best fitness tracker

Activity tracker preview: The LEAF by Bellabeat review

IMG_6353(Heads up! This post contains referral links.)

In May of this year, I was lucky enough to snag one of the latest fitness trackers available on the market in a presale batch: the LEAF activity and lifestyle tracker by wellness tech company Bellabeat. The LEAF, designed as the first activity tracker made specifically for women, not only tracks your daily step count and sleep duration and quality, but also your stress levels through breathing exercises and your menstrual cycle. Although the stress-reducing and female-specific features had me intrigued, I was even more excited about the fact that it doesn’t LOOK like a bulky, plastic activity tracker. The LEAF is made of sustainable wood and hypoallergenic stainless steel, and the design is something I actually wouldn’t mind wearing every day as a piece of jewelry.

I’ve had my LEAF since late July, and have been wearing it every day for the last three weeks. I’ve worn it for long runs, intense strength training sessions, out to dinner with friends, to the office, camping, hiking and even to a country music festival. I was going to wait to do a review until more features are available and more bugs are fixed in the app, but I thought I would give you all a gear “preview” in case you were considering signing up for the next available batch.

Here’s a breakdown of my thoughts so far about the LEAF’s design, wearability, tech, app and tracking capabilities, and what I hope Bellabeat will make available in the next product batches and app updates. (more…)

Gear review: Polar M400 Sport Watch Activity Tracker with GPS

polar-reviewIf you’re a regular reader of Run. Lift. Yoga., you know how much I love testing wearable fitness tech (see here, here and here). I currently own a FitBit Force for tracking activity and sleep and a Garmin Forerunner 110 for tracking and pacing my runs, so when an opportunity to review the beta version of the new Polar M400 GPS activity tracker came up — a sport watch that not only tracks your daily activity levels and sleep, but also your running, cycling and other indoor and outdoor activities — I obviously did this:

 

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I was curious to see how the Polar M400 would stack up against the Force (which has an LED display and tracks activity, sleep and stairs climbed) and the Forerunner 110 (which tracks your runs and heart rate during activity). I like to use my Garmin’s heart rate monitor in conjunction with my FitBit and the MyFitnessPal calorie counting app to get a fairly accurate representation of what I energy I take in and expend each day (see my fat loss experiment here). (more…)

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