How do you know whether you’re reaching your target heart rate? One way is to stop periodically while exercising and check your pulse. Another, newer option is to take advantage of the many technologies available for tracking your heart rate.
Wearable technologies that track information such as heart rate and number of steps first entered the market in 2011, with a watch-like device worn around the wrist. Since then, the popularity of fitness trackers has skyrocketed, and the market has expanded to include over a dozen wearable devices put out by competing technology companies, apps downloadable to mobile devices, and more.
There are many types of fitness trackers, ranging from the basic all-day tracker that counts steps to different training trackers that are specialized for certain sports like walking, running, biking or swimming. Data points commonly measured include heart rate, steps walked or stairs climbed and calories burned.
Some criteria to look for when shopping for fitness trackers include:
The display indicates how much information is actually displayed on the device. Some devices show data in real time on the screen. Others don’t have a screen at all but send the information directly to your computer or mobile device.
Some devices are more accurate than others, and the accuracy may vary with the information collected. Your choice of device will be informed by which pieces of information are most important to you and how accurate you want that information to be.
Some devices work better with apple or android systems. Make sure the fitness tracker software can synchronize to the other technological devices in your life before buying one device.
Fitness trackers can help you stay active by tracking your fitness goals and keeping you informed of activity levels and health markers throughout the day. These devices can also help track your progress over time. Each device works differently and has differing capabilities, so it is important to do some research before investing in a device. And, as always, learn about your medical condition and consult your doctor or cardiologist before embarking on any new exercise regimen.
- Browse Consumer Report’s Fitness Tracker Buying Guide
- Learn What is Regular Exercise Worth for Heart Disease Patients
- Discover 5 Tips to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
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