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One of the features that I find really useful about my Fitbit Inspire 2 isn’t even about health or fitness directly. It is my primary alarm, every morning, quietly vibrating on my wrist, so that I can get up without disturbing my wife. Many of us will likely get up a little bit earlier, to get that extra 30 minutes of productivity, before the day hits us.
So, if I could recommend only one device for 2023, a good fitness and health tracker would be it. You can take your pick—from the affordable and popular Mi bands to their many Indian and other Chinese rivals to Fitbit and all the way to the most expensive version of the Apple Watch.
My personal choice, several months ago, was Fitbit’s Inspire 2 for multiple reasons. One, it is minimalist; two, the battery easily lasts a week of full-time use—I wear it for upwards of 14 hours, including about six to seven hours of sleep—and three, it’s affordable, even including a premium subscription on the companion app.
The Inspire 2 is going for about Rs 6,500, including a one-year subscription to premium features on the app, which does offer some useful recommendations.
A feature that I find useful is the daily ‘readiness score’ which takes into account various factors such as how much sleep you got the previous night, how much activity and exercise you had recently, the quality of your sleep, your resting heart rate and so on. It’s useful to know that on a given day, I need to take it easy or if I’m ready for a good workout.
One other recommendation I’d make is don’t give the app and the band permission to send your phone notifications to the tracker. Use the watch exclusively for fitness tracking and for the good alerts like when it tells you to get off your butt and take 250 steps every hour. Keep the phone notifications on the phone, and cut out that part of the day’s stress from extending to your wrist.
Many affordable fitness bands and smartwatches today even tell you your blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and so on. They aren’t accurate, and you shouldn’t obsess about them. This is another reason I like the Inspire 2. It provides just enough information to help you make smarter daily health and fitness choices.
You can also use it to centre yourself, run its guided breathing feature—which takes a little getting used to, I found—and bring down your stress in a few minutes. The companion app also offers all sorts of workouts of varying intensities, the option to track your food and water intake daily, log your weight and so on.
People with specific interests, like runners, for example, might prefer a Garmin, but then that’s a much higher price level. The Inspire 2, connected to my phone’s GPS, does quite well. And finally, I like its monochrome display. Here’s wishing you a healthier and fitter 2023.