There’s nothing like a little friendly competition with yourself (and the device on your wrist). And right now, there are countless fitness trackers and smartwatches on the market, each one with flashier and more high-tech features than the last. 2019 certainly had no shortage of stunners to help you track your workouts, monitor your heart rate, and offer detailed data about your fitness.
What's more, the best fitness watches do so much more than just record your workouts. These trackers now come pre-loaded with all kinds of offerings, designed to make your life a little easier and healthier. Track your sleep, monitor your menstrual cycle, listen to music, pay with just a tap of your wrist, jump in the water for a swim, keep stock of your stress levels, and so much more.
Now, ready to find the perfect fitness tracker to fit your workout goals and needs? Check out some of the top picks of 2019, as recommended by trainers, athletes, and Women's Health editors—and get ready to meet your new favorite workout buddy.
(For more top-notch gear of 2019, check out the Women's Health Fitness Awards.)
Garmin's new Vivoactive watch comes with ample new features. To help reach your fitness goals, you can watch animated workout demos on your wrist, or work with the free Garmin run coach to prep for your next race. Prefer to set your own workouts? Create your own workouts on Garmin Connect, then upload them to your watch.
The upgraded watch also features stress tracking, which senses when you're feeling stressed out, and prompts relaxation reminders and activities—like a quick breathing exercise. And for your wellness, the watch also comes loaded with hydration, menstrual cycle, and respiration tracking.
Now, you can also download music directly to your watch, so you don't need your phone nearby to crank you workout playlist.
The latest generation is the smartest yet, featuring “always on” technology so you can check your stats mid-plank without the screen going dark.
And like former generations of the watch, you can track your individual runs, walks, hikes, yoga and strength sessions, but the Apple watch is also great at helping you see your daily movement.
The Series 5 recognizes when you’re moving (or not), prompting you to record or stop a workout. (No more panicking when you forget to press start or hit the off button!)
It also features a heart rate monitor that can take an electrocardiogram (or EKG) to keep an eye on any unusual beats.
This smartwatch comes loaded with Amazon Alexa, Spotify, and Fitbit Pay (a first for the brand), to make your everyday life just a bit easier to navigate.
Have no fear, it still offers lots of sweat-friendly apps, too: Follow along with on-screen workouts, to guide you through a challenging routine; get real-time stats about your runs and hikes; and automatically record set workouts, like swimming, running, and more. And speaking of swimming, this watch is great for your pool workout: It comes with a swim-proof case that's water-resistant up to 50 meters.
Additionally, this tracker has a six (or more!) day battery life, menstrual cycle tracking, and detailed sleep quality data.
For the outdoorsy gal, this savvy and durable watch has you covered. It’s noticeably less bulky than most other GPS watches, yet durable and designed for nature's wear and tear. Plus it's water-resistant up to 50 meters. The maps feature leaves a breadcrumb trail of your route so you can return safely from a hike or run.
This watch will also create a workout training plan for you, based on whether you want to maintain your fitness level, boost it moderately, or really take it to the next level. The exercise guide will also readjust if you miss a sweat, and it gives feedback on your intensity based on your heart rate.
But the Suunto 5 doesn’t just monitor exercise. It’ll also track sleep and recovery too, plus you'll get all the typical tracker stats like calories burned, distance, and sleep.
It’s not all about calories or distance with this fitness tracker. In fact, it emphasizes what you do after a workout. Whoop determines whether or not you're ready to tackle your next workout—or if you need more rest—based on your heart rate variability, resting heart rate, and sleep. (A green circle means go for it; yellow means proceed with caution; red means take a rest day.) It’s also waterproof, and you still get your typical exercise stats, like calories burned.
“This is one of the most analytically accurate trackers!” says Roxie Jones, certified personal trainer. “I love that it gives you a recovery score to determine how hard you should train the next day.”
It's important to note that this tracker doesn't have built-in GPS. You also can’t see your stats right on the device; you need your phone around to view all the info.
Sleek and stylish, this 2.0 version of the Misfit Vapor smartwatch will look great on your wrist. You can also pick a custom watch face to suite your personality, and choose from eight different band options.
Beyond looks, this watch packs a number of great fitness-focused features. For example, feel free to leave your phone at home and head out for a long run—it comes with built-in GPS, to help measure your speed, distance, time, and route. It further offers phone-free music, so you never have to go without your fave playlist.
Don't have your wallet handy? No problem: The Misfit Vapor 2 also comes with Google Pay.
You don’t have to worry about forgetting to record your workout with this exercise buddy—it recognizes when you’re moving.
The same goes for sleep. The corresponding app will offer insights into how much shut-eye you’re getting and in what stages you’re spending most of your zzz’s.
You can also wear this Fitbit swimming (it’s water-resistant up for 50 meters). The face clearly displays stats on heart rate, training zones, and calorie burn while you’re in the water, on the road, or in the studio.
One new Fitbit feature: Ladies can use the app to track their periods and potentially determine their more fertile days. To top it off, its battery should last about a week.
You can interact with certain functions, like the calendar or weather apps, right on the watch. And worth noting: You'll have to go with another Fitbit model (the Ionic) if you want built-in GPS.
If you’re looking for a super-durable watch that will withstand tough runs while providing lots of stats, then this new Garmin is for you. It’s shock- and water-resistant (up to 100 meters) and offers info on distance, time, pace, cadence, and provides run workouts for you to follow.
A stand-out feature: Its TracBack function means it will lead you back home if you take a new route out on a run. Plus, you’ll get all the run stats you want from a watch, along with features like step goals and sleep monitoring. It also looks at your stress levels throughout the day, based on heart rate.
It’s a little bigger on the wrist than other devices on the list and it can take some time to learn the interface.
This rose gold watch looks like a classy timepiece—but it consistently tracks your activity, sleep, and calorie burn. It also brings your calendar, calls, weather, and workout suggestions right to your wrist.
Plus, you can connect it to your favorite apps, like Spotify for music or SmartThings for added home security. Like the Apple watch, you have the option to turn this one into a full-on phone, complete with service for making calls and sending texts (an additional $50).
This is another watch that doesn’t stand out in terms of sleep tracking. It’s also best paired with Samsung devices, rather than Apple.
Even though it’s super-chic and small, the Motiv still automatically tracks your stats like steps, calories, heart rate, and sleep. And if you're not into watches, this ring is a nice tracker alternative. Because you need the right fit for this one, you’ll get a sample of a few different sizes in the mail so you can find the best one for you. It also points out exactly how your movement might be benefiting your health.
It’s waterproof, but only to 165 feet (again, probably fine for swimming). However, since there's no screen, you need to have to check your phone to see your stats.