Top 20 Fitness Trackers Terms You Need to Know

Exercise your knowledge to help bump up your fitness level.

Like GearBrain on Facebook

You've taken a step in the right direction by making the commitment to exercise. What better way to monitor your progress than with the aid of a fitness tracker. Before you delve into jogs and curls, sharpen your lingo with these 20 terms to pick the best fitness trackers for you. You'll not only look better but you will feel better knowing the ins and outs of all (or at least a lot) of what there is to know about your tracker.

Aerobic Exercise

You may opt to use your fitness tracker to monitor how much aerobic exercise you perform daily or weekly. Aerobic means "with oxygen" and uses the large muscle groups of the body continuously for 10 or more minutes at a stretch. This causes an increase in respiration and heart rate. Running and tennis are examples of aerobic exercise.

Anaerobic Exercise

Sometimes people perform their exercise in "bursts" so there is a small period of time using high energy followed by a rest period, and on and on until complete. This will take fuel stored in the major muscle groups to help build muscle fibers. Think of lifting weights as an example of anaerobic exercise.


Most fitness trackers are set up to work in conjunction with an application (app) on a smartphone or tablet. The fitness tracker will receive and release data to the app after setup is completed and the two devices are sufficiently synched up to communicate.


Many fitness trackers rely on Bluetooth connectivity to communicate between the tracker and a smartphone or tablet. This connection will take the information gathered from the tracker to send reports, summaries, and other data to the smartphone or tablet. Make sure your Bluetooth is enabled so this happens.


Many fitness trackers not only monitor physical movement, but calorie intake and burn as well. A calorie is a unit of energy derived from food that allows the body to perform its metabolic processes and be physical. You may wish to keep to or burn a particular number of calories per day and many fitness trackers can aid in that process.


The display is the section on your fitness tracker which will show you the data you are monitoring during exercise on a small screen. The display may also show the time of day, temperature, or be the spot where notifications and alerts are visible.


ECG is the abbreviation for electrocardiogram. This measures the electrical activity of the heart and is often the manner in which a fitness tracker measures heart rate.

Fitness Tracker

Of course, you'll need to know what the device is on the whole. A fitness tracker tracks and monitors physical activity and other physiological functions like breathing, sleep, calorie burn, and heart rate.


Many people exercise to maintain or gain flexibility for their body. By performing particular exercises and stretching, the joints and the surrounding muscles can gain more flexibility, or range of motion. Many fitness trackers are able to gauge range of motion during set exercises for the user to refer to in order to track progress.


Many people want to measure how many steps they take per day by monitoring their steps using a fitness tracker. Gait is a person's walking style, including the speed, length of stride per step, and other leg and hip movements. A tracker can help the user make the most of every step by delivering detailed conclusions about their gait.

Heart Rate

One of many important items monitored and tracked by fitness trackers is heart rate. Put simply, the heart rate is how many beats per minute your heart takes. On average, a resting heart rate (meaning you are not being physically active) is around 72 beats/min.

Maximal Heart Rate

Maximal heart rate (MHR) is the maximum number of beats per minute your heart should take when functioning at top intensity. A fitness tracker can help you determine what this should be in order to work up to your best capacity carefully. 220 - your age is a generally accepted formula to determine your MHR.


When you wear your fitness tracker, you can set it to alert you of your progress, remind you to get up and move, or message you when you've reached your peak heart rate. These are all examples of notifications you can receive from a fitness tracker. You can set your fitness tracker to notify you of pre-determined items or use the generic ones built in to your tracker already.


People often set a goal for their exercise plan, for instance, biking for 30 minutes straight at a "level 5" on the stationery bike. However, once this becomes too easy and the body is no longer challenged by this intensity, the person will reach a plateau in their fitness program and no longer reap new results. Time to rev up the game plan.


Fitness trackers will often measure the amount of exercise moves done in a session to give overall feedback on the results. Repetitions are the number of times an exercise is repeated in a set. For instance, you may wish to do two sets of bicep curls with 15 reps per set, thus totaling 30 for that exercise.

Resting Heart Rate

Many fitness trackers will check out your resting heart rate which is the number of beats per minute of your pulse when you are inactive or at rest. This will provide a barometer as to how high your heart rate should get during high-impact exercise.

Smart Watch

While not all smart watches also function as fitness trackers, many have the capacity to measure physical activity. The smart watch is worn on the wrist like an ordinary watch and can connect to a smartphone, tablet, or laptop to extract fitness measurements.


When you wear your fitness tracker, you want to be sure the info is connected to an app or smartphone so that the exercise performed is monitored, reported, and ready to access. Syncing will transfer this data from the tracker to the smartphone or other device you'll read from.

Water Resistant

Your fitness tracker may come with the notice that it is water resistant. This is not the same as waterproof. This means that you can run in the rain or sweat without ruining your tracker, but you cannot submerge it in water by swimming with it on, for instance.

Wearable Technology

A fitness tracker is an example of wearable technology, or more simply put, an electronic device you affix somewhere on the body. Other examples include connected jewelry, headsets, and baby sleep monitors.

Like GearBrain on Facebook
Show Comments ()