Time to dig out those sweatbands and dust off the old running shoes – UK gyms will open their doors once more come July 25.
Speaking from experience, lockdown hasn’t been the best time for fitness. Sure, we all invested in a yoga mat and watched Joe Wicks do his thing a couple of times, but after a while, it became harder to keep the motivation going whilst also being stuck indoors.
Well, with gyms finally reopening, it’s time to get serious about fitness again. It doesn’t matter if you’re a self-styled fitness fanatic or someone who’s signing up for the first time, having a fitness tracker at hand can be a huge help in not only structuring your workout, but finding out how your body responds to certain exercises and what can be done to improve it.
Giving you the chance to bag a fitness tracker ahead of Saturday’s big reopening, we’ve selected some of the best devices you can buy right now, according to your budget.
Affordable: Under £100
Let’s get one thing straight: getting in shape doesn’t require you spending a ton of money on branded items. The same thing applies to fitness trackers, with several options now available that pack plenty of features and cost about the same as a brand new video game.
Take the Honor Band 5 for instance – reviewed by yours truly. At just £29.99, you’re getting a lightweight fitness tracker with a seven-day battery life and a bright AMOLED screen that allows for easy reading, even when exercising outside.
What’s more, the Honor Band 5 also has one of the best sleep tracking set-ups I’ve ever seen on a wearable, giving you tangible advice on how to improve your circadian rhythm, as opposed to flinging a load of graphs and charts your way and expecting you to know what it all means.
This is where you can expect to find the majority of wearables. While this makes for a great bit of competitive innovation, it also means that there’s an absurd amount of wearables to choose from, so we’ve narrowed it down to two: the Fitbit Charge 4 and the slightly more expensive Samsung Galaxy Watch Active.
Fitbit’s long been a mainstay name on the fitness scene, but its mid-range Charge series still stands out as the best of what the company has to offer. The most recent device, the Fitbit Charge 4, released earlier this year, adding untethered GPS tracking and comprehensive Spotify controls. It’s also waterproof, so you can even take it with you to your local swimming pool.
If you want something that can also double as a stylish smartwatch, then look no further than the Galaxy Watch Active. Samsung’s Tizen OS still offers a far more seamless experience than Google’s Wear OS, and it can now be picked up for just a fraction of its original price. In other circumstances, I would recommend opting for the Galaxy Watch Active 2, which has a digital rotating bezel for better navigation, but it’s yet to have the same significant price drop as its predecessor.
Of course, if you’re not too fussed about having a robust set of smartwatch features then the Fitbit Charge 4 will suit you just fine, but for a stellar blend of fitness and fashion at a price that won’t break the bank, the Galaxy Watch Active is the one to beat.
Money’s no object: Over £200
For some, this is just a wishlist, but if you’re lucky enough to find that money actually is no obstacle, then these are the fitness trackers you want. Let’s start with the Apple Watch Series 5 – an absolute must-have if you’re already into Apple’s ecosystem of products.
The Apple Watch saw a huge leap in quality with its fourth iteration, and the Series 5 continues that trend. Featuring a near edge-to-edge OLED display and one of the most advanced heart rate monitors found in a wearable device, the Apple Watch 5 just screams quality. The only problem is that, unless you have an iPhone to go with it, you’ll never get the best experience possible. Enter, the Garmin Venu.
While there’s no denying that the Apple Watch boasts better ‘smart’ features than the Garmin Venu, the fitness-focused smartwatch can easily throw down with the best of them when it comes to tracking your workout. Combine a five-day battery life with Garmin’s robust app and the guiding Garmin Coach software, in addition to offline Spotify playback, and you’re looking at one of the best wearables for Android users.
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