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Fitness trackers

They say the mother of invention is necessity, but the driving force behind the advent of the fitness tracker was undoubtedly competition. Granted, it's true they have some genuinely practical functions - helping you to keep track of your weight loss and stick to your diet plan, for example - but let's be honest, they are really about one upping your friends.

Fitness trackers are an example of modern ingenuity though. A tiny device strapped to your wrist which is capable of monitoring your fitness progress is the stuff of science fiction. Below are just some examples of what these things are capable of:

• Counting steps taken. OK, stepometers have been around for a while, but fitness trackers are far more accurate than your average pound shop gadget.

• Measuring distances walked. This is where things get a little more sophisticated; the fitness tracker plugs into your GPS location and keeps tabs on how much ground you've covered on your morning run.

• Monitoring heartbeat rate. Not all models support this function, but if you do have genuine cause to be moitoring your heartbeat rate, it might be worth the extra few quid.

• Monitoring sleep patterns. Sleep is one of the most important factors to a healthy lifestyle, and a fitness tracker can help you figure out how much you need.

• Counting calories. If you're trying to shed some pounds, a fitness tracker can be a great way of keeping treack of your calorie intake while you're on the move during a busy work day.

Have in mind that each company has its own algorithm to calculate the calories based on info gathered by the tracker sensors. So the amount of burned calories may vary. Recent inquiries show that there is a great discrepancy in the fitness trackers are not so accurate in measuring the calories.

Fitness trackers come in a few different forms - some, for example, are equipped with an attached screen which displays your stats (although this is by no means a pre-requisite. You can always hook up the device to your mobile and access the data that way instead).

If you're worried about battery life, then don't be: it tends to last for a while - if you're conservative with your use, you might get a couple of weeks out of it - so there's little chance it will die on you in the middle of a work out session.

Our recommendations

Lintelek, ~£27
This tracker has very slim design, light weight and decent affordable price. It supports the heart monitoring feature and sleep habits, and thus this smart little device is so accurate in measuring your fitness activity. What more - it syncs with text, calls and social media notifications.

Moov Now 3D, ~£60
With an uber cool futuristic look and a nice, user-friendly interface, the Moov Now 3D is worth a try if you are prepared to make a larger investment. Waterproof up to 30 metres, this device comes highly recommended for swimmers too. The battery lasts for up to 6 months.

Fitbit Charge 3, ~£80
The Fitbit Charge 3 is the last generation tracker which is designed for fitness fanatics for whom the gym is like a second home. Sleep monitor, heart tracker, compatibility with Android - this gizmo has it all. And now it comes with larger display and lighter weight and is completely waterproof so it is suitable for swimmers.

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