• Withings Activite Pop

1. Withings Activite Pop

If you want a watch that can also track your sleep and steps, you don’t need to look much further than the Activite Pop from Withings. While the original Activite was a Swiss made timepiece which some added extras, it also cost over £300, so the Pop is looking to give you style and substance for less than half the price.

£119 | Withings

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If you're currently a little, shall we say, sedentary, and are looking to get fit in 2015, a fitness tracker (aka a fitness band, aka "those things you wear that count your steps) is the best place to start. They can make a real difference to how you look and feel, without the need for a gym or massive exertion. Prices range from around £50 to £150+.

Fitness bands went global in 2014, with splendid offerings such as the Nike Fuelband SE, Fitbit Charge and Jawbone Up taking the market by storm. While fitness watches like the TomTom Multisport Cardio and Polar M400 add more high-end features such as GPS tracking and heart-rate monitoring, these bands stick to the basics of fitness: they count how many steps you take daily and estimate the calories you burn doing so. Many also monitor your sleep, letting you know when you're in a deep sleep or just dozing fitfully.

More importantly, the best of these offer context and tips on how to improve your fitness. 

Your progress will also be tracked via apps for your Mac or PC, and your smartphone (Android and iOS primarily, but some bands have Windows Phones and BlackBerry compatibility - make sure you check). They also allow you to share your weight-losing, cardio-pumping exploits online, comparing them with others' and gamifying your health search. These are all things that make getting in shape less of a chore

Some of the apps and web services also allow you to enter everything you eat, calculating calories consumed as well as burned, in order to help you stick to daily diet goals. That does seem like a bit of a chore to us, but if that's your bag, go for it we say! 

As noted, these are not for super-serious fitness regimes. While swimmers can use the waterproof likes of the Misfit Shine and Withings Activité Pop, and some of the bands can detect when you're running, these are usually not much use for cyclists, unless you want to strap it to your ankle instead of your wrist. They also don't really have the accuracy and wealth of data that "proper" athletes requre.

However, they are cheap, and great if you're a couch potato wanting to get in shape, or someone who works out regularly but also wants an easy fitness boost by increasing the number of steps you take daily. With the likes of the Withings Activité, they're even, whisper it, getting quite stylish.

Watch ultra-runner Kieran Alger talk you through the best fitness bands to buy in this video…

If you’re looking to get fit this year, then don't miss our round-up of the best fitness apps, the best running apps and the best heart rate monitors

 

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