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What are the best fitness tracker watches and apps?

In partnership with Libby Babet
Gray haired woman wearing a pink t-shirt and checking her fitness tracker while doing a run in the local park
Gray haired woman wearing a pink t-shirt and checking her fitness tracker while doing a run in the local park

Gone are the days when exercise was reserved exclusively for the gym. With such busy lives, many of us are gravitating towards flexible, accessible ways to add physical activity into our lives.

The vast array of fitness trackers, smart watches and fitness apps play a big part in this shift – allowing us to log in to a fitness class from anywhere, or head out for a walk, run or park circuit with our own digital personal trainers. Plus, with shareable data capabilities, they’re a great way to interact with friends and increase your motivation levels.

“Fitness trackers, smart watches and fitness apps are definitely a lot more abundant, popular and accessible than they once were,” confirms personal trainer Libby Babet. “They give you a clear goal to hit each day and it feels really good to have that little win.”

Consider nib your health partner when it comes to looking after your body and mind – and when it comes to using tech to keep you motivated, we had a chat with Libby to get her expert advice.

So what are the best options in the fitness tracker and app world? And does anything really substitute a real-life trainer? Here, Libby takes us through the trending tech.

What are fitness trackers?

Fitness trackers are essentially just that – watches or apps that track your physical activity. If you’re keen on boosting motivation, hitting goals and seeing results, consider them your new best mates.

“They’re a great accountability booster – proven to increase overall steps by at least a few thousand each day too!” says Libby.

A 2021 US study found that just 7,000 steps a day can reduce your risk of premature death by 50 to 70 per cent, meaning extra digital motivation could make a big difference to your overall health.

A 29-year old man wearing a gray t-shirt and running while checking his fitness watch outside

Best fitness tracker watches

If you’re headed to the gym, don’t leave your wearable tech at home. Integrating it into your personal or group fitness sessions is a great way to plot your progress, get reminders and make mini goals with your trainer, Libby says.

When it comes to hunting down a compatible model, Libby says there are a few market standouts:

  • Apple Watch: The beauty of this is that it helps you squeeze in more physical activity without disrupting everyday tasks, Libby says. “I can listen to my music, pay for things, text or call my family from my watch without having to bring my phone on a walk, run or surf; they’re waterproof!”

  • Fitbit: “They’re little slim bracelets and have a long enough battery life to wear overnight so you can track your sleep and wear them as an alarm clock,” she says.

  • Garmin: “My run-addicted colleagues all say Garmin make the best smart watches for passionate runners and triathletes/ironmen – lightweight and easy to read during runs, rides and swims.”

Best fitness tracker apps

While tracker watches are full of obvious benefits, so too are downloadable apps that you access on your phone. Loads have features that allow you to sync up with a smart watch – which makes things like importing your own music, data and contacts even more seamless.

But with the AI and virtual fitness market constantly hit with new releases, settling on one – or 10 – will be highly dependent on your personal situation and wellness goals.

“Just like with fitness, finding an app that’s right for you is really personal,” says Libby. “It depends on the kind of workouts or sports you love, the budget you have and other things that interest you, like sleep quality.”

Some of her top recommendations include:

  • Strava: “Great for runners and riders, it helps map your route, analyse your training and track your progress on foot or bike.”

  • Intervals Pro: “Allows you to design workout intervals with customisable alert sounds and spoken prompts for people who like to custom create their own sessions.”

  • Wakeout: “A great app for anyone who works at a desk, helping you combat hours of sitting by offering fun exercise-break reminders.”

Although a huge advocate for next-gen fitness offerings, Libby stresses the importance of keeping a balance between tracking your progress and staying present while you sweat it out.

“Take all the data with a grain of salt and focus on how you feel,” she says. “Just as with anything in the fitness world, a healthy level of attention is great, but obsession isn’t.”

Please note: The tips throughout this article serve as broad information and should not replace any advice you have been given by your medical practitioner. 

Libby Babey, personal trainer, wearing a black tank top with her hair out and laughing

In partnership with

Libby Babet

Libby Babet is not just a personal trainer – she’s also a speaker, presenter, author, entrepreneur and mum of two. A former trainer on The Biggest Loser, Libby is the founder of Sydney fitness studio The Upbeat, co-founder of healthy snack companies Beauty Food and Chief Nutrition, co-owner of women’s business retreat Nurture Her and she’s also co-founding a sustainable activewear brand, Earthletica. The bubbly fitness pro loves corny magic books, superhero movies and playing dress-ups with her four-year-old – more, she says, than is probably acceptable for a 40-year-old woman.