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Exercise: Smart wristbands, are they useful or not?

Sometimes called activity trackers, smart wristbands have become a must-have accessory for many sportsmen and women in recent years. What are their functions, are they really useful to optimize your training and how do you choose the right bracelet or connected watch according to your activity?

What is a smart wristband?

Woman setting up the fitness smart watch for running. Sportswoman checking watch device.

The first smart wristbands were designed for sportsmen and women who wished to measure the intensity of their physical activity, to find out their heart rate and to record their performance: Top speed, average speed, distance covered during a hike or a run.

What is the purpose of a smart wristband?

These increasingly sophisticated smart devices perform different functions:

  • Counting the calories expended during a workout
  • Sleep cycle analysis
  • Displaying GPS coordinates and calculating routes
  • Virtual coaching
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Pedometer
  • Other features

How do smart wristbands work?

Just like mobile phones, smart wristbands are equipped with several sensors:

  • Gyroscope
  • Altimeter
  • Accelerometer
  • Cardio frequency meter
  • Compass
  • Additional functions

These bracelets can analyse a day’s activity. They are often linked to a coaching application on a Smartphone, which allows a personalised follow-up with statistics, forecasts and advice on how to reach your goals.

Is a smart wristband useful for doing exercise?

Female Runner Looking At Her Mobile And Smart Watch Heart Rate Monitor

A smart wristband is a great motivating solution for getting exercise:

  • You have an electronic sports coach on your wrist who accompanies you from day to day.
  • Thanks to the data collected and its analysis, you can fine-tune your training programme.
  • Tracking distances travelled, calories expended and speed achieved helps to improve sports performance.
  • The  sleep monitoring function contributes to a better understanding of your body’s needs in order to optimise the quality of your sleep.
  • A smart wristband is a very useful tool to see what results you have obtained through exercise and helps you to make rapid progress.

Whatever your objectives, a  smart wristband can help you achieve them:

  • Weight loss
  • Strengthening your muscular mass
  • Maintaining a good nutritional balance
  • Improving your speed or endurance
  • Other goals

Athletes of all levels can benefit: If you have decided to do more physical activity on a daily basis, the pedometer function will help you to know the number of strides or steps you take each day and you can be notified to remind you when your sessions are scheduled and, thus, help build exercising into your routine.

If you are a more experienced athlete, you will quickly see the usefulness of the heart rate monitor for finding the right rhythm for your strides or to determine your maximum capacities during an HIIT session.

Our advice for choosing your smart bracelet

To choose the smart bracelet that suits you, take stock of your needs according to your sport. Would you like to record your sporting performances, find your way around more easily during an orienteering course, measure the rhythm of your strides or the intensity of the workouts that you can do? Will the chosen wristband be worn by you on a daily basis, even outside your  exercise sessions?

How to select the right smart device to connect you to your workout

To help you make your choice from among the many models of smart wristbands available on the market, these criteria can help you:

  • Learn about the features offered by the smart bracelet before purchasing and read user reviews.
  • If possible, choose models that you can try on before buying or choose a smart bracelet that can be exchanged.
  • The chosen model must be comfortable enough to wear during exercise. Select it according to the activity you practice: Outdoor or indoor sport, swimming, etc.
  • The more different functions the wristband offers, the bigger the budget: Sort out which ones will be most useful before buying.
  • If the wristband is associated with an online application, check its compatibility with your smartphone.

Zoom on connected watches with NordicTrack iFit®

NordickTrack offers two high-end ergonomically designed iFit® smartwatches, which link to a coaching application on your smartphone:

  • The iFit Duo™ smartwatch: This 2-in-1 smart wristband is specifically designed for athletes and is available in models for men and women. Equipped with an LCD screen and a traditional watch dial, with a reversible display, the iFit Duo™ watch will discreetly accompany you wherever you go. It is robust, water-resistant and detects any change in activity during the day or night.
  • The iFit Classic™ smartwatch: Elegant and functional, this smartwatch offers high-end design and advanced functionality. Featuring 3 fitness monitors, including an integrated calorie counter, it features a discreet and efficient notification system and tracks movements during activity and sleep. Monitoring is synchronized with the iFit® application in real-time.

These two smart wristbands feature MoveReady™ technology, an exclusive intelligent system capable of detecting the different phases of activity and sleep in a very precise manner. Optimise your monitoring and improve your sports performance by opting for a tailor-made sports coach to accompany you everywhere.

Check out our Fitness equipment & Coaching page for more advice.