The Simple Pedometer Goes High Tech

Fitness trackers offer something for every level

Pedometers have gone high tech in the last ten years. They are a great way to track your activity level, but some can monitor everything from your heart rate to your sleep patterns and report it to a central fitness app, usually loaded on a smart phone, to continuously track your health goals. They range in price from el-cheapo to el-expensivo.

Let’s look at a few recommendations.

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The FitBit brand comes in all shapes and sizes. It has taken the lowly clip-on pedometer to a Gucci-style watch.

The FitBit Blaze monitors all cardio activities and reports it to a central app for review. Some models even offer GPS and on-screen workouts. Talk about your over-achiever. There are styles for male and female, minimalist and techno-nerd. FitBit is undoubtedly the rage in the hip workout crowd.


The Fitbit Flex model takes a more stream-lined approach, but it is still waterproof and reports back to its central command your activity stats. There are dozens of Fitbit styles for the discerning taste.



If you’re looking for something a little less obvious, think about this jewelry-like pendant. The Bellabeat Smart Jewelry monitors activity, sleep, and stress and syncs with an app to track your progress. It can be worn as a necklace, bracelet, or a clip.



The Kybeco brand offers a budget-friendly version of the wearable fitness tracker. It also syncs with a smartphone app but doesn’t offer the same bells and whistles of more expensive brands. However, it’s a great starter tracker.



If you’re looking for something low-tech that doesn’t scream fitness tracker, you can go with the friendly Pingko clip-on pedometer. It tracks your steps, plain and simple.



Now, if you’re a hardcore Apple-junkie, then you probably want to check out the Apple Watch Series 2. It’s slick, no doubt, and pairs with your iPhone seamlessly. There are dozens of apps on the iPhone which will work with the synced data from the Apple Watch. While it is quite a bit more expensive than even the FitBit, it also integrates with other iPhone features, such as texting.


One last idea for tracking your steps is to use your smart phone alone. There are several fitness apps that you can input your fitness goals to and will run in the background of your phone as a pedometer if you carry your phone in your pocket or in an arm band. I have found them less than reliable at gauging my actual steps, but they do get in the ballpark. Many are free or offer in-app purchases. They are worth checking out if you’re not into a wearable device.

Consider getting a pedometer to track your activity level. You might be pleasantly surprised (or not) at how much walking you do. And if you need to add some more steps, you’ll get quick feedback on how you’re doing.


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