Fitness trackers allow users to quantify everything from workouts and sleep to eating habits and steps. And Fitbit, one of the early pioneers, helped make them ubiquitous. The original Fitbit Tracker, released in 2009, clipped to the waist and tracked simple metrics: steps taken, calories burned and sleep. These days, Fitbit offers a range of fitness trackers - for the weekend warrior and the seasoned marathoner alike - packed with state-of-the-art technology. Users can track heart rate, store music, receive text messages and more. The technology has gotten smarter, lighter and more comprehensive.
1. Fitbit Ionic
The Ionic is an all-in-one fitness watch - it can track steps, runs, heart rate and your life. The built-in GPS tallies mileage on runs and a suite of apps can coach users through the workouts of their choice, count calories and monitor sleep. It lasts up to four days on a full charge and for those who want pump-up music while they workout, it can store over 300 songs.
2. Fitbit Alta
The Alta pairs the slim silhouette of early fitness trackers with the advanced technology of newer smartwatches. It methodically tracks your every move: steps, stairs and calories burned. The SmartTrack feature instantly senses when users are exercising and starts recording the workout in the Fitbit smartphone app, which stores and tracks all your data. And if users want the notifications and capabilities of a smartwatch - like texts and calendar updates - the Alta has that too
Looking to monitor intensity during workouts? The Fitbit Blaze offers continuous heart rate tracking. But it's more than just a simple heart rate monitor. The PurePulse continuously measures heart rate and breaks it down by zone, which gives athletes a better understanding of just how hard they're working out. Like all Fitbit products, the data is stored in the Fitbit dashboard, where you can dissect workouts, steps and calories - both in real time during the workout and for more in-depth study after.
The Charge 2 offers the same proprietary PurePulse heart rate tracking as the Blaze Smart Watch in a thinner, sleeker package. It will track steps, stairs and calories burned all day long. Like the Alta, it has auto-exercise recognition. It's water resistant, but built for rainstorms - not for swimmers. And the Charge 2 will keep you calm, cool and collected with 2 or 5 minute guided breathing sessions.