Fitbit recently premiered its greatest and possibly smartest fitness tracker: the Fitbit Blaze. It’s the latest reveal in the ongoing smart fitness watch battle, where there are some big players vying for the top spot. Fitbit, Apple, Jawbone, and Withings, just to name a few, want to be your fitness tracker of choice.
What’s the Difference Between Trackers?
The first electronic fitness trackers appeared in the 2000s, tracking mostly steps. Since then, all types of trackers have emerged, from sleep trackers to nutrition trackers. Most recently, with the introduction of the Apple Watch in April 2015, a new generation of fitness trackers was birthed including the Fitbit Blaze. While Fitbit had been a market leader for some time, the Apple Watch’s success quickly surpassed Fitbit’s when it became the best-selling wearable ever.
In response, Fitbit’s developers did their best research and came out with the Blaze. While this device is similar to others, and there are many options out there, it’s noticeably superior in a few areas:
- Color touchscreen — With the touchscreen, the device is highly customizable. Users can adjust a variety of settings to meet their needs.
- Interchangeable bands— An additional layer of personalization comes with the band, which you can swap out for different colors and styles. You can find this feature with another fitness tracker, MisFit Shine, too, although that tracker doesn’t have a touchscreen.
- Syncing to a smartphone — The data collected with the Blaze syncs to an app on your smartphone, where you can easily track your trends and analyze your data, or even show it to your health care team or fitness trainer.
- In-device workouts — The Blaze includes on-screen workouts with FitStar. You’ll get “step-by-step instructions and coaching right on your wrist.”
- Sleep tracking—This is another feature that some fitness trackers already include, but Blaze just added. It’s automatic, and tracking sleep patterns could be a wake-up call for the nearly 50 percent of Americans who aren’t getting enough quality sleep.
There’s been some speculation that the fitness tracker trend is on the decline, with sales slipping as more consumers purchase them only to underutilize them or not use them at all after the first month or so.
There’s hope with this new technology, however. So many more functions have been added, making the trackers of today much more versatile than before. Think about it: When mobile phone technology first appeared, we didn’t think we’d ever need to carry a phone with us everywhere. Yet we soon adapted to it because it improved our lives.
In a similar fashion, high-tech fitness trackers like the Blaze are being designed so that they provide value. Extra perks that didn’t exist seven years ago when the Fitbit first launched include:
- Eliminating excuses— Your workouts are now on your wrist. So all those excuses — “I don’t have the time” — are gone. With the in-device workouts, you can head out to the park or your living room or your backyard and get in a full workout! For easy reference, check out these maps of the public parks in Raleigh and public parks in Durham.
- Increases accuracy— Have you ever done a workout and you forgot to log it, throwing off your tracking data for the day or week? Watches like Blaze actually record all your workouts automatically — even if it’s the steps you took when you chose to take the stairs instead of the elevator!
- Keeps you honest — How much sleep are you really getting? And how much exercise do you really needto do to offset that meal you had on Saturday night? Seeing your actions documented in black-and-white may be the push you need to change your habits so you can live a healthier life.
What Does the Fitbit Blaze Mean for the Future of Fitness Trackers?
- More integration— One of the biggest issues in consumer health devices and apps is integrating them all. Logging your nutrition in one app, wearing a tracker on your belt everyday, and using yet another app to log the hours you sleep is time consuming. With application program interface (API), the apps on your phone and trackers can all “talk” to each other, so your data from your fitness tracker can be easily compared to the nutrition you entered into your My Fitness Pal. For example, Fitbit integrates with 30 apps.
- Smoother user experiences— You don’t have to manually log your exercise or attend a group exercise class if you can’t or don’t want to. Classes will come to you, and your logging will be done for you.
- Fashion-forward health technology— The Apple watch isn’t the most feminine watch in the world, and the MisFit shine isn’t the coolest looking accessory. However, with Blaze and its interchangeable bands, it actually looks pretty fashionable. And, moving forward you can bet that aesthetic appeal will have a bigger influence on fitness device development.
There Are So Many Fitness Trackers on the Market! Which One is Right for Me?
The fitness tracker that’s right for you depends on your goals. Losing weight, aiming to drink more water, and training for a triathalon all require different tracking.
To narrow your focus, consult trained professionals who can provide clinical advice, like the staff at Lifestyle Medical Center. If you’re looking for help with weight loss in Raleigh or Durham, unlike purchasing a fitness tracker from a store or online, using a professional clinic can ensure that the tracker is part of an overall lifestyle modification plan.
A plan helps because it considers multiple factors such as your time available for exercise, your grocery budget, and the fitness technology you have. At a processional medical center, health care professionals can help you learn how to modify your habits and how to use a fitness tracker to monitor your progress. That way, you’re getting the most bang for your buck out of your fitness tracker.
Ready to talk about which fitness tracker is right for you? Contact us to schedule a consultation.