5 Totally Innovative Takes on Activity Trackers
Activity trackers have been a hugely popular way for people to monitor their daily steps, workouts, and sleep habits for a few years now (see: the rubber strap of a FitBit or Jawbone on the wrists of all your friends). In fact, about one fifth of Americans own one of these kind of wearables [PDF], and the American College of Sports Medicine named it the top fitness trend to watch in 2017. And the smart accessories of tomorrow feature incredibly cool, innovative new functionalities. Read on to see how one of them might help you boost your fitness, health, and mental wellness.
1. LVL; $150
Do you drink enough water? Chances are you don’t, according to BSX Athletics, the company launching the new LVL hydration monitor. The brand says a whopping 70 percent of people are chronically dehydrated. This wrist-worn gadget keeps tabs on your level of hydration to help ensure you're always drinking enough water—so you’ll have more energy, be less likely to overeat, and sidestep headaches. But LVL also measures your heart rate, how many calories you burn, how much you move throughout the day, and how well you sleep.
Find It: BSX Insight, available summer 2017
2. UA SPEEDFORM GEMINI 2.1; $150
The wearable market is really stepping in a new direction with the emergence of smart sneakers. You don’t have to wear a wristband with these running shoes from athletic brand Under Armour; they have a built-in chip in one of the soles that syncs with MapMyRun for GPS tracking and stores data about your workouts—like steps taken, distance covered, interval splits, and route. And good news: You don’t have to carry your phone with you while you jog for the shoes to record all your stats.
Find It: Under Armour
3. ALTRA TORIN IQ; $220
With the sensors in each foot bed of the Altra Torin IQ sneakers, you can track your distance covered and cadence when you run. Plus, you can learn about your foot strike (if your forefoot or heel touches down first with each step) and get audible cues about small changes you can make to improve your form on the go so that you can move more efficiently.
Find It: Altra Running, available March 2017
4. LEAF URBAN; $139
Like other trackers on the market, this device from Bellabeat counts your steps, sleep, overall activity, and calories burned as well as alerts you to move when you’ve been still too long. Unlike some of the others, the Leaf Urban also monitors how stressed you are and includes built-in breathing exercises to help you relax. Plus: With its period tracking and fertility calendar, female users can get a close look at all aspects of their reproductive health.
Find It: Bellabeat
5. CAEDEN SONA; $179
This bracelet is another tracker that’s not just about counting steps and calories you burn (though it does that, too): The Sona follows your heart rate closely to see how various activities spike your stress levels. It also provides guided resonance meditation sessions so that you can maintain focus throughout the day.
Find It: Caeden