What’s the best fitness tracker for women?
Fitness trackers have been all the rage over the last few years. The best fitness tracker for women will help you track your sleep, tell you when we need to get up and go for a walk and track how many steps you’ve taken that day.
I have to be honest, I never got on the fitness tracker bandwagon until about 8 months ago.
I had an issue with fitness trackers in general and resisted them. I saw how much people loved them, but I also knew that there were several negatives to them. Some didn’t accurately measure calories burned and they may not help with weight loss.
I wanted to see what the fuss was all about with fitness trackers. I bought my first one (keep reading to find out which one) and loved it. After that, I decided to take a closer look at the other fitness trackers on the market and see which ones are worth the money.
Keep reading to find out more about the top activity trackers on the market and which one earns the title of Best Fitness Tracker for Women.
What Makes a Fitness Tracker Great?
There are many ways to judge whether or not a fitness tracker is good or not. When I was evaluating what the best ones are, this is the general criteria I used.
Activity Tracker: This is the primary function of a fitness tracker. Yet, not all fitness trackers are created equal. Some will only track your steps. What if you workout with kettlebells or play sports? Some fitness trackers will also track your heart rate and sleep.
Design: Style matters. While there are activity trackers that have amazing capabilities, they are also awkward to wear or just plain ugly. Ideally, you want to have something that has different color options and is comfortable to wear.
Compatibility and Integration: Perhaps the most important aspect of fitness trackers is compatibility. You will find that most have an app that’s compatible with Android and iOS devices. You may want to connect your activity with Google Fit or Apple Health, both which can create an overall picture of your health.
If there’s something that you’re already using, such as MyFitnessPal, you can check to see if and how a fitness tracker can be integrated.
Additional Features: These are the nice to haves in fitness trackers, but they’re not essential. GPS integration, text and call notifications, weather, reminders to get up and move.
Battery Life: You don’t want a fitness tracker that needs to be charged often and can’t keep up with your active life. You don’t want to be in the middle of a workout and have your device turn off because it needs to be charged.
The biggest news from Fitbit is that the company was bought out by Google.
This watch-style device is one of the most intriguing devices from Fitbit. The design is sleek and comfortable, and sometimes you will forget that you’re wearing it. At a price of under $200, it’s thinner and less expensive than the Apple Watch.
Now, let’s talk about functionality. One of the first things to note is that something had to get sacrificed for the thin profile of the device. That sacrifice was GPS connectivity. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have it at all, you just have to connect to your smartphone for GPS.
You can have music on the go with a Pandora or Deezer account, though I do think that having a Spotify app would be an awesome thing to have.
The reason why the FitBit Versa should be considered the best fitness tracker for women is that the health app is very female-specific. You can track your periods, along with cramping intensity, how long it is, and the app will predict when your next period will arrive. There’s no room to add your own notes, which is disappointing.
Fitbit does have a growing app store, and you can have access to Starbucks, the New York Times, Yelp, and control your lights with Phillips Hue app.
The battery life is impressive with a charge lasting about 4 days. Overall, this is a great option for a smartwatch that has style, a great price point, and a lot of potential.
Garmin vívosmart 4
If you’re a runner, triathlete or swimmer, you’ll love Garmin’s vívosmart 4. Even if you’re a regular exerciser, you’ll come to love the fantastic features in this device.
The design is lightweight and comparable to other fitness trackers. The bands don’t change out, but you still have plenty of options to add some style. The device is available in a full range of colors.
The design may look basic, but its functionality is anything but. Garmin did a great job adding useful features into such a small device.
Sleep tracking has the PulseOx sensor, which checks your blood-oxygen level to estimate sleep quality, REM, movement and light sleep.
For exercise tracking, you can use this for strength training, walking, running, swimming, yoga, and much more. You’ll get V02 Max, alerts for abnormal heart rate, and Garmin’s Battery Body monitor. The Battery Body looks at your body’s energy levels, so you know when the best times are to workout and recover.
The device connects to the Garmin app on your smartphone via Bluetooth. You get all of this for $130.
MyZone is often overlooked in the fitness wearables conversation. It doesn’t have the same functionality as other wearables on this list, but it’s one of the better fitness tracker tools on the market.
I was introduced to MyZone over a year ago when I was teaching a bootcamp class in Portland.
It’s used at a lot of fitness facilities, especially in group classes to gauge the heart rate and intensity of your workouts. It will also calculate the number of calories burned during a session.
MyZone uses a reward system, called MEPs or MyZone Effort Points to help you track your fitness levels.
What I really like about MyZone is that since it’s worn on the chest, it doesn’t interfere with kettlebell workouts. When I’m wearing a device on my wrist doing overhead kettlebell work, there’s a good chance the kettlebell can crush your device.
I even wear it while I’m playing soccer to track my heart rate during matches. I can see very clearly when I’m on the field and when I’m off.
You’ll find that gyms use it to gauge your work rate during a class, but with the app, you can track your progress yourself when you’re not at the gym.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
Last year, Garmin released the Fenix 5 and 5x fitness watches and this year, the company followed up with the impressive Fenix 5 Plus. It’s the ultimate activity tracker. If you can do it, this device can track it.
Yes, it does the standard information like heart rate, and you can track basic activities, but it can do so much more.
Are you a hiker or long-distance trail runner or cyclist? You’ll appreciate the topographic maps that come with the device.
This device was really made with runners in mind. You’ll get elevation gain along with, pace, distance, and calories.
If you’re a triathlete or swimmer, you’ll be pleased to know that that this would be a great device for you. The Fenix 5 Plus outclasses all other devices for swimming. You can track stroke rate,
The only thing you can’t get is your heart rate, where a swimmer would have to buy the ANT+ HRM-Tri or HRM-Swim chest strap.
What’s most impressive about the Fenix 5 Plus is the ability to measure VO2 Max, and other insights like race predictions, Training Status, and Training Effect.
These measurements will tell you how good your workouts are and whether or not your workout was anaerobic or aerobic. These are great measurements to have to help you improve.
The design isn’t great. It’s not sleek by any means, but the design isn’t going to be the reason why you’d buy this watch.
The only potential drawback is the battery life. Considering all of the nifty bells and whistles, it’s not a huge surprise. Garmin says that the battery life with GPS and music is about 8 hours. In smartwatch mode, the battery life can last for 12 days.
How much does something like this cost? Get ready to shell out $799 for the Fenix 5 Plus. Is it worth it? It is if you’re a hardcore athlete or an avid outdoorswoman.
A review of the best fitness tracker for women would not be complete without a mention of the Apple watch. This is one of the most popular watches in the world, and while it does amazing things as a smartwatch, how does it function as a fitness tracker?
The features aren’t as robust as the Fenix 5 Plus, but it’s not geared towards hardcore outdoor enthusiasts, either.
The latest OS update that rolled out with OS5 includes a handful of fitness updates. One of the most popular aspects of the Fitbit is the ability to compete with friends and use them as accountability partners.
You can finally do the same with Apple Watch. You can track each other’s progress, encourage each other and challenge each other.
The Apple Watch now recognizes a dozen more types of workout. The company added hiking, yoga,
For runners, the Apple Watch will help you see your steps per minute and set your pace. No matter what you do, it’s good to know that you can listen to your favorite podcast during your workouts.
As to be expected from Apple, the design is flawless. It’s stylish and comfortable to wear.
Misfit Shine 2
There’s something about the Misfit 2 that I find appealing. I had to include it on this list, even though it’s soon to be discontinued. The Misfit brand is by Fossil, so you know that you’re going to find some interesting designs with these bands.
The Misfit Shine 2 is all about style. That doesn’t mean that there’s no substance to it, though. It does cover the basics through the Shine app. The calories burned, steps taken, things like that. Swimmers will love that there’s an add-on to track laps and swimming speed through an app by Speedo.
The Shine 2 doesn’t have a heart rate monitor. You’d need to use a separate app on your iPhone or Android device. It does track your sleep and will give you a buzz when to let you know that you’ve been sitting down for too long.
The real reason to buy this device is for the look. It is a beautifully designed device and for $100, it’s a good buy. It’s so lightweight, you forget that you’re wearing it.
The Misfit Shine 2 is perfect for the beginner exerciser who’s looking for something that’s sleek and stylish and needs basic activity tracking functions.
Xiaomi MiBand 4
Is it possible to get a quality fitness tracker for under $40? With the Xiaomi MiBand, it is. This is probably the best fitness tracker you’ve never heard of.
I was living in Spain and my phone broke. I needed a new one ASAP, and of course, I wanted something that would work in the U.S., too.
I never heard of the Xiaomi brand until a friend recommended their phones to replace the broken phone. I took a look and saw that they also offered accessories as well as phones, one of them being the MiBand 2.
What I liked about Xiaomi’s was that it had a heart rate monitor, sleep tracker and it was the same brand as my phone. At a price point of only €35.00 (about $42 USD at the time) at FNAC, it was worth a try.
It’s been a great tool to help me track my sleep, activity, and more via the Mi Fit app.
Xiaomi just released the MiBand 3, which offers a more comfortable bracelet, a larger display, and the most recent software update now includes weather reports.
If you do buy one, be aware that it’s not officially for sale in the US or UK. You can buy it off of Amazon.com from vendors who import the product.
This is a great fitness band if you’re looking for the basics on a budget. It’s not perfect by any means. I would love to see some improvements to the sleep tracker, but otherwise, I’m pleased with the product overall. Plus, for a minimal investment, you can’t go wrong.
It’s easy to use, and I’ve enjoyed having it so far. As far as fitness trackers go, I can recommend it.
What’s the Best Fitness Tracker for Women?
From what I found, there’s not one fitness tracker will meet all of your needs.
Some, like the MiBand 2 are more suited to basic information and are great if you’re on a tight budget. Others, like the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, it pretty intense, especially if you’re starting a new workout routine.
I have to admit, I wear the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 and MyZone to track my activity. I’m not the type of person to spend a lot on technology, and for what I need, both serve my needs quite well.
The MiBand 2 I wear throughout the day to track my sleep, and my overall activity. I use MyZone for my workouts and soccer matches. Between the two, I get the information I need to gauge my activity.
In my book, you can’t go wrong spending $30 for a fitness tracker and My Zone is perfect for harder workouts where it’s not feasible to have something on your wrists.
Do these earn the best fitness tracker for women? Ultimately, the best fitness tracker for women is the one that works for you. It’s a very individual decision.
Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Fitness Tracker
Buying a fitness tracker is a personal decision. You have very specific fitness needs, and you have preferences over the design and feel of the activity tracker.
Before you throw down potentially hundreds of dollars, here’s what you should ask yourself before you commit to a product.
How will this help me reach my fitness goals?
What does it do?
How long is the charge?
Is it easy to use and connect to my phone?
Can I change the look of the device?
What does everyone else say about it?
Is it within my budget?
When you ask yourself these questions, you’ll be able to find a fitness tracker that’s perfect for you.
Fitness Trackers Are Great Tools to Have
There are times when we need a bit of encouragement or a little more motivation to get our activity up. Even when we watch what we eat, exercise and movement are still critical to have a healthy lifestyle.
The best fitness activity tracker for women is the one that’s right for you. There are outstanding devices out there and the technology continues to improve. Whichever one you choose, have fun with it. It’s a tool to use that can make exercising fun and rewarding.
Do you have a favorite activity tracker? Which one do you have and what’s your favorite thing about it? Comment below.