Fitness Tech

4 Questions to Ask When Buying a Wearable

Many have already seen the advantages owning a wearable can provide in helping to reach their fitness goals. Tracking workouts, heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking have helped wearables owners create overall healthier lifestyles. With wearables becoming one of the biggest fitness trends in the past year, whether or not to purchase one is no longer the decision; it’s which one to purchase.

Here are some key questions your member’s should be asking as they explore their options:

What type of wearable do you want?

Wearables come in many different forms. Based on your expected usage you can choose either a wristband, smartwatch or clip-on. A clip-on is versatile, discreet and can be worn almost anywhere on the body when exercising. Wristbands offer a light, barely noticeable experience while a smartwatch takes the more traditional form of a wristwatch. Additionally, smartwatches like the Apple Watch have a wide range of app-based functions that extend outside of the fitness landscape to help justify the additional price tag.

What features do you want?

This mainly concerns your budget. Do you want heart rate monitoring? Do you want it to track your sleep? There are lots of wearables that will track your steps and calories burned throughout the day, but premium features will cost you. If these aren’t necessary for your purposes, then you’ll have a wide range of options to choose from. If you’re set on heart rate monitoring but don’t want to pay $150+ for your wearable, then trackers like Polar have heart rate straps that can be bundled for an additional $30-40.

Is it going to be sport specific?

Wearables are great for tracking all types of fitness, but some are engineered for specific activities. If you’re focus is on swimming, the Speedo Shine is a tracker optimized for swimmers that’s waterproof up to 50 meters and has lap tracking ability. If you’re looking to improve your golf game the Golf Buddy BB5 and Microsoft Band are excellent choices. Both wearables have thousands of golf courses pre-loaded and will measure distance to green through GPS tracking. The Microsoft band will even keep your score through automatic shot detection.

Do you like the app itself?

One of the most overlooked features to consider when purchasing a wearable is the accompanying app; the software is just as important as the hardware you’re buying. You’re going to want to make sure the app is clean and easy to use as it’s where you’ll view and interact with all of your fitness metrics. Most wearables will integrate with your gym’s mobile app, allowing you to earn rewards for tracking workouts that you can use towards club prizes.

Want to learn more about fitness trackers? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Wearables 2015:wearables-guide-cta

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