9 Things Your Fitness Tracker is Monitoring for You

Fitness trackers have been the healthy arm candyarm candy of the health movement for quite a few moments awhile now, with everybody striving to hit their 10,000 step goals and track their daily “active” minutes. And yet, as we continue to grow more and more attached to the handy trackers on our wrists, we have to ask the question,  – do steps even count if our Fitbit’s aren’t counting them? A– a lot of us still aren’t fully aware of just how much our gadgets are capable of measuring. To help clear that up, here’s (almost) everything you need to know about what your fitness trackers can really do.


1) Steps

This is the most basic – and central – thing measured by fitness trackers, and probably the main reason you bought one in the first place.

Trackers to check out: Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band 2, Garmin Vivosmart HR, Basis Peak, Nike+ FuelBand

2) Heart Rate

Measuring heart rate is important to understanding how hard your body is training, and plays a role in tracking other metrics like sleep quality.

Trackers to check out: Fitbit Charge HR, Garmin Vivosmart HR

3) Perspiration

Fitness trackers that can monitor sweat help you know when it’s good time to rehydrate and down the road, will also be able to keep you aware of the right vitamins and minerals to replenish your body with.

Trackers to check out: Basis Carbon Steel, Basis Peak, ECHO H2 (Patch)

4) Stairs Climbed

Some trackers can distinguish between simple steps on a flat surface and steps taken on flights of stairs, which could gives you more accurate measurements in other areas, like calories burned.

Trackers to check out: Fitbit Surge, Flyfit

5) Sleep

By monitoring things like heartbeats per minute and/or respiration rate, a lot of trackers can tell you quite a bit about your sleep patterns, including information about your REM cycle and how deeply you’re resting each night.

Trackers to check out: Jawbone UP3, Fitbit Surge, Mio Fuse, Garmin Vivosmart HR

6) Skin Temperature

Tracking skin temperature ties into tracking monitoring heart rate and sleep, allowing for more accurate monitoring in both cases.

Trackers to check out: Basis Carbon Steel, Basis Peak, Jawbone UP3

7) Distance

Most trackers can let you know not only how many steps you’ve taken, but how far you’ve actually walked/run in miles (or kilometers, if you prefer).

Trackers to check out: Jawbone UP3, Microsoft Band 2, Fitbit Surge, Garmin Vivosmart HR

8) Duration

In addition to measuring tracking how many steps you take and how far you go, a lot of trackers can tell you how long you actually spent actively moving throughout the day.

Trackers to check out: Jawbone UP3, Microsoft Band 2, Nike+ FuelBand, Fitbit Surge, Garmin Vivosmart HR

9) Calories

By keeping track of how much you’re moving, fitness trackers translate your activity into ancan translate that into an estimated number of calories burned, which in turn helps you stick to your fitness goals by eating accordingly.

Trackers to check out: Jawbone UP3, Microsoft Band 2, Nike+ FuelBand, Fitbit Surge, Garmin Vivosmart HR

About Tamara RaHOUMI

Tamara Rahoumi is a writer on The Path Editorial Team.  She is a graduate of Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in magazine journalism at NYU. Her passion for wellness always has her researching the latest fitness trends, experimenting with recipes from superfood cookbooks, and working towards an overall healthier and happier lifestyle.  In addition to reading her articles on The Path, you can follow her adventures on her lifestyle blog, The Curly Nomad.