Track Your Fitness: Which Gadget Is The Best?

We at Bean and Nash like to think of ourselves as the fittest girls on the block. That is, when we’re not following dinner at Jack’s Wife with 16 Handles, losing our minds over Momofuku birthday truffles, or thinking about what we’re going to have for lunch precisely 9 minutes after we finish breakfast.

In order to enjoy the foods that we love most and avoid becoming obese whale-cows, we love to use our fitness trackers. Between the two of us, we’ve used three devices to motivate ourselves to keep moving and hop on that treadmill no matter how bad we’re feeling. There are about 12,376 trackers on the market, so we thought that we might help you narrow down your choices by talking a lil about ours! You know, pros, cons, and the like. WOO #SUMMER #GETFIT #FITSPO #FROYO #MUSCLES.

The Polar FT4

Ah, the FT4. My first fitness tracker. The classic. This watch is a great option for someone who is just tracking their workouts for the first time. It does exactly what it needs to do, which is why I think you can’t go wrong with the FT4.

Polar-ft4

Pros: it tracks your heart rate (via a heart rate monitor that you strap around your rib cage), calories burned, and time twerking out. When you first set up your FT4, you enter your age, weight, and height so that the watch can accurately calculate your caloric burn. It also tells you how high and low your heart rate got during your workout, calculating an average HR. It helps me to set goals for myself during my workout, i.e. I want my HR to reach 200BPM and no lower than 130BPM. GO! The watch is reliable and so simple to use. It also wishes you a happy birthday on your special day! If that doesn’t make you want to buy it, then I don’t know what will. It is also priced well, at $100. You spend that much on Starbucks in a month and you know it.

Cons: the caloric information isn’t 100% accurate, but this is a given with all fitness watches. No gadget will ever be able to tell you exactly how many calories you’ve burned. Also, the heart rate monitor feels awkward at first and depending on the position you’re in can stop tracking your heart rate. The strap goes around your upper abdomen but the important part is centered in between your ribs underneath your chest. If that part of the monitor stops touching your body, then the watch can’t track your heart rate and stops calculating your calories. Another con is that the FT4 cannot count the steps that you’ve taken or the distance that you’ve moved. While training for the half marathon in Spain, this became a problem for me because I needed a watch that could track my distance, since I couldn’t use MapMyRun on my phone (ugh no Wifi no service no fun). If only the FT4 could track distance and steps, then it would be *flawless.*

The Fitbit Force

This is my newest gadget and I’m enjoying it so far. The Force tracks steps and distance, two of the things that the FT4 lacks. It’s cooler looking than the FT4, although to some it may look like a house arrest bracelet. But to each his own, right?

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Pros: step and distance tracking! I love knowing how many steps I take per day and wish that I had this baby while I was abroad traipsing about Europe (and Africa #tbt). Do you realize how hard it is to hit 10,000 steps per day? Much harder than I thought. Granted, living in the city makes it much easier than living in the ‘burbs. With the Fitbit, you create an online account where you enter your information (height, weight, age, fitness goals, etc.) and this information is taken into account by the watch. It also tracks how many floors you climb, the number of minutes during which you are active, and how well you sleep. The sleeping part is super interesting because you can see when you hit that REM versus when you were really active aka rolling around like a crazy person in bed.

Cons: The Force doesn’t track your heart rate, which makes me mistrust its calculation of how many calories I burn throughout the day. It also is secured onto your wrist by clipping the bands into each other, which is practical in theory but actually not practical at all because it sometimes falls off. Luckily for me, I’ve noticed when it has fallen off and picked it up before it was lost 4ever. Another minor detail is that the Force was actually recalled in February because it caused some users to develop rashes on their wrists. But this hasn’t happened to me so those people must have been capital L-OSERS. The Force is also a bit pricier than the FT4, but well-worth the price in my opinion.

EDIT (July 24): Honestly, the Fitbit sucks. SUCKS. I used it for roughly 4 weeks and then it just stopped working. I don’t know if it’s because I showered with it or sweat too much on it or something but it ceased functioning and there’s nothing I can do to turn it back on. Also I don’t think I can return it because the receipt is **gone** and other complications…So yeah. Don’t get the Fitbit. Sorry. Even if Tory Burch tells you to.

**If you’re interested in the Force but obviously can’t purchase it due to its casual recall, look into the Fitbit Flex, which is more budget-friendly and doesn’t cause rashes (yet)! YAY!

Nike FuelBand

Overall, the FuelBand is pretty similar to the Fitbit. It looks more like a house-arrest bracelet than a watch, displays all your info in LED lights on the band, and comes in fun colors! FUN! However, some differences do set it aside, and make it #unique #special #missindependent. Read on.

nikefuelband-original-white-ice-black-ice

Pros: It really has the power to motivate. One of the biggest incentives to even buy a fitness tracker in the first place is the hope that it will help you stay on track for a healthy lifestyle. The FuelBand syncs to an app on your phone and a website online, so you can constantly view your progress as the weeks and months go on. The app on your phone gives you trophies after completing certain fitness goals and it pushes you to work harder than your last work out each and every time. It is easy to use and takes the complication out of getting in shape and staying healthy. It’s kind of like having a little cheerleader on your wrist, there to push you during the work outs and congratulate you when it’s done.

Cons: It doesn’t track everything. Though this can be said for the majority of fitness gadgets, the FuelBand is lacking in some serious areas of popular exercise. It doesn’t accurately track how many calories burned during a 60 minute spin class, for instance, or your heart rate during a weight circuit. For exercises other than the usual walk, run, and maybe elliptical (girl’s best friend holla), it doesn’t do a great job of tracking the proper energy you spent.

 

We hope these pros and cons will help you find the best fitness tracker. We know that though healthy lifestyles are the goal, they’re hard to maintain sometimes, and these bracelets and gadgets are just a little push in the right direction.

Let us know your thoughts!

x

G + C

PS. The hottest new song to twerk out to at the #gym #soulcycle #flywheel #barre #bikramyoga.

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