Best fitness trackers for a healthier you

Perhaps your motivation to work out is lost in the couch somewhere. But a growing number of fitness trackers can help. By counting steps, calories and your heart rate, these health bands offer numbers and reinforcement to help you set and achieve your workout goals every day.

Each of these fitness wearables stand out in different ways, so find the one that’ll “fit” you best!

For the Just-Getting-Started: UP2™ by Jawbone®

One of the best entry-level activity trackers, the Jawbone UP2 lasts about a week between charges and uses a built-in accelerometer to monitor your movement, counting your steps, distance walked and the number of calories you’re burning. It also buzzes your wrist if you’ve been inactive for too long.

Coolest Feature: The Smart Coach app offers advice on everything from water intake to healthier snack substitutes (it will even notice if you’re not eating enough fiber). As motivation, there are “Today I Will” challenges to encourage you to be more active.

Best For: Sedentary types who want to improve their life without launching into an overly rigorous exercise regime.

For the Doing-Well-But-Want-to-Be-Better: UP3™ by Jawbone®

A step up from basic activity trackers, the UP3 includes cutting-edge bioimpedance technology, which measures physiological signals, including your heart rate.

The UP3 uses similar coaching features as the UP2 and will last for about a week on a single charge.

Coolest Feature: It uses heart rate information to assess different sleep states and gauge your overall sleep health. It can tell you how much light or deep sleep you had, and even how much important REM sleep you achieved.

Best For: People who are already walking and standing often but want to up their game.

For Gettin’ Caught in the Rain: Garmin vívosmart®

Garmin’s vívosmart features a subtle monochrome display for receiving messages from your smartphone. Gentle vibrations tell you when an e-mail has arrived or if it’s time to get up and move. To see full messages, you simply swipe the screen.

Coolest Feature: The vívosmart learns your current activity level, and then assigns an attainable daily goal.

Best For: Fitness buffs who like to exercise outdoors in sometimes unpredictable weather will appreciate how the vívosmart is water resistant.

For Keeping the Beat: Fitbit Charge HR™ Wireless Heart Rate + Activity Wristband

The Fitbit Charge HR includes an optical heart rate monitor that uses blood flow sensors to gauge your pulse. It also has a small OLED screen to display the time as well as short messages. It tracks your steps and can also tell how many stairs you climb each day. The band will last for about five days on a single charge.

Coolest Feature: The Charge HR automatically recognizes when you’ve fallen asleep so you don’t have to remember to push a button at bedtime.

Best For: Women and men who pay attention to their heart rate as part of their overall health goals.

For When You’re On the Road Again: Fitbit Surge™

A watch, activity tracker and fitness device rolled into one, the Fitbit Surge packs a lot of technology onto your wrist. It has an always-on display for telling the time, automatic sleep detection, an optical heart rate monitor and its own GPS.

The 1.26-inch grayscale screen can be set to display incoming messages from your smartphone. It can track running and walking, but it also estimates calories burned for activities such as hiking, weight lifting and yoga. You can also read text messages and see incoming calls.

Coolest Feature: Its built-in GPS means you can go running without toting your smartphone. The watch will record the distance and total time of your workout, and download it to the map built into the Fitbit app.

Best For: Runners who want fitness tracking but the basic functions of a smartwatch.

John R. Quain has covered technology for more than 20 years, reporting on consumer electronics, cars and the future of communications.