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Among the most popular electronic gadget categories this year is the physical fitness tracker. Many adults have started tracking their activity with wearable electronic devices from companies like FitBit, Jawbone, and Nike. Available in clip-on or bracelet form, these smart devices use a three-axis accelerometer to analyze your activity level. The data can then be transfered and stored online and interface with programs that recommend ideas on how to improve fitness and nutrition to meet wellness goals.
Getting kids active has been of major concern over the last decade. While the majority of physical activity trackers are recommended for kids 13 and older — most often because they are collecting information that can be shared via online social networks – there are a few trackers designed specifically for kids that may fit your needs.
Check out these options that use similar technology, but boast a kid and family-friendly style (and are easier on the family budget, too).
Geopalz Cute clip-on pedometers measure activity categorized as “moderate and up” to help track a child’s activity level. Designed to clip to a hip pocket or shoe of a child ages 5 to 12, the data is then uploaded to a website, where kids can earn points for prizes and track their progress. • $25. Geopalz.com
Zamzee With a two-week battery life, the Zamzee device clips onto clothes or fits in a pocket to measure a child’s activity level. Kids download their data online to a motivational website that provides incentives, rewards, and ideas for staying active. • $29.99. Zamzee.com
Ibitz by Geopalz Created for the whole family, these nifty clip-on wireless family fitness keys measure activity and are a great option for a family who wants to get started together. Kids can connect to Disney’s Club Penguin and earn coins. Parents can set goals for kids and the whole family, and share progress on social media. Apps are available on Apple devices, with Android soon to follow. • $34.99/kids, $49.99/adults. Ibitz.com
Squord Designed as a social network, online gaming, and activity tracker, kids ages 8 to 13 wear the PowerPods in watch or clip-on form. They swipe their PowerPod against a SyncStation (which can be hooked up to a laptop or home computer) to register their activity points, see how friends have scored and create online posts from a list of pre-designed messages. Each child has their own PowerPod and shares a common SyncStation. • $3.99/monthly (plus a $12 activation fee) for PowerPods/membership, $12.99/Syncstation. Squord.com
Get Fit Antarctica Have your family join Pink Palace Educator Alex Eilers by tracking your fitness hours on her website. Participants log onto the Get Fit chart where every minute of exercise or reading translates to a virtual mile. At each 60-mile increment, participants learn cool facts about the environment, ocean, wildlife, and more as you follow her route to Antarctica. • Go to antarcticarevisited.com.