How to choose a fitness bracelet
Let’s think about what a modern person spends a lot of effort on, and what is the use of this? For the most part, people in the information age spend time at the computer, TV, travel by transport. Also, physical activity and time spent outdoors is limited by the cold climate in much of our country. And physical inactivity leads to numerous health problems.
In order to avoid them, devices called fitness bracelets have been invented.
Fitness bracelet functions — pedometer, odometer, watch
What is a fitness bracelet? In its simplest form, this is a motion sensor, which is enclosed in a case with a battery, and, as the name implies, is worn on the hand using a bracelet strap.
A fitness bracelet may not even have a screen, but only an indicator LED for status notification. How then does it all work?
The fact is that one of the mandatory functional features of such a device is the presence of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Using one of these wireless protocols, the fitness bracelet connects to a smartphone or similar device. Here, data is exchanged with a special program that registers movement indicators or other biometric data and superimposes them on the timeline. In accordance with this, the program counts calories burned, makes recommendations for physical activity, and so on. How does this happen?
First, the motion sensor is used as a pedometer. The movements of the bracelet repeated in a certain way are registered as steps, their number is counted, after which the program counts their number for a certain period of time. If physical activity is insufficient, the bracelet and its program remind you to take a walk.
Secondly, fitness bracelets “know how” to monitor the user’s sleep pattern. The program registers physical activity in night mode (on some models it is activated automatically) and tracks sleep phases. The bracelet wakes up the user during the so-called REM sleep, when waking up is more beneficial for well-being.
The second sensor that may be present in a fitness bracelet is a heart rate sensor.
Pulse (heart rate is one of the most important indicators for those who play sports. How much the heart rate has increased compared to the state of rest is an indicator that indicates the intensity of the workout and, accordingly, the changes in the body that occur during this.
In addition to sensors, fitness bracelets may have additional functionality in the form of a display that displays data on heart rate, time, and so on.
Next, we will talk about some popular models of fitness bracelets, which, in turn, may have their own characteristics.
Xiaomi Mi Band 2
The first version of the Xiaomi fitness bracelet, Mi Band, was simple and low cost, having only a motion sensor. Then came the Mi Band 1S Pulse model with a heart rate sensor and in the same design.
Xiaomi Mi Band 2 has acquired such important things as a display and a control button, an improved motion sensor.
Xiaomi Mi Band 2
The presence of the display allows you to display the time: even the alarm clock here can work regardless of the smartphone.
In addition, when a call, SMS, message from the application is received, an icon appears on the screen, and the bracelet itself vibrates.
This company was founded in 2008 as a manufacturer of bluetooth headsets and speakers. In 2011, she was released the first fitness tracker with the simple name UP. Jawbone UP2 and UP3 fitness bracelets are now on the Russian market. They have a strict, concise design that will suit most users and emphasize the passion for a healthy lifestyle.
The Jawbone UP3 bracelet, compared to the Xiaomi Mi Band 2, has a more “refined” look, but there is no full-fledged display, instead of which the bracelet can only display three types of icons, depending on the status of the device: active mode, night mode and message.
Unfortunately, the Jawbone UP3 can only track your resting heart rate, so it won’t track the intensity of your workouts.
The advantage of this fitness bracelet is that a branded application can be interfaced with third-party programs that calculate, for example, the calorie content of the diet.
If you wear the bracelet for several weeks, the program starts to give out messages and recommendations about your lifestyle. This feature is called Smart Coach and is a signature feature of Jawbone.
This company, as the name implies, specializes in fitness bracelets, watches and scales, in a word, everything that helps to keep fit. Fitbit is rumored to be buying out smartwatch maker, Kickstarter startup, Pebble.
In its homeland — in the USA — Fitbit is the market leader, so its devices are more expensive than their competitors.
Let’s dwell on a couple of models from this manufacturer.
The Fitbit Flex 2 is a minimalistic variant whose main function is a pedometer.
Fitbit Flex 2
In addition, the sensor here can be separated from the bracelet and used separately.
This bracelet does not require activation of the sleep mode, the software has a developed social component, minus the device — poor functionality at a decent cost.
The Fitbit Alta is a more interesting model thanks to its display.
True, it is made small, for the compactness of the device as a whole, but it is quite enough for the functions of this bracelet.
It should be noted that the pedometer for Fitbit devices is considered the best on the market.
If the pedometer built into a fitness tracker provides enough information for ordinary users, then for those who go in for sports it will not be enough, because in addition to walking, there are also heavier loads.
During sports training, a heart rate monitor is more useful, which helps the tracker determine the load on the body and optimize it in time. At the same time, the heart rate monitor must be accurate even when determining high heart rate values.
Such requirements are perfectly noted by Mio devices. They are good because they work quite accurately even from the built-in sensor, that is, on the wrist, and therefore do not require a chest heart rate monitor.
The design shows that these devices are not designed to be worn with business attire, as they have a pronounced sporty look. Such a bracelet will come in handy in the gym (and in cases where this style is appropriate).
Consider specific models of this manufacturer.
If you want a simple device without unnecessary features, the MIO Fuse tracker is for you. It has a soft silicone strap with an integrated LED display, the image of which consists of large luminous dots. Such a decision immediately distinguishes it from competitors.
During training, MIO Fuse not only shows the heart rate, but also “evaluates” it with the help of the so-called cardio zones, reporting in which mode the training is taking place. This helps to properly use physical activity and not harm the body.
In addition, the device has «standard» fitness bracelet functions — a pedometer and a calorie counter. Moreover, all this is implemented without being tied to a smartphone.
Since MIO Fuse is designed for sports, sleep monitoring and alarms are not included.
Another example of a device from this manufacturer is the Mio Alpha 2 heart rate monitor.
Mio Alpha 2
In terms of functionality, it is close to the MIO Fuse, but has a more watch-like design.
In our opinion, the choice of a fitness bracelet depends primarily on when you are going to wear it and for what purpose.
If you do not go in for sports, but just want to lead a healthy lifestyle, for example, the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 bracelet will suit you. It has all the basic functions and will help you determine the need for such a device in your life.
If, in addition to activity data, you want to receive lifestyle recommendations, then we recommend purchasing a device from Jawbone. Then the program on your smartphone, thanks to the Smart Coach function, will help you adjust your lifestyle.
If you’re looking for a stylish, sleek wearable design, we can also recommend Jawbone and its fitness bands.
Fitbit bracelets are suitable for those who want to have the highest quality motion sensor. And the quality of devices in general from this manufacturer corresponds to the price.
For users who spend a significant amount of time in the gym and on treadmills, the Mio heart rate monitors are suitable. It is they that allow to distribute the intensity of physical activity, including intense ones, in an optimal way over time.
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