Fitness tracking devices have everyone talking, even the Wall Street Journal, which recently touted these trackers as the latest geek-chic trend. Perfect for everyone, from the fashionable and health-conscious to high-tech junkies, digital fitness devices also make fabulous gifts for incentive programs. Not sure which one best suits your power players?
Here's a look at the top 10 trackers and why they make us tick.
1. Bike, Hike, or Swim in Style
Quite possibly the most stylish of the fitness trackers, Misfit's Shine can be worn as an eye-catching accessory or as discreetly as you want. Socks and T-shirts are now available with special pockets made specifically for the Shine device, where it can get to work tracking steps, cycling, swimming, and sleep. Calorie-counting never looked so chic.
2. The Device That Doesn't Quit -- Or Let You Give Up, Either
Deciding between a tracker and a personal trainer is no longer necessary. Vivofit by Garmin is a dynamic fitness tracking device that helps set future fitness goals and gives reminders throughout the day to ditch inactivity and take a walk around the office. Vivofit also gives the Energizer Bunny a hop for its money, going and going for almost a year without needing a battery charge. Plus, it provides access to the community at Garmin Connect in order to participate in leaderboards and collect badges for fitness achievements. Now, get moving.
3. Working Toward Wellness 24/7
The Polar Loop Bracelet, from one of the biggest names in heart-rate monitors, watches every move you make and every step you take, 24 hours a day. The sleek wristband helps you meet your fitness goals by analyzing your patterns of daily activity and suggesting small lifestyle changes that could make big differences in overall health and well-being. Functionality is enhanced when used in conjunction with Polar's heart-rate monitors. First suggestion: Wear it.
4. A Discreet -- and Durable -- Digital Fitness Device
Withings has developed a fitness tracking device that won't weigh you down or cramp your style. Pulse, a tiny, durable lightweight tracker, adjusts to any lifestyle by clipping on to a running sneaker or sliding into the breast pocket of a sharp suit. Don't let its size fool you: This dainty tracker of sleep, heart rate, calories, and more, can have a huge impact.
5. A Device With Drive -- and GPS
We rely on GPS to get around on four wheels -- so why not on two legs? The LG Lifeband lets you take control of your personal fitness and adds the power of a global positioning system. The bracelet's button and touchscreen provide access to all kinds of current activity data, as well as location tracking to map your runs and rides with precision. With a simple tap, you can control your playlist so you can crank up the tunes while going uphill.
6. Tracking Fitness With a Personal Touch
No pain, all gain, and a little bit of panache is the best way to describe this fitness tracker. The Basis Carbon Steel is a stylish, full-featured watch that continually catalogs data about activity patterns, skin temperature, calorie burn, and stress levels, all without ever having to press a button. It does all the work, and can be personalized with a range of solid and printed straps. Now, you can know just how you look and feel in your new fitness tracking device.
7. Enhance Efficiency With Your Every Move
Fine-tune your uppercut punch or half-moon pose with Moov, which very well may be the most advanced fitness tracker of them all. The device not only catalogs steps and calorie burn, but its three-axis accelerometer also has the power to improve the efficiency of your exercises. Whether you are running, boxing, cycling, swimming, or even doing yoga, Moov can track your movements in space and give you tips to fix your form. Chin up -- you're bound to boost your burn with better posture.
8. Part Tracker, Part Coach -- the Best of Both
Jawbone's Up device offers encouragement to help you live each day better than the last. Up's bracelet maintains a connection with your smart device via Bluetooth so that its insight engine can help you find the hidden connections and patterns between your daily and nightly activities. With this fitness tracker, the missing link in your quest for fitness might very well be in the palm of your hand -- or on your wrist.
9. Options, Features, and Colors Galore
Perfect for an exercise chameleon who likes to switch things up, Fitbit offers digital fitness trackers in three different styles and in an array of colors. Whether tracking steps, calories, or sleep, you can sync data to your smartphone, work out to your heart's content with sweat, rain, and shower-proof technology, and never show up late with a built-in alarm.
10. Clip On and Sync With a Whole New Community
Making friends while getting fit isn't always possible in a spin studio or Capoeira class. Yet, the Spark Activity Tracker is the only such device that offers integration with the fitness community at www.sparkpeople.com. Syncing with the site is truly effortless, and happens automatically whenever you get within 50 feet of the USB-powered SyncPoint. The discreet module works whether clipped to your wrist, pocket, sports bra, or sneaker, and can even withstand a tumble in the washer or dryer.
With so many trackers making their way into the mainstream, there is no excuse not to have one. Get execs and employees hooked on these wearable, life-changing devices, and they will be more motivated to exceed their personal best both in the office and out.
Tom Taraci is the CEO of Taraci Motivation, a leader in incentive marketing since 1982. Tom is best known for his breakthrough innovations in the incentive marketing industry, which includes launching the first online incentive program for Merrill Lynch, creating the first global incentive program, and developing the first incentive marketing mobile application. Taraci also publishes the Taraci Collection, a compendium of the best-of-the-best incentive gifts, which is available online and in print. He received his BBA from CUNY City College (at the time known as the Harvard of the Proletariat), and he attended the graduate school for marketing at St. John's University.