4. Polar A300
In terms of flexibility, be still my heart — or rather, start racing! Polar A300 ($139.95) is a fitness watch that pairs with your smartphone. And Polar also offers the separate H7 heart-rate sensor, if you’re a chest-strap enthusiast like me. A300 also has a five-minute fitness test to complete the first time you use it, so you have a baseline for your training.
The A300 plugs right into your computer’s USB port — no adapter needed. Then you can slide the sensor into the included silicone band, strap it onto your wrist and go. A300 is waterproof, so I wore it in the shower, the pool and in the ocean with no problem.
A300 tracks and displays steps, distance and calories burned. It also reminds you to move around — if you sit still for too long it’ll vibrate to prompt you to move (I actually hopped up a few times while writing this article thanks to this feature). A300 also connects to MyFitnessPal if you’re on iOS, giving you another way to monitor progress.
The Polar Flow app collects all your daily and night data from heart rate to sleep activity. It’s helpful to see all your data both on a short-term and long-term basis. When you’ve got a month’s worth of activities logged, you can see where you’re making progress — and where you might need to make adjustments. I found this to be important not just for setting my goals, but also seeing what was reasonable for me, what I was successful at and what I needed to work on or change.