add rain and wet clothes into the mix and you’re more likely to get rubbing.
5. Think of it as mental training
Not every run is going to be a crisp and sunny jog through the park and rainy runs will make you appreciate those dry ones even more.
The added challenge of wet weather and going out when you really don’t want to, is good mental training. It trains you to push through when the going gets tough – in the final miles of a race for example.
If you’re training for an event, it could be raining on race day, too. All those rainy training runs will mean you’re well prepared and know what kit and mindset work best for you in wet weather.
6. Go hi-vis
Visibility can be lower on rainy days so make sure you wear a bright layer or some reflective strips on your clothing to ensure cars can see you.
7. Get changed quickly
It makes sense but as soon as you get in from a rainy run, strip off those clothes. Having wet clothes next to your skin lowers your body temperature.
You can also stuff wet shoes with newspaper to help them dry.
8. On race day
If you’re taking part in a running event on a rainy day, pack a bin bag to wear in the starting pens. Add some arm and neck holes and it’ll keep you warm and dry while you wait.
Take some older running shoes and socks and wear these before you check in your gear so you’re starting the race with dry feet. And don’t forget dry clothes, socks, shoes and underwear to travel home in.
9. Know when to take it indoors
While running in the rain can make you feel like Rocky, there are times when it's just not good for you! If there’s a thunderstorm, call it a day, you don’t want to get struck by lightning. The same goes if you’re interval training or running at a faster pace – wet pavements can be slippy and will cause injury longterm.