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Oct 27, 2016
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Are you ready for that annual season of dietary carnage known as Christmas? Clothes getting a bit too tight? Spending too much time sitting at your desk, or couch potato-ing at home? Been away from the basketball court, tracks, or pool too long?

Whatever your reasons or excuses, you may not be moving around as much as you should. Being physically active is quite important: you'll feel a lot better—yay, endorphins!—and stronger, and gain an improved mood and overal state ofl mental health. Plus, it will help you cut down the risks of acquiring certain diseases and cancers.

And it's not just about going to the gym regularly or taking up a new sport. Fitness trackers have gotten a bad rap recently, with some studies saying they don't provide much help when it comes to weight loss. But we still think they're great for knowing exactly how much exercise you've put in per day, how your body's coping, and what goals you need to reach. They're not magic weight-loss gadgets, but more of motivators, especially when the going gets real tough midway through. If you're interested in having the latest fancy fitness trackers, we have 10 suggestions for you.


Flex it

We like our wearables simple, but able to go well with everything we wear. Fitbit's Flex 2 aces that criterion: the brand's bestseller just got upgraded to a slimmer form factor, and comes in four colors. Vanity aside, this swim-friendly Flex model tracks your movement (or lack of it) all day, reminds you to get moving when you've been still for too long, does automatic tracking based on your chosen workout, and the battery life lasts for up to five days. And you can also remove the tracker from its band, and put it instead in Fitbit bangles and necklaces!

This tracker is now available on Fitbit's US website for US$99.95 (around PhP5,000) minus shipping fees. It's not available locally yet, but you can check with Fitbit's official retailers Digital Walker, Beyond the Box, and Toby's Sports regarding stocks and retail price.


Charge!

Not into simple and utilitarian? Try Fitbit's sleek Charge 2 fitness tracker. What does this wrist candy have that the Flex 2 doesn't? An OLED display and heart-rate tracker, for starters. It also encourages regular slowdowns through its Guided Breathing Sessions, gently wakes you up with a Silent Alarm, and tracks more sports activities like weight-lifting and yoga.

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Those who can't wait for the Fitbit Charge 2 to go through local distributors can buy it online now at the Fitbit US website for US$149.95 (around PhP7,300) minus shipping fees.


Hello, smart guy

The Garmin vivosmart HR+ does everything you expect of today's fitness trackers. It gives you numbers on everything from heart rate, steps taken, calories consumed, activity intensity, and even the number of floors climbed. It keeps tabs on your distance and pace; and knows the type of activity you're doing, and switches timers accordingly, thanks to Move IQ. And we love this part the most: it shows us alerts for our e-mail and social media accounts, calls and texts, so we don't miss a thing while we're doing our thing!

Go to any of Garmin's official Philippine retailers for info on availability and price. For those who prefer to buy online, you can get the vivosmart HR+ through Garmin's US website for US$199.99 (around PhP9,600) sans shipping.


Nice move

Sometimes, we like it when fitness trackers tone it down. Unlike its aforementioned sibling, the all-day tracker Garmin vivomove concentrates on two things: the number of steps you take, and what goes in your body as you sleep. Oh, and it tells you what time it is, and at what time you need to start moving again. No fuss, no muss.

You can buy either the Classic or Sport variants of the vivomove online through Garmin US, and for US$149.99 (around PhP7,200) without shipping fees added yet.


Let it shine

We fell in love with the first version of the Misfit Shine when it first came out. It looked so elegant, classy, and unlike the other trackers on the market at that time. The Shine 2 follows the same design philosophy, but improves in several ways. The tracker itself is still made of aluminum, and made thinner compared to its predecessor. It also doesn't require charging, instead drawing power from replaceable batteries with a six-month lifespan. Its other nice perks: it connects to and controls your other smart devices through the Misfit Link App, and has a tie-up with Speedo for in-app lap counting.

Get the Shine 2 now via the Misfit website for US$69.99 (around PhP3,400 w/o shipping fees), slashed from its original US$99.99 (PhP5,000) SRP.


It fits

This tracker may carry the Misfit brand name, but rest assured it'll fit right in with the rest of your #OOTD. The Misfit Ray has a wide selection in terms of band and strap colors and compatible accessories, so you can mix and match depending on your look. It's also very good at discreetly doing its jobs, among them tracking movement and sleep, giving you notifications for messages/calls/alarms, and connects to other devices. And like the Shine 2, it's swim-proof, and has a US$99.99 (PhP5,000) price tag.

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Favorite band

Xiaomi's newest wearable, the Mi Band 2, has that rugged look that would attract users who want their trackers to match their activities and mindset. A small OLED display gives you the lowdown on time, steps, and heart rate; and it automatically begins tracking when you start moving, thanks to a built-in motion sensor. And here's a nifty feature for Android users (not just Mi owners): those running Android 5.0 and above with Bluetooth connectivity will be able to unlock their phones instantly when they wear the Mi Band 2; no passcodes, fingerprints, or swipes required!

Now, for the downside: the global Xiaomi website doesn't have an SRP for this fitness tracker, nor is it available for purchase online. So we'll have to wait until Xiaomi makes that “Buy” button available.


Second round

We're seeing a lot of second versions on this list. So we'll add another one! Apple and Nike have done an encore on their fitness tracker, with the Apple Watch Nike+ slated for launch on October 28 (tomorrow!). Unfortunately, the Philippines isn't included in the initial list of countries where this new baby will be available, so it's another case of wait-and-see for us.

When that day comes, though, you'll have these features to use anytime you wish. There's the standard movement tracking and metrics reporting, and Nike's special bands and watch faces. You'll also have a leaderboard that will make you want to do better than your friends; regular workout reminders for motivation, and workout scheduling. If you're a runner and/or swimmer and an iOS user, get your gear and wallets ready. The 38mm variant is priced at US$369 (around PhP18,000) and the 42mm variant, US$399 (around PhP19,300).


The perfect fit

The Android-friendly Gear Fit2 enables you to change watch faces so you immediately see the info you want on the curved 1.5” Super AMOLED display, whether you're cycling, running, or on an elliptical machine. You can also engage in one-on-one competitions with your barkada via the S Health app, or use its Fitness Widgets for added motivation. And of course it tracks the vital aspects of your workout: distance, pace, heart rate, steps, and (via GPS) route.

It's now available in the Philippines for PhP8,490, according to Yugatech. Visit your nearest Samsung Store for details, and/or to get your own Fit2.


Top and bottom

The Moov Now fitness tracker gets us with the urgency in its name, and its ability to be comfortable both on your wrist or your ankle. It tracks your movement across six physical workout types: running, walking, swimming, boxing, cycling, and training. It also measures everything (including landing impact!), has water and dust resistance, goes for up to six-months charge-free. Oh, and it rallies you on with real-time coaching, and even advises you on your form to avoid injuries!

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The Moov Now was originally priced at US$99 (around PhP5,000), but you can pre-order it now via its official website for just US$59.95 (PhP 3,000). Thing is, it'll start shipping next year, so you'll need to be patient.

 

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