Six of the best fitness gadgets
Get on the fast track with your health stats by enlisting the help of these activity watches and bands
Philips Health Watch, £249.99, www.philips.co.uk: For those who like their kit with bells and whistles, this Philips fitness watch shouldn't disappoint. Built with a sensor sensitive enough to differentiate between types of activity - provided that's running, walking or cycling - it records the number of 'active minutes' you've spent every day, alongside the steps taken while walking. There's also a heart rate monitor, revealing your resting heart rate and recovery after exercising, and a sleep mode to monitor how restful your snoozes are. Connect it to your smartphone and download the app for intricate breakdowns.
Fitbit Flex 2, £79.99, Fitbit.com
Less bulky than its competitors, the Fitbit Flex 2 is about usability rather than fancy extras. Attach to your wrist and let the waterproof band count your steps, activity levels, as well as minutes spent cycling, running and even swimming. To keep abreast of your fitness goals, link up to a smartphone, double tap the band and wait as lights appear. Each solid light represents a quarter of your day's fitness targets completed. And dependent on personal tolerance levels for being told what to do by a piece of tech, the band will also give you a nudge when it thinks you've been inactive for too long (you can turn this off). On the less active side, it can be turned into a silent alarm (it'll vibrate on your wrist and light up to rouse you), can track sleep and will notify you of emails and calls on your phone if you want it to.
Wireless Activity Tracker, £24.99, Aldi
New kit needn’t cost a fortune and this wireless activity tracker by Aldi — one of their special buys — keeps a log of your activity without breaking the bank. It also tots up the distance travelled and the calories burned in the process, with the progress tab on the watch face showing how close you are to reaching your daily goals. You can also take stock of the quality and duration of your sleep. Charge via a USB port — it should last for up to 10 days — and step away. If you’re pleased with your progress, share your stats on the leaderboard.
TomTom Touch Fitness Tracker, £89.99, John Lewis
For those looking to shift some pounds, this TomTom tracker could be useful. The watch calculates body fat, as well as muscle percentage, when you press the sensor. The idea being that instead of relying on scales, the stats will give you a more rounded view of how and if your body has changed after working towards new health goals. Like other models, this watch - which links to your smartphone - also counts steps and calories burned.
Withings Go Fitness Tracker, £49.95, Argos
This waterproof Withings model is on the cheaper end of the scale and is especially useful for regular swimmers. As per other trackers, you connect it to your smartphone for a full run-through of stats, but the touchscreen watch face will also keep you updated. Unlike other models, the Withings tracker doesn't give you a nudge when you've been sedentary for too long, which is either a blessing or a curse.
Misfit Flash Fitness Tracker, £24.99, Currys
Like the Aldi offering, this Misfit watch is an affordable jumping off point for newbies to the world of trackers. Connect to your phone via Bluetooth and then monitor activity and inactivity at your peril. The watch automatically detects when you're asleep and clocks the duration of your shut-eye. As well as the usual running, walking and cycling, it also tracks basketball and tennis. To give the watch the best chance of accuracy, slip the watch face out of the strap and clip it on to your trainers. You'll need to replace the battery every six months or so.