You must choose a smartwatch or fitness tracker with care as all of them do not track treadmill running accurately. So here is the list of best fitness trackers for a treadmill with its features and specifications with a buying guide.
Are you looking for a Fitness Tracker for treadmill running? Today in this article, we have compelled a list of best fitness tracker and smartwatch for tracking your treadmill activities with its features and specifications.
All the fitness trackers and smartwatches do not track activities on the treadmill as it does not have a dedicated treadmill tracking mode. So you must read this article before you spend your hard-earned money.
So before you buy the best activity tracker for the treadmill, make sure that you choose the right one. And I hope that this article will help you in choosing the best one for your indoor activities.
10 Best Activity Tracker for Treadmill Running
|Garmin 010-02063-00 Forerunner 945, Premium GPS Running/Triathlon Smartwatch with Music, Black||Buy Now From Amazon|
|Garmin Vivoactive 4S, Smaller-Sized GPS Smartwatch, features Music, Body Energy Monitoring, Animated workouts, Pulse Ox Sensors and More, Black, 40mm||Buy Now From Amazon|
|Amazfit GTR Aluminium Alloy Smartwatch,All-Day Heart Rate Monitor, Daily Activity Tracker Rate and Activity Tracking, 24-Day Battery Life, 12- Sport Modes, 47mm (W1902US1N)||Buy Now From Amazon|
|Garmin Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features GLONASS and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-Axis Compass, Graphite||Buy Now From Amazon|
|Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-In, Sleep and Swim Tracking, Bordeaux/Copper Rose, One Size (S and L Bands Included)||Buy Now From Amazon|
|Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker, Graphite/Black, One Size (S and L Bands Included)||Buy Now From Amazon|
|Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 40mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band||Buy Now From Amazon|
|Garmin 010-01769-01 Vivoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch with Contactless Payments and Built-In Sports Apps, Black with Silver Hardware||Buy Now From Amazon|
|Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker, Newest 0.95” Color AMOLED Display Bluetooth 5.0 Smart Bracelet Heart Rate Monitor 50 Meters Waterproof Bracelet with 135mAh Battery up to 20 Days Activity Tracker||Buy Now From Amazon|
|Fitbit Inspire HR Heart Rate and Fitness Tracker, One Size (S and L Bands Included), 1 Count||Buy Now From Amazon|
By assessing all the aspects of a treadmill workout, we have shortlisted a list of best fitness trackers and smartwatches for treadmill use for you. Make sure you read this detailed activity tracker for a treadmill before you buy one.
Features to Consider While Choosing a Fitness Tracker or Smartwatch
As you know none of the activity trackers track treadmill activities accurately, you must keep the following points in mind while doing workout on the treadmill.
- Choose a Fitness Tracker with GPS, if you are looking for a fitness tracker for both indoor and outdoor fitness activities.
- Make sure you move your hands-free while working out on the treadmill. Holding your hands-on the treadmill gives your inaccurate readings.
- Garmin Suggests a treadmill should have a 1% incline for accurate tracking of workout.
Garmin Forerunner 945 GPS Running Watch is the top pick as the best fitness tracker for running on a treadmill. The BBC’s Study also suggests that Garmin Forerunner Series with GPS as the most accurate fitness smartwatch for the treadmill workout.
It is specially designed for advanced run tracking with a hell lot of features for both professionals and beginners. Even though it has a higher price, compared to other treadmill fitness trackers and watches, it can give you a detailed insight into your running metrics.
In the case of the treadmill activity tracking, it has a dedicated treadmill mode, where you can customize your treadmill related activities.
As it also got a built-in GPS, so it is ideal for both indoor and outdoor activities.
If you want a further detailed insight into treadmill running, then you can use a Garmin Foot Pod which you can pair with HRM Garmin Forerunner 945 GPS Running Watch and easily insert into your shoes. This is not recommended for regular runners as it will further increase your cost.
Do you love to hear music while workout on the Treadmill?
Then this smartwatch also offers phone-free music. It can store over 1000 songs and you can listen to them without a smartphone. Just pair your Garmin Forerunner watch with a Bluetooth earphone or earbuds to listen to your favorite music.
- In-built GPS sensors can send real-time notifications to your loved ones about your location.
- Get Map on your wrist.
- Compatible with the Garmin Foot Pod.
- Get notifications from your smartwatch.
- Battery life up to 10 hours in GPS mode and over 60 hours on UltraTrack mode.
If you are an athlete or want to improve your running, then Garmin Forerunner 945 is a good choice for you.
Garmin Smartwatches are crafted for people who like running, hiking, and other outdoor adventures. But it does not mean that it can not be used for indoor activities.
The Garmin Vivoactive 4 S comes with advanced sensors and algorithms that can track your various activities along with important body metrics such as heart rate, blood oxygen level; calorie burned, etc.
The Garmin Vivoactive 4S uses its accelerometer to assess your hand’s movement and thus track your running on the treadmill. If you do not move the hands, then there may be an error or inaccuracy in tracking treadmill running.
The Garmin Vivoactive can store over 500+ music in it, and you can listen to your favorite tracks just by connecting it to wireless earbuds or earphones. I like this feature as I do not want to carry my smartphone while running on a treadmill.
- Supports over 20+ indoor sports activities.
- Built-in GPS.
- Thousands of free watch faces.
- Incident detection feature.
- Get free marathon plans. ( Garmin Coach)
- Animated workout modes.
If you are looking for a cheap but futuristic smartwatch, then Amazfit GTR is for you. It is one of the best smartwatches under $150 that can track various indoor activities such as Treadmill, indoor cycling, Elliptical training, etc.
The Amazfit GTR comes with a BioTrackerTM PPG biological tracking optical sensor that can closely monitor your heart rate accurately 24/7. So you can closely monitor your heart while running on a treadmill.
It has a traditional watch design, and it comes with a 1.39” AMOLED touch screen. As it got an inbuilt GPS and GLONASS, you can use this smartwatch to track your indoor activities as well.
If you are involved in swimming activities, you can even use the smartwatch to track your swimming activities and other swimming metrics such as SWOLF, pace, etc. As it is waterproof up to 50 meters, you can use this smartwatch for swimming up to 50 meters underwater. This is pretty enough depth for an average person.
- It comes with over 12+ sport modes, including both indoor and outdoor activities.
- Battery life up to 24 days on a single full recharge.
- Sleep Tracking.
I usually prefer to run outdoors rather than running on a treadmill. But sometimes I run on the treadmill for more than a couple of days in two weeks due to bad weather or some other reasons. If you have the Garmin Instinct smartwatch, then you do not spend money on another smartwatch or pedometer to track your treadmill running.
The Garmin Instinct can track your indoor activities like treadmill running, indoor spinning, etc. To get an accurate date of treadmill running, you need to calibrate your Instinct Watch. It is a onetime process, and you do need to repeat unless you are running on a different treadmill.
As I said earlier, it is specially designed for people who are involved in challenging outdoor activities. The Garmin Instinct watch is created with military-grade material that can withstand thermal shock and pressure.
This smartwatch comes with water resistance to up to 100 meters so that you can explore deep open water spaces without worrying about your watch.
- It has a roughed design that makes it suitable to wear in challenging environments.
- Wrist-based heart rate monitoring.
- It comes with the TrackBack feature that helps you navigate to your starting point.
- It comes with pretty impressive battery life. The battery can last over 14 days in normal mode and over 16 hours in GPS mode.
If you are a Fitbit Fan, then Fitbit Versa 2 is a good choice for treadmill workout tracking. It comes with a lot of features that bring your fitness activities to the next level. In addition to Treadmill step tracking, it can also have many other features such as heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, music storage, etc.
In terms of running, it can track distance travelled, steps, active minutes and step climbing. For accurate reading on a treadmill, make sure that you move your hands freely instead of holding it on the bars.
If you hold your hands on the bars while running on a treadmill, it will give a false reading. Because you are standing in the same position even if you run.
- Built-in Alexa.
- Phone free music storage and playback.
- Set your goals and schedule your workout based on your goals.
- Track and analyze sleep.
If you are looking for a nice and fashionable fitness tracker, then Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch is a good choice under $200.
Fitbit Charge 3 is one of the best Fitbit for treadmill running. It has a dedicated treadmill mode in which you can track distance traveled, time spent and calories burned. So that you can get a more deep insight into your fitness activities including treadmill activities.
The design is not so thin as Fitbit Inspire HR but it has a sporty look. It has an OLED touch screen display. You can swipe down or up for easy navigation. However, it does not have an in-built GPS tracker, so you need to carry your mobile phone for outdoor running.
As it got a larger display, you can see the metrics and other data easily when you run on a treadmill.
- Waterproof up to 50M.
- Get SMS, call and social media notifications from your smartphone.
- Goal-based Excercise Mods.
- Auto-sleep tracking.
- Continuous heart rate monitoring.
Apple Watch 5 Series is an all in one fitness smartwatch to track your various physical activities. It is known for its performance and accuracy.
It can also measure Cadence, steps per minute, and give you pace alert if you are running too slow or faster. In addition to that, it has advanced heart rate monitoring sensors which can alert when there is an increased or decreased pulse rate. This feature has already saved the lives of people.
Apple Watch 5 Series comes with a larger display with a touch screen feature. Also, you can set your running goals and can alert you if you are far behind the target. This helps you to stay motive and active.
- In-built music storage.
- Sedentary alert.
- Cadence Monitoring.
- Goal-based activity tracking.
- ECG Monitoring.
- Alerts emergency if the heart rate goes below or above the normal limit.
- Fall alert.
If you are looking for a smartwatch and Fitness tracker for both indoor and outdoor activities, then Apple Watch 5 is a good choice of selection for you. Emergency SOS, GPS tracking and in-built music storage make it the best phone-free smartwatch and we really love this feature.
Garmin vívoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch is chosen as the best all-rounder smartwatch during a study conducted BBC. If you are serious about running, then Garmin Smartwatches are for you, especially Garmin Forerunner Series.
Designs also it is very nice and looks like a traditional watch. The display is also pretty large enough to see the data easily.
It has a customizable Treadmill mode where you can see and arrange your treadmill metrics based on your interest. You can prioritize the stat where you want to make some improvements. This makes it one of the best smartwatch for treadmill activities.
- In-built GPS with 15 preloaded maps.
- Garmin Contactless Payment.
- Tracks activities such as Yoga, Swimming, steps, etc.
- Availability of thousands of watch faces.
- Wrist-based heart rate monitoring.
If you are looking for an overall fitness tracker with a dedicated treadmill run tracking and phone-free music watch, then Garmin Vivosmart is a great pick for you.
If you are looking for an entry-level Fitness tracked for treadmill running, then Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is a good option. It has a dedicated workout mode for Treadmill activities. To track your steps accurately, just wear it on your wrist and move your hands freely instead of holding it on the Treadmill.
As I said earlier, when you move your hands freely, it will improve the accuracy of step counting. In addition to treadmill, it also has other five workout modes such as swimming, outdoor running, cycling and walking.
The design and user interface is also pretty decent and handy at this price range.
- Continuous heart rate monitoring.
- Sleep Tracking.
- Sedentary alert.
- SMS and call notifications.
- Music Control.
If you are looking for a fitness tracker for treadmill running under $50, then Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker is a good choice.
Fitbit Inspire HR is a nice sleek looking and lightweight fitness tracker that can also use to track your treadmill workout.
It comes with an OLED touch screen display. You can navigate just taping up and down and also see your daily stats. Download the Fitbit App and paired it with your smartphone to get more detailed insight into your physical activities.
Fitbit Inspire HR counts total steps, hourly steps, distance traveled, active minutes, etc. As it got heart rate monitoring, it can give a deep insight into your sleep.
- Continuous heart rate monitoring.
- Automatic activity detection.
- Waterproof up to 50M.
- Get SMS, call and social media notifications on your wrist.
These are the best activity tracker for treadmill running. But I would say that none of the smartwatches currently available in the market are 100% accurate. Fitness Trackers and smartwatches algorithms use hand swing and accelerometer sensors to track the various metrics on a treadmill such as speed, distance traveled, and Cadence.
Also, you are in the same place while running on a Treadmill. So the GPS also does not helpful in tracking the distance.
The Customer Watchdog conducted a study on Fitness Trackers and smartwatches and found that most of the fitness trackers and smartwatches not tracking treadmill workouts accurately. The readings were inaccurate because most of them were holding their hands on the treadmill bar.
So make sure to move your hands freely while doing treadmill activities for more accurate date. See the short video here. See her hand movements.
By keeping this mind, let us discuss some important features that you should consider while buying an activity tracker for treadmill running. Otherwise, you may need an ankle activity tracker for more accurate data on treadmill exercise.
Fitness Tracker Buying Gude for Treadmill Run Tracking
If you are looking for a treadmill fitness tracker, then you must keep the following points in mind. This will help you in choosing the best product based on your needs.
Design and Build
Probably the first thing that you consider while selecting a fitness tracker or smartwatch is its style and built. If you need more accurate step counting, then you must choose an advanced fitness tracker or ankle fitness tracker rather than choosing a clip-on style fitness tracker.
You must also consider the strap material. Try to choose a fitness tracker with a rigid and quality built strap.
If you like large display then there is nothing wrong in selecting Fitness band with a large display for your indoor workout. If you choose a fitness tracker with a larger display, then it will be very easy for you to see the data and other notifications displayed on your fitness band.
However, most people prefer to have a lightweight fitness tracker during a workout to avoid any distractions. Then Fitbit Inspire HR will be a good pick for them.
If you are looking for a fitness band with features like GPS and in-built music storage, then you must have a very good budget. Most of the basic trackers do not have both these features. By saying that, carrying a mobile during physical activity is also not recommended as it will distract you a lot.
In such a situation, I recommend you to go for smartwatches with in-built music storage and GPS tracking. Apple Watch 5, Garmin Forerunner series has these features.
You must also look for battery specifications for the battery life of your fitness tracker. You must choose a fitness tracker that gives a battery back-up for at least five hours for an uninterrupted workout section.
Also, you should remember to choose a fitness tracker with a USB Charging port if you do not want to carry your charger every time. Most of the latest fitness trackers and Fitbit bands are coming with a USB charging port so that you can charge the device by connecting it to your laptop or power bank.
Make sure you are buying a fitness tracker that is compatible with your smartphone. There are some fitness trackers that work only either with Android or iPhone.
To avoid this mistake, make sure that the device you are going to purchase is compatible with your smartphone.
It is very important to consider your budget before you buy a fitness tracker or smartwatch. Make sure you are buying a fitness tracker that does not create a hole in your pocket.
If you an any further questions related to the best fitness tracker for treadmill workouts, then please do check the following FAQs.
Fitness Tracker for Treadmill FAQ
- Do fitness trackers work on treadmills?
Yes. There is a lot of fitness tracker and smartwatches for a workout on the Treadmill. And most of the fitness trackers come with a dedicated Treadmill mode. However, none of them is 100% accurate. Still, it can give you an approximate insight into your activities on indoor running.
But you can improve Treadmill tracking by using an ankle fitness tracker or Garmin Foot Pod(If you are using a Garmin Pod Compatible Fitness Tracker).
- What is the best Fitbit for the treadmill?
Here are some of the best Fitbit for indoor running. Fitbit Versa 2, Fitbit Versa 3, Fitbit Sense, and Fitbit Charge 4.
- How do you track running on a treadmill?
You can use a Fitness Tracker or Smartwatch with a dedicated Treadmill feature that can track your running on Fitbit.
- How to set Fitbit for the treadmill?
Advanced Fitbit can autodetect treadmill workout. But on a basic Fitbit, you need to select the “Treadmill” mode before start running on Treadmill.
- How does Fitness Tracker tracks Treadmill Workout?
A fitness tracker and smartwatch track Treadmill activities with the help of accelerometer and advanced sensors.
I think this article was helpful for you in choosing the best fitness tracker for a treadmill workout. By saying this you must also remember that none of the wrist-based fitness trackers or smartwatches can track it 100% accurate.
Please do share your thoughts on this in the comment box or message on DigitMize Telegram Channel.
Saneesh VS is a Registred Nurse By Profession and Wearable Tech Enthusiast by Passion.