Getting Fit with the Polar Loop Activity Tracker - dummies

Getting Fit with the Polar Loop Activity Tracker

By James T. Cains

The fitness activity trackers that are available today can do more than just count your steps and calories. Many trackers can record your sleep habits, monitor your heart rate, and sync to your smartphone. The Polar Loop, released in 2014, shares many of the same features as other trackers and it can sync with the Polar Flow mobile app and web service.

For general information on wearable fitness trackers, see What Is Wearable Fitness Technology and How Can It Help You?

Exploring the Polar Loop’s features

The Polar Loop wristband tracker comes in just one model that costs about $110, and you have three different colors to choose from: purple, black, and blue. To get heart rate monitoring, you have to purchase the optional heart rate sensor for another $80. The wristband will store 12 days worth of data before you need to sync, and it has a stated battery life of 5 days before recharge.

Here are the main features of the Polar Loop:

  • Activity tracker: Using an accelerometer, the Polar Loop registers your daily activities at five intensity levels (resting, sitting, low, medium, and high). Just like other activity trackers, it counts your steps and shows your progress toward your daily goal. Working with the mobile app, it also tells you the distance you’ve traveled.

  • Calorie counter: Based on your activity, weight, height, age, and gender, the Polar Loop calculates how many calories you’ve burned. The heart rate monitor adds more precision to the calorie counting.

  • LED display: The scoreboard-type display can show the number of steps, time of day, number of calories burned, and progress toward your daily activity goal.

  • Waterproof: You can wear the Polar Loop while swimming.

  • Inactivity alert: The Polar Loop can tell you when to get moving again.

  • Sleep monitoring: When you wear the tracker to bed, it will track how much sleep you get and your restful vs. restless sleep.

  • Activity guide and benefit analysis: The mobile app takes in the data from the tracker and provides you with advice on the types of activities that will do you the most good.

  • Mobile app syncing: You can wirelessly sync your data to the Polar Flow mobile app for long-term tracking of your progress.

  • Polar Flow mobile app and web service: The mobile app is available for both iOS and Android. With it, you can see reports on your progress. The Flow web service enables you to interact with other users.

The wristband for the Polar Loop comes in only one size, and you have to cut it to fit your wrist. It comes with the necessary tools to do so, but you have to make sure you do it right the first time so you don’t cut it too short.

Getting the most from your Polar Loop tracker

You can use the Polar Loop tracker by itself; the display will tell you the number of steps taken per day and how many calories burned — if that’s all you’re interested in. However, to get the most from the Polar Loop, you should use it with the Polar Flow mobile app and web service.

Here’s how to use the Polar Loop activity tracker and app to achieve your fitness and health goals:

  • Set goals: Any fitness and health plan needs to start with setting goals. Use the app to set activity goals. The app will get the data from the tracker and advise you on activities you can do to meet your daily goals.

  • Track your sleep trends: If you wear your tracker to bed, it’ll track how long you sleep and how often you wake up, giving you a clearer picture of your sleep quality. You can see your sleep trends and adjust accordingly to get your body into a proper sleep rhythm and to make sure you get enough sleep at night.

  • View progress reports: You can evaluate your activity trends. Are there certain days when you slack off? If so, break those habits. Are there activities that benefit you more? Then, increase those activities.

  • Connect with the Polar Flow community: Interact with other Polar Loop users to encourage and challenge each other.

    The Polar Flow app dashboard.
    The Polar Flow app dashboard.