As a parent, it is a real challenge to keep kids away from screens. Your child’s current video game fascination can not only prevent them from socializing but also make it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Health experts recommend that kids get at least one hour of physical activity daily and at least three days of intense exercises per week. CDC studies show that 1 in 5 children in the United States is obese. Although it is true that technology shares the blame for this large percentage, it is also true that innovation can positively impact your child's health. One of the greatest pieces of technology used to encourage children to abandon an inactive lifestyle is a fitness tracker.
Here are the best five fitness trackers for kids.
The LeapFrog LeapBand fitness tracker is suitable for kids 4-7 years old. This wearable device turns physical play and healthy eating into a game with virtual rewards. It has eight virtual pets: a cat, dog, monkey, dragon, panda, penguin, robot, and a unicorn. The child must play mini-games to feed and use these pets. There are 50 active challenges, including a pet salon, a catch the healthy food game, and a rhythm-based dance game. Playing the games correctly helps you earn points that are then added to the main game. These games are aimed at helping the child make healthy choices even when a parent is not around. The tracker has parental controls via LeapFrog Connect, which parents can use to set daily challenges and play times.
LeapFrog LeapBand is water-resistant, comes with a colorful band, has a color screen, and is relatively affordable.
KidFit is ideal for kids between the ages of 5 and 13. Unlike the other trackers that track calorie levels or steps taken, with KidFit, you set and pursue a daily activity goal. After completing each daily goal, the child earns 100 points and receives a message encouraging them to keep on playing. The points increase as the child gets more active. The messages play a significant role in improving confidence, resulting in more motivation and continued play. The device comes in four colors: black, yellow, hot pink, and aqua.
This wearable comes with a 1-year warranty. If you aren't content with KidFit, simply return it to the manufacturer.
Garmin’s second-generation version of this device is one of the best fitness trackers for kids. The water-resistant device tracks steps taken, active minutes, and sleep. However, it is more than just a fitness tracker: it offers interactive educational adventures. Once the child reaches their daily activity goal, fun facts and more adventures are unlocked. This helps the user develop habits for lifelong health and fitness. There are also family games and challenges to get the parents involved in the adventures.
Vivofit Jr. 2 is available in Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars themes. A smartphone app accompanies each device for parental control settings.
4. Fitbit Ace
Fitbit Ace is designed for kids who are at least 8 years old. The device automatically tracks steps, active minutes, and inactive moments, and motivates the user to be active. Using the OLED tap screen, kids can view their improvement in real time. This fitness tracker offers rewards for staying active with congratulatory messages and fun, collectible badges.
Parents like this wearable device because the battery, on average, lasts for up to five days of non-stop use. Recharging is easy, and the device is super lightweight and waterproof.
5. Adidas Zone
Adidas has collaborated with Interactive Health Technologies (IHT) to produce Adidas Zone, a long-lasting fitness tracker meant for physical education classes. The device tracks the user's heartbeat. The idea is that since the heartbeat is the best indication that a child is active, the screen only displays the heartbeat and level of activity. The data is synchronized with the IHT program, where the PE teacher can simply tap and view a student’s heart rate and activity level to determine if a child needs additional motivation. Parents can also access the data via the school's system to view the child's progress.
The best thing about this device is that teachers can create customized routines for each student and allow the child to exercise to their full potential.
The next time you’re shopping for your child, consider a fitness tracker. Gifting a fitness tracker will give them an opportunity to start healthy routines at an early age and learn that physical health is imperative.