Many adults track their steps using a fitness tracker, activity tracker or Fitbit, with the goal to choose a healthier lifestyle, get fit and lose weight. Like any device that a parent owns, it is only a matter of time before the kids are begging for their own personal fitness tracker, too. The nabi Compete is one of the best activity trackers for kids.
What is an Activity Tracker or Fitness Tracker for Kids?
Activity trackers are small devices kids wear, just like a watch, on their wrist.
The device counts the child's steps and movements. With the small push of a button on the back of the device, the tracker pairs up with an app and documents the child's steps each hour, over the course of a day. The app provides a breakdown of calories burned, steps achieved, and miles walked over the course of a day, week or month.
Activity trackers range in price and in features. With basic features, there are many great choices for less than $30. Downloading an app using a smartphone or tablet is required in order to view the data provided about the child's movements from the tracker. The bands are made from silicone, and the trackers are sweat proof and splash proof. Most activity trackers for fitness do not have GPS, or global positioning systems, to identify a child's exact location. Parents will need to input basic information into the app that includes the child's name, birthday, gender, height and weight, which is needed to properly report details like distance traveled and calories burned.
Activity Trackers Offset Screen Time
With the increasing amounts of screen time, and use of video game systems, smartphones and tablets, childhood obesity is on the rise. After sitting in school at a desk, many kids choose sedentary activities like watching television and playing video games. It is not out of the ordinary to see kids using devices, while waiting for food to be served at restaurants or when seated in the cart at the supermarket.
Activity trackers require the use of an app, so while they are not exactly screen-free, they are motivating kids to move and the pros far exceed the cons.
Fitness Trackers Give Kids Ideas and Motivation To Play
Parents tell kids to, "go outside and play." Many families invest lots of money in exercise toys, outdoor trampolines, backyard swing sets and sports equipment. Kids often struggle to think of active ideas of what to do, especially when playing by themselves. Many kids beg parents to call a friend over to play with. However, playing with a sibling an lead to parents refereeing disagreements. The simple act of playing together in a modern society can be complicated. Many kids are motivated to move, jump, climb, and exercise even more, when playing on their own, especially after they sync their tracker, and view how many steps they completed that day in the app.
Fitness Tracker Apps Can Be Competitive and Collaborative
Within the nabi Compete fitness tracker app, in addition to viewing their steps, kids can choose activity challenges. Activities encourage kids to compete against themselves or others. The nabi Compete includes 2 activity trackers in the box. Kids can decide upon a goal and work with a friend to achieve it, even if they are not playing together in the same location.
Or, they can choose to compete against someone, with the goal of being the first to either burn off a specific calories or achieve a distance goal by walking the 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon.
Kids Learn About Nutrition
If kids chose a challenge to burn off their calories from a cheeseburger, pizza or 2 cookies, they learn about nutrition. Children learn very quickly how much effort it takes to burn off specific amounts of calories from their favorite foods, which can and will lead to further, in depth conversations about making healthier food choices.
Kids Set Attainable Goals and Are Rewarded For Achieving Them
After children achieve either an exploration or calorie goal, the app rewards winners by giving "Go Points." Kids can use their points to nurture, feed and accessorize special virtual pets.
Parents may also consider offering kids specific incentives for achieving milestones, too.
Kids Learn To Exercise and Play Together
While certainly there needs to be some internal motivation for individuals to keep a healthy lifestyle, exercising with friends and playing sports together in a competitive way is a great source of motivation. Using a fitness tracker, kids can exercise with their friends, parents, siblings or family members anywhere or complete challenges against a friend who has their own nabi Compete fitness band who lives in a different location, anywhere in the world!
You Can See What Your Child Does for Activity At School
Wonder what your child's activity level is like throughout their day at school? Worried the kids are sitting to long at their desks? The data housed within the app tracks kids steps, and plots them on a graph, by the hour, over the course of the day. Cross-reference the child's activity with their school routine, and it can be easy to locate the times of they day they have recess or PE. Marvel in amazement when you realize your child can still achieve close to 20,000 steps, even during a school day, while you struggle to get 2000.
Not All Activity Trackers Need To Be Charged
The nabi Compete uses a standard CR25 watch battery, which can operate the device for several months. Therefore, there is no need to remember to plug in the watch to charge it. Once the app is launched, with the small push of a button on the back of the tracker, the device will sync with the app and transfer up to 7 days worth of data.
Some Activity Trackers Are Not Expensive
While you will need access to a bluetooth enabled device that can download apps to view the details of the child's steps and engage in competition, the trackers themselves include very simple technology and are very affordable, since they are less then $30.
Disclosure: Review samples of the nabi Compete were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.