Swimmers need to constantly track their progress in order to improve their performance. With the recent technological advancements, these athletes can now monitor their trainings using a fitness tracker. This gadget can collect your activity data and provide you a summary of what you have done. This article includes a buying guide on how you can get the best fitness tracker for swimming and a list of the most popular brands today.
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Key Things to Note
When looking for the best fitness tracker for swimming, you need to know and understand they key factors to consider, such as:
Some trackers can be worn in pockets or on clips. However, swimmers need one that will cling to their body comfortably as they swim. Most swimmers use a watch to monitor their trainings, but the device must be light enough and waterproof to be appropriate for such activity.
Heart Rate Technology
One of the most important data for athletes would be their heart rate. This allows them to determine if they have worked too hard, just right, or too relaxed. Most fitness trackers can monitor the heart rate, even during slip, allowing users to know more about their overall health. Some devices, however, sell the heart rate monitor separately.
Since this is an article about fitness trackers for swimming, it is crucial to note that swimmers need a device that is waterproof. The good news is that there are plenty of models that can now be taken into the water. Some models can even offer data on your swim technique.
It is ideal to have a fitness tracker with a built-in display, so you can keep track of your activity in real time. With such feature, swimmers no longer need to check the mobile app during their training sessions. Some devices have color display, while others just have the basic LED screen.
Battery life is one of the most important factors to consider. You do not want to charge your fitness tracker every few days, do you? Fitness trackers usually come in two types of battery life: those that need charging every five days through USB, and those that can last for months.
Fitness trackers usually come with a mobile app, which lets you crunch data, challenge friends, set goals, and more. You need to first check if your tracker is compatible with your smartphone, but most models now support both iOS and Android. Fitbit is one of the few brands that support Windows Phone.
If you plan to invest in a fitness tracker for swimming, then you will want to purchase one that can provide as many data as possible. The most basic information includes the steps taken, calories burned, and sleep quality. For swimmers, however, they would need more than the basic data. Some trackers now feature GPS tracking capability, allowing athletes to determine the actual distance that they have covered.
Best Fitness Trackers for Swimming
Now that you know the key factors to consider, it is time to look at the 10 best fitness trackers for swimming.
The Garmin Swim is a sports watch designed with swimmers in mind. It features a swim-tracking capability that produces data on laps, strokes, techniques, drills, distance, and more. With a waterproof rating of 5 ATM, the Garmin Swim can work up to a depth of 50 meters or 164 feet. It does not boast any smartwatch features. It is also not compatible with any mobile devices. You can, however, synchronize your swim activity data wirelessly to your computer after the session.
The Runtastis Orbit was designed specifically for swimmers. Unlike the Garmin Swim, this model can handle a maximum depth of 100 meters or 328 feet, as promised by the manufacturers. It can also track numerous activity information, such as sleeping patterns, steps, distance, and calories burned, among others. It comes in a wide variety of colors, too, meaning you are not stuck with one shade. Best of all, this fitness tracker is compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8.
The Speedo Shine offers a sleek design similar to the regular Shine model. This fitness tracker for swimmers has features developed in Speedo’s Aqualab development facility. It records your laps accurately, and detects every swim stroke, thanks to its built-in proprietary algorithms in the firmware, and the three-axis accelerometer.
This fitness tracker also records your steps, distance, and calories burned. Its automatic sleep tracker features sleep duration, and light versus deep sleep analysis. The LED display tells the time and shows how close you are to your goals.
Another interesting feature is that the Speedo Shine has a coin cell battery that does not require charging, but needs to be changed every six months. This device uses Bluetooth 4.1, and is pairable with the Misfit app that is compatible with Android and iOS. Best of all, the Speedo Shine handles up to 50 meters in depth.
The Misfit Shine offers user-friendly features that makes data tracking easy. It also has an automatic sleep monitoring capability that tells you if you have been lacking a good night sleep. Weighing only nine grams, this device can be worn as a necklace, wristband, or clip-on. Like the Speedo Shine, the Misfit also uses a coin cell battery that does not need any charging. You only need to replace it after six months.
The LED display shows your activity data, and functions as a watch. Other activity information shown includes steps, distance, calories burned, and duration. It is also compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Lastly, the Misfit Shine can handle up to 50 meters in depth.
The Mio Fuse is one of the most comfortable fitness trackers available on the market. It features a soft and flexible material that is capable of molding itself around your wrist for optimum comfort. Its sporty design also includes a built-in EKG heart rate monitoring system, as well as calories burned, distance, and steps taken.
While the Mio Fuse does not have sleep tracking, it is compatible with iOS and Android. It also syncs via Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+. Weighing only around 39 grams, this device has a battery life of about 6 to 7 days, with an hour of workout time each day. It is also water-resistant up to 30 meters in depth.
The Polar Loop fitness tracker is a great alternative to the more expensive options like Jawbone or Fitbit. This device can handle up to 20 meters in depth or 65 feet, with a waterproof rating of 2 ATM. It tracks data like your heart rate, swimming activity, calories taken in, and more. It can even work as a regular watch. It should be noted, however, that the heart rate function will only work if you buy the sensors separately. The manufacturer claims that the Polar Loop has a battery life of five days, with continuous usage.
Garmin Vivofit 2
The Garmin Vivofit 2 is a fitness tracker that succeeded the Garmin Vivofit. The device tracks your distance, steps, and calories burned. It can also function as a regular watch by showing both the time and date. Like the first Vivofit, this one features a move bar, which indicates how long you have been inactive. It also does sleep tracking, but you need to manually set it. The device will log the total number of hours that you have slept, along with periods of restful sleep and movement.
The Vivofit 2 promises ease-of-use and convenience. You can easily see your activity data with just a glance at the monochrome LED screen display. With this new version, you can now enjoy the available backlight and sync your data to the Garmin Connect app for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. With a battery life of up to a year, including two coin cell batteries, the Garmin Vivofit 2 is water resistant up to 50 meters in depth.
The Basis Peak is a fitness tracker that boasts of having the most advanced features to date. Aside from its ability to fit into either a casual or sporting environment, this device sends smart notifications to your wrist. It lets you know about incoming calls, emails, and text messages. It can also sense your skin temperature and heart rate.
Other interesting features include calories burned, steps, and sleep quality. In terms of screen display, the Basis Peak has a Gorilla Glass 3 monitor. Best of all, the unit is compatible with iOS and Android, with a battery life of up to four days and is water resistant of up to 50 meters in depth.
The Moov fitness tracker is designed for multi-sport activities. Worn either on your ankle or wrist, this device serves as a virtual personal trainer to keep you motivated during workouts. It can record data from activities, like walking, running, swimming, cycling, and cardio boxing. It also works with your mobile device for audio coaching and real-time workout data. You can use your phone’s GPS to integrate the distance covered with the Moov app. Best of all, this device received a water proofing rating of 1 ATM or 10 meters.
The Jaybird Reign has the basic features that you would normally see in fitness trackers. What makes this unit different is its unique approach to monitoring your heart rate. It can record your Heart Rate Variability (HRV), where the variability in time between heart beats is computed. It also recognizes recovery and fatigue patterns, with automatic sleep recognition and various sports modes. This device is compatible with iOS and Android, with an average battery life of 4 to 5 days.
Finding the best fitness tracker for swimming can be overwhelming. Take time to read, understand, compare the different brands/models on the list, so you can narrow down your options and finally purchase the best device for your sport.