We live in a world of instants – instant coffee, instant tan, one-click buy. If I commit to something, I want it to happen, like, now.

Which makes sticking to a fitness regime rather frustrating, to say the least. Like, I’ve been to the gym three times this week – why no abs yet? It can take weeks, sometimes months, to see even the teeniest physical changes in your body – so how on earth are you supposed to motivate yourself to keep at it?

Ah, but don’t retreat back to the dark recesses of your couch just yet – enter the fitness tracker. The sassy little device might be exactly what you need to kickstart your #fitlife – especially if you results are tied to some sort of rewards programme (as I’m writing this, I’m enjoying my free Mugg & Bean skinny cap. #ThanksDiscoveryVitality).

I bought my first tracker – a ghastly pink number with a chunky heart rate strap that made me look rather like a Power Ranger – four years ago. And it was exactly what I needed coax my stubborn, results-driven brain into the gym. Suddenly, my workouts were trackable, tangible. 500 calories burned in an hour? Hell yes! Heart rate pushed to 180 beats per minutes (bpm). Epic!

Better yet, it helped me understand what I was doing to my body in the gym. By seeing my heart rate and estimated calorie-burn on my wrist, I had data, I had numbers I could track, improve upon. The geek in me was thrilled. Now I could set goals a little more reasonable than “Kayla-Itsines-abs-or-die”.

As a bit of a gadget junkie, I’ve been around the block with heart rate monitors and fitness trackers over the years. Here are some of the ones I’ve tried out.

 

FITBIT BLAZE ***

A post shared by Kirsti Buick (@itsmekirsti) on

After years of using a chest heart-rate monitor strap, I was looking to switch things up with a wrist-based sensor – so I’m currently rocking a sexy little FitBit Blaze. So far, I’ve been happy enough. The device is certainly pretty and fairly accurate. Unfortunately, in my quest for cool, I’ve had to sacrifice some heart rate accuracy. The Blaze handles steady-state cardio fairly well, as long as you’re not swinging your arms around too much. But the sweatier you get, the more it tends to lose your bpm, which becomes problematic if you’re doing functional or plyometric training. Still, this guy is a great all-round lifestyle tracker. The FitBit app is absolutely flawless, and pulls through every health stat it can grab (including a nifty sync with MyFitnessPal) for a great overall picture of your day.

 

FITBIT ALTA HR ***

A post shared by Kirsti Buick (@itsmekirsti) on

Think of this sleek little device as the Blaze’s spunky younger sister. It’s newer, prettier and makes for some excellent wrist candy. Oh, and it also tracks your heart rate! It uses FitBit’s PurePulse® tech like the Blaze. Unfortunately, it also battles to keep up during an intense sweat sesh. It’ll handle run along the promenade just fine, but when you’re squat-pressing in a Grid class or swinging your arms around during Pound, the Alta HR is going to lose your pulse fairly often. But at the end of the day, it’ll kick back in and your overall burn will give you a pretty good indication of how hard you worked. If you’re not a hardcore gym bunny and you’re looking for a low-key device to help get you moving during the day, this is definitely a great option. Besides – how many trackers come in rose gold..?

 

TOMTOM SPARK 3 ****


If you’re looking for something a little hardier, check out this bad boy. The Spark 3 is the beautiful marriage of the hardy heart rate tracker and a nifty wrist-based device. Like the FitBits, the Spark’s heart rate tracking is wrist-based, meaning there’s no clunky heart rate strap you have to wrestle under your gym bra when you work out. Still, the Spark does a pretty decent job of keeping up with your racing heart rate during weights-based workouts. The biggest selling point though is the GPS – great for runners and cyclists who want to track their route. The accompanying TomTom app is also beautifully designed and really easy to use, translating all the various stats the device collects on a daily basis into colourful graphs. The downside? It’s big, chunky and probably going to look a little at odds with anything other than gym attire…

 

POLAR A300 *****

A post shared by Kirsti Buick (@itsmekirsti) on

An older device, but too good not to mention. If you’re looking for heart rate tracking and kilojoule-burning accuracy, this watch is for you. The A300’s HR tracking power comes from a Bluetooth heart rate monitor that syncs data with the watch in real time, clips into a strap you’ll wear around your chest. It feel a bit odd during a workout at first, but it promises a more accurate reading than most wrist-based trackers. While the A300 doesn’t come with a GPS (you’ll have to look to some of the more advanced Polar devices for that) it holds up during a plethora of activities – even swimming. Both the watch and heart rate strap are waterproof – so you can still rack up those Vitality points when you’re doing laps in the pool. Polar’s app can be a little more imposing than Fitbit and TomTom’s colourful, picture-based versions, but it’ll give you a super in-depth look at your day, tracking everything for steps to sleep and, most importantly, that calorie burn.

Hi, I’m Kirsti and this is my little blog. Tell me what you think in the comments section below!

Hi, I’m Kirsti and this is my little blog. Tell me what you think in the comments section below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Adventure with me

@itsmekirsti