fitness bands01The worlds of fitness and technology are becoming increasingly intertwined. In fact, some of the most recognizable pieces of wearable tech include fitness bands developed by the likes of Fitbit, Nike, and Jawbone. Since 2012 the popularity of fitness trackers has been steadily increasing and there's no sign that the tracking craze will be letting up anytime soon.

What do fitness trackers do? Essentially, they capture data from your daily routine that is then analyzed and leveraged to incorporate healthier habits into your lifestyle. Most bands include an accelerometer to track movement and record steps, as well as the ability to monitor sleep patterns and count the number of calories you've burned.

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Looking to enhance your daily routine, but unsure of which fitness band to purchase? Here is our list of the five best fitness bands available in 2014.

Nike+ FuelBand SE Gold Edition

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The Nike+ stands out as both the 6 Pack Fitness Employee's and 6 Pack Fitness Athlete's pick.

6 Pack employee Geoffrey: “I try out most fitness related devices as to give recommendations to people. I purchased this one because I'm a fan of Nike, and my favorite function is the app that allows you to compete with others."

6 Pack athlete Ashley: “I use Nike+ for my runs. It is great to keep track of pace, distance, and laps. It also links up to your Polar heart rate monitor if need to know heart rate! That's my favorite function."

The Nike+ FuelBand SE Gold Edition turns your wrist into a mobile fitness data center with one of the easiest to use (and best looking) fitness bands around. A white LED display measures your progress in terms of calories, step counts and NikeFuel - Nike's universal unit developed to measure movement for all kinds of activities. Accidentally forget your charger in your gym backpack? No worries, the Nike+ FuelBand has a built in USB 2.0 port for easy charging. At $149.00, the new Nike+ FuelBand SE is a smart, simple way to get more active.

Pros

Cons

- Great Online Community - Battery Life Diminishes Over Time
- Sporty, Sturdy, Comfortable Design - No Auto-Detection For Specific Activities
- Displays Time, Steps, Calories Burned, & “Fuel" - “Fuel" Is Nike's Proprietary Metric
- USB 2.0 Compatible
- Isolate & Name Special Activities With Nike+ Sessions

Features

  • Bluetooth 4.0 Support
  • 6-7 Day Battery Life; Rechargeable
  • Water-Resistant
  • Nike+ Sessions
  • Win the Hour

Fitbit Flex

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The Fitbit Flex wristband boasts a slim, stylish design and is highly comfortable. This crowd favorite tracks both physical activity and sleep, and uses LED lights to show you how you're stacking up against your personal goals. For additional insights, the Flex automatically syncs your data to your computer or mobile device, giving you real-time access to your stats via the Fitbit dashboard. Starting at $99.95, the Fitbit Flex is an affordable option that will give you the motivation you need to get out and be more active.

Pros

Cons

- Great for Beginners - Limited Display Information
- Enjoyable Web Experience - No Altimeter
- Excellent Battery Life - Proprietary Charger
- Water-Resistant
- Silent Wake Alarm
- Sleep Monitoring

Features

  • Bluetooth 4.0 Support
  • 4-5 Day Battery Life; Rechargeable
  • Water-Resistant
  • Easy To Wear
  • With You All The Time
  • Reminds You To Keep Moving
  • Step Counter, Distance, Calories Burned, & Active Minutes
  • Log Food, Weight, & More With The Fitbit Website & Mobile App

Jawbone UP24

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When it comes to fitness bands that analyze your daily activity, the Jawbone UP24 is without a doubt the best choice. The UP24 helps you discover hidden connections and patterns in your day-to-day activities via the UP system. You'll then be provided with personal recommendations based on your data geared towards helping you reach your fitness goals. The UP system also easily integrates with other popular fitness apps including Strava, Wello, and RunKeeper. At $149.99, the Jawbone UP24 comes in a variety of stylish color options.

Pros

Cons

- Thin, Sleek, Comfortable Design - Requires Mobile Device (Android or iOS)
- Excellent Mobile App - No Display
- Comprehensive Data Collection - No Altimeter
- Sync Data In Real-Time - Must Enable Sleep Mode
- Measure Deep & Light Sleep - Proprietary Charger
- Idle Alert - “Splash-Resistant" But Not Waterproof
- Third Party App Support

Features

  • Bluetooth 4.0 Support
  • 7 Day Battery Life; Rechargeable
  • Insight Engine
  • Sleep Tracking
  • Food & Drink Tracking
  • Mood Tracking
  • Smart Alarm
  • Customizable Idle Alert
  • Third-Party App Support

Garmin vívofit

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As the vívofit learns your habits and activity levels, it provides you with personalized fitness goals that are adjusted each day to help you develop a healthier lifestyle. The vívofit has a few significant advantages over other wearable fitness bands. First, it is equipped with an always-on LCD display giving you constant access to your stats. Second, its extended battery life helps ensure that the device is tracking your activity at all times. At $129.99, the Garmin vívofit is the perfect tool for turning your good intentions into lifelong habits.

Pros

Cons

- Online Dashboard & Mobile App - Heart Rate Monitor Sold Separately
- Monitors Steps, Distance, Calories Burned, & Sleep - Only Supports Running & Walking
- Inactivity Alert - Must Enable Sleep Mode
- Battery Life Over 1 Year

Features

  • Bluetooth 4.0 Support
  • 1+ Year Battery Life; 2 Standard Watch Batteries
  • Water-Resistant
  • Pairs With Heart Rate Monitor For Fitness Activities
  • Learns Your Activity Level And Assigns Personalized Daily Goals
  • Garmin ConnectÔ (Online Community)

Basis Health Tracker (Carbon Steel Edition)

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As the second generation of the Basis Health Tracker, the Basis Carbon Steel Edition delivers the superior tracking capabilities of the original with an improved, sleek design. Containing the most advanced sensors on the market, the Basis distinguishes itself from other fitness bands by capturing data like heart rate patterns, calorie expenditure by activity, multiple sleep stages, perspiration and skin temperature with Body IQ technology. However, one drawback to the Basis is the price. At $199.00, the Carbon Steel Edition is one of the more expensive activity trackers on the market.

Pros

Cons

- Auto-Detects Running, Walking, Bicycling, & Sleeping - Doesn't Measure Distance
- Measures REM, Deep, & Light Sleep Automatically - Display Is Dim
- Excellent Web Interface - Price
- Focuses On Habits Rather Than Raw Data

Features

  • Bluetooth 4.0 Support
  • 3-4 Day Battery Life; Rechargeable
  • Water-Resistant
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Advanced Sleep Analysis
  • Body IQ
  • Customizable

BONUS: Whistle Activity Monitor

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Humans aren't the only ones that benefit from an active lifestyle. The Whistle provides you with a comprehensive visual summary of your dog's daily activities. You can set a daily goal, track your dog's progress, and view highlights from the day. Whistle provides you with key information that helps both you and your vet make well-informed healthcare decisions about your dog. At $129.95, Whistle is a useful tool for helping your pooch develop healthy habits.

Pros

Cons

- Monitor Health Trends - Device Is Bulky
- Compare To Similar Dogs - Slightly Expensive
- Rugged, Waterproof Design
- Check In While You're Away
- App Supports Multiple Dogs

Features

  • Bluetooth & Wi-Fi Enabled
  • Attaches To Your Dog's Collar
  • Tracks Activity, Rest, Medication, & Food
  • Sends Updates To Your Phone
  • Waterproof
  • 10 Day Rechargeable Battery

Choosing the right fitness tracker depends on a number of factors including your approach to fitness, what kind of activities you'll be doing, and your budget. In the same way that your gym backpack keeps you motivated by keeping all the things in your life organized, fitness bands keep you motivated by helping you organize the data about your life. While each device has its own pros and cons, all of these clever gadgets make it possible to know exactly how hard you're working.

 

Gear'd Hardware Watch Gear'd Hardware Badass Watch

If you are looking for just a cool watch without the fitness tracker, we have a great recommendation as well. Gear'd Hardware digital watches are a fantastic way to keep you looking cool with their large face watches. Their high quality watches will keep ticking for years. They are a perfect swole watch for the days when you don't need to monitor your heart. Check out their Zx1-1116 and Zx1-1219 models. These swoll watches are a perfect gift for your swole mate.

 

Tell us about your favourite fitness tracker in the comments below, and check back for our picks on the best heart rate monitors.

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