Gadgets

New Fitbit features start tracking your exercises on their own

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You can bet that a lot of Fitbits will be given as gifts this year, and when they are, the health and fitness trackers will have a few exciting features launching. Fitbit announced today that the new features will be added to the platform that will make exercise tracking smarter and easier than ever.

Fitbit introduces SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition and enhancements to PurePulse heart rate tracking to Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge, the #1 selling fitness tracker and wearable, and GPS watch in the U.S. respectively.

Fitbit launches Exercise Goals within the free Fitbit app to help users find the routine that is right for them, and serve as daily motivation to hit their personalized goals.

“At Fitbit we’re always working on innovative features that are easy to use and make tracking health and fitness a fun, motivational experience,” said Tim Roberts, VP of Interactive at Fitbit. “Our users find exercise in all parts of their day, including activities like short walks with the dog or a bike commute to work. These new features allow them to focus on their exercise, giving them credit for their most active moments and letting the technology do the work to automatically track progress toward their fitness goals.”

The idea of SmartTrack is to record workouts automatically, without the need for user interaction. SmartTrack provides a smarter, easier way to track workouts and see how efforts accumulate to reaching fitness goals. SmartTrack automatically recognizes select exercises and records them in the Fitbit app, giving users credit for their most active moments, so they are more informed to be able to reach their goals:

Automatic exercise recognition tracks continuous movement when wearing Fitbit Charge HR or Fitbit Surge. It identifies the type of activity and records it in the Fitbit app along with an exercise summary, including duration, calories burned and heart rate stats. SmartTrack is capable of identifying a wide variety of activities, including elliptical, outdoor biking, running, walking, and general categories of aerobic workouts (i.e., Zumba, cardio-kickboxing and other dance classes) and sports (i.e., tennis, basketball and soccer).

Because everyone’s definition of exercise is different, users can select the types of activities they want recognized as exercise and adjust how long they must be moving before an activity is recorded in the Fitbit app. By default, activities are automatically recognized when users have been active for at least 15 minutes.

The enhanced PurePulse heart rate technology has been updated to provide users with an even better heart rate tracking experience during and after high-intensity workouts like boot camp and Zumba. The update is activated when using Exercise Mode on Fitbit Charge HR and multi-sport modes on Fitbit Surge. PurePulse optical technology provides users with continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking including resting heart rate and heart rate trends over time – without the need for an uncomfortable chest strap.

The American Heart Association and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend an average of 30 minutes of exercise each day, five days per week to improve health. While most people are aware of the benefits of being more active and exercising more, these activities can be time consuming and difficult to achieve.

Available for free to all Fitbit device and app users, exercise goals are tracked on a daily basis with a weekly goal set for the number of days they plan to exercise. Exercise goals encourage people to embrace a more consistent workout routine in order to achieve their fitness goals. Exercise Goals can be personalized by choosing the number of target exercise days per week and the types of activities that will count toward their goals. Progress toward goals is displayed within the Fitbit app.

The SmartTrack and PurePulse software updates are free and available globally to all Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge users today. Exercise Goals are also available globally to all users of the free Fitbit app for iOS and Windows, with Android coming soon. These innovative features will also be available on all new Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge trackers.

Also, just in time for the holidays, Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge are available in new blue and tangerine colors, with the Fitbit Charge HR also available in teal.