Did Santa give you a sport watch this year? If he didn’t, maybe now is a good time to look into fitness watches. After that clock strikes midnight, and the calendar turns to a brand new year, you’re probably going to consider shedding a few pounds (or at least putting the pounds you have into sexier proportions!). While past New Year’s resolutions may have failed, this year you’ll have the aid of a fitness wonder on your wrist. Let’s look at some of the best fitness watches and smartwatches to help you keep that get-in-shape resolution.
Apple Series 5 for Swimmers
There are lots of reasons Apple’s famed smartwatch is one of the best on the market, and its ability to aid with workouts is just one. Most specifically, the Apple Watch Series 5 is well designed for swimmers. So if you’ve just gotten a membership to a gym that has a pool, this is the one for you!
With a swipe, scroll, and tap, the watch seals its microphones and speakers to protect it while underwater, resistant up to 50 meters. The built-in Workout app has a Pool Swim filter that tracks your strokes and paces while doing laps. If you like to swim out in the wilds, the Open Water Swim workout lays out a map that tracks your route, calculates pace, distance, and the calories you’re burning.
Garmin for Runners
As you can probably guess by its name, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is a smartwatch built with runners in mind. Coming in at 47mm, it has a big bold display that’s made to transmit lots of info.
But it’s also an on-the-go smartwatch coming in at a relatively light 50 grams of weight. Both die-hard runners and newbies to a jogging routine will appreciate the body monitoring with a pulse oximeter, barometric altimeter, and optical heart-rate monitor. The smartwatch also packs in an accelerometer, thermometer, compass, and gyroscope, all shown on a bright and sharp always-on 1.2-inch display. For runners, there’s also an altitude measurer and a heat-acclimation feature. For music during your run, there’s Bluetooth connected headphones and storage for up to 1,000 songs.
Samsung Galaxy for Android Lovers
If you’re looking for tech to help get you in shape and are loyal to your Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a clear choice. Rather than the standard Wear OS, the watch uses Samsung’s in-house Tizen software that plays seriously well with Android phones, including, of course, Samsung offerings, but equally as well with Huawei, LG, and all the other major brands.
Its rotating bezel clicks through a host of awesome fitness features, such as heart rate monitoring, GPS, and a workout guide among the many apps from the Samsung online store. If you like music with your workouts, you’ll revel in Spotify support and 4GB of storage to keep your favorite tunes on hand. Do you have a tendency to get lazy? Well, the built-in coach lets you know when you’ve been inactive for too long.
Fitness Watches Withings for Traditional Looks
One of the biggest issues with smartwatches, at least for some, is that they look like, well, smartwatches. If you’re a Gen Z upstart, you might want to go for the most tech looking thing out there. But many want their smartwatch to look more like traditional timepieces. For both timeless good looks and a heap of fitness features, look to the Withings Steel HR Sport. It’s got a minimalist lean with a white face and subtle black indices, and slim hands that make it pass for a standard analog watch at first glance. The matte stainless steel case completes the classic look.
But with closer inspection, you can see it’s a hybrid, with a small (but not so small) LCD window at the 12 o’clock position. The display lets you monitor your heart rate, the calories you burn, and step count while exercising. It also monitors your sleep patterns, with recommendations for optimization, and charts your fitness goals. Best of all, it looks good and nobody will suspect it’s a fitness watch.
Fossil Fitness Watches for Modern Style
While the Withings scores some serious points for its elegance, the Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch comes in with cosmopolitan flare. True, it does wear large, coming in at 44mm in diameter, the round stainless steel case with angled edges is still sleek and subtle, and relatively thin at 12mm. Put it on a sturdy silicon band for sweating away calories, but slip on an elegant leather strap or a stainless steel bracelet when you want to dress the watch up.
Waterproof for swimming up to 30 meters, these fitness watches also functions well on land, counting the distance you travel, the number of steps you take, the floors you climb, and the calories burned to do so. It also has an altimeter, heart-rate monitor, untethered GPS, and Google Play access for your favorite music during workouts.
Xiaomi Mi Band 4 for Affordability
Okay, so this one isn’t a true smartwatch, but rather a fitness tracker. However, it deserves an honorable mention. Because let’s face it, January can be a leaner time for most of us, financially speaking. While holiday feasting may be pushing your tummy to test the limits of your favorite jeans, chances are the gift-giving and extra expenses of the holiday season have also taken a toll on your pocketbook as well.
So if Santa didn’t leave a smartwatch this year, you might want to consider the Xiaomi Mi Band 4. You can find one online for under $40 and these little wonders perform well beyond the price tag. The color screen is clear and sharp, displaying six different workout modes. Choose from walking, running, or treadmill, as well as swimming, cycling, and an all-around exercise mode.
Fitness Watches Conclusion
Of course, a smartwatch doesn’t have the magical powers of turning one from a couch potato to a gym rat. In reality, getting in shape can be a methodical, and sometimes difficult process. You’re going to need some assistance and a smartwatch built for fitness can be the perfect helping hand.