You’ve probably heard there’s strength in numbers. Well, we’re making a case for keeping those numbers right on your wrist. These top eight fitness watches track the typical steps and sleep, but take that a pace further with in-depth workout analysis and smart features that make healthy living a little easier. After crushing a tough fitness class, you’ll see just how much work you put in — and how much harder you can push. And when you don’t feel like stopping your Stranger Things binge, you’ll get a little nudge to get up, get out and get working toward a new health-enhancing goal. Because sometimes all it takes is a little arm candy — complete with water, workout and sleep reminders — to feel like a million bucks.
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8 Fitness Watches to Help You Crush Every Goal
1. Motivation on Your Wrist: Apple Watch Series 3 (from $329)
Why we love it: It’s the high-tech watch that lets you do everything sans cell.
The highly anticipated Apple Watch Series 3 gives you even more reasons to squeeze sweat sessions into your schedule. In addition to setting the daily goal of closing all three rings — active calories, exercise minutes and standing time — it offers reminders and motivation to do so. And with the update, it now provides more workout options to choose from. This includes everything from running and swimming to high-intensity interval training and hiking. What’s more: Because this version has built-in cellular capabilities, you can still make calls, send texts, talk to Siri and stream music while you’re out chasing miles. Or you know, catching waves on your surfboard.
2. Everything You Want in a Smart Watch: Fitbit Ionic ($300)
Why we love it: You get a smartwatch, fitness tracker and wallet in one.
A stand-out feature on Fitbit fitness watches has always been automatic activity tracking. It can detect when your running, biking or walking and will auto pause when necessary. But this new smart watch also offers more accurate workout numbers when you choose among running, biking, swimming, treadmill or weights to record your calorie burn, distance and pace — no phone necessary. You can even choose workout moves to mimic right from the watch screen if you’re at a loss at the gym. Plus, it provides auto sleep tracking and storage for up to 300 songs. Want to grab a post-run smoothie, without having to bring your wallet? Upload your bank info and use the watch face to pay up.
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3. Your Workout Analyzer: Epson ProSense 307 ($249)
Why we love it: You get the personalized workout info you always wanted, but didn’t know where to find.
Welcome the watch that gives you nearly every workout detail you could possibly need, right on your wrist. Besides the basics in steps and sleep, you can see how much time you spend in different heart rate zones during your workouts (and throughout your whole day) within the Epson View app. For runs, you also get stats on splits, cadence (important for proper run form), speed, stride length, time you should take to recover and how your workout affects your lactate threshold. While biking, you can also find out how fast you’re pedaling, plus elevation gains and steep descents. And for swimming, you can see your stroke rate and constant heart rate updates — a stat other trackers often can’t read.
4. Run to the Finish Line Faster: Polar M430 ($230)
Why we love it: You get all the info you need to train efficiently.
Have your sights set on a PR? You’ll want to train with this Polar run watch. Take a five-minute test and it’ll calculate your VO2 max — a marker of fitness, which you’ll see improve as you train. The tracker also determines the training benefit of each run, whether it increased your sprint speed or helped build on your endurance. It’ll even reveal you how much downtime you need to properly recover so you don’t over- or under-train. And when it’s almost time to toe the start line? Check your wrist for your predicted race finish time, which it determines based on your workout performances. The smarter you train, the faster you finish — and this watch helps guide you to victory.
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5. Music, GPS and More: Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro ($200)
Why we love it: It has all the big features, but in a smaller package.
Built-in GPS, up to 500-song storage and constant heart rate monitoring mean this sleek and sporty Samsung band provides all the features you’d want from a smart watch, without looking big and bulky. Samsung has also teamed up with Under Armour so you can seamlessly sync your workouts from MapMyRun or MapMyFitness, while easily keeping an eye on your heart rate training zones. Beyond exercise, you can also track of your water and caffeine intake, complete with alerts if you’re under or over your set liquid goals.
6. Fashion and Function: Garmin Vivomove HR ($200)
Why we love it: It’s pretty enough to wear every day, while still providing heart rate, calories — even stress levels.
This Garmin timepiece offers more than a chic way to stay on schedule. While it looks like a regular watch, it has digital messages on the bottom that show your heart rate, steps, active minutes and where you fall on the stress scale. With the corresponding Garmin Connect app, you can get more details on your day, including when you hit higher anxiety levels, your resting heart rate and total calories burned. Plus, you get sleep stats, VO2 max readings, an interval timer and battery life of up to five days when in smart watch mode.
7. Record Every Cardio Session: Timex Ironman GPS ($100)
Why we love it: You’ll find it super easy to use and light on the wallet.
Don’t let the Ironman name fool you. This Timex watch is meant to track every swim, bike and run, whether you go for one mile or 100. Its modest design and user-friendly functionality allows you to easily track mileage, average pace and total time while you’re on the move. (One caveat: You do have to upload your info to your computer to see your final stat details.) With the click of a button, you can also quickly toggle between workout modes — great for multi-sports stars. To top it off, this watch won’t break the bank, especially when compared to other sport bands.
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8. Straightforward Stats: Misfit Flare ($60)
Why we love it: It’s budget-friendly with all the basics, plus a more convenient battery.
If you want a tracker you can simply strap on and get stepping, this Misfit is the perfect match. Thanks to its watch battery, you don’t have to worry about taking it off to charge — the power will last about four months. In addition to tracking steps, sleep and calories burned, you can log all your favorite physical activities from yoga to running to swimming. The smart button also lets you snap selfies, flip on the lights or find your cell. Trend setters and minimalists will also appreciate the discreet, stylish band.
Disclosure: All products featured on our site are hand-picked by our editorial team in the hopes of getting you closer to your health and fitness goals. We only recommend products we love and believe that you will, too. If you come across an affiliate link on our site, that means we receive a small commission should you decide to make a purchase.
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