There’s no denying the fact that this past year has provided fresh and unexpected challenges for all of us. Research has indicated that there has been a marked increase in anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the first lockdown in March 2020, downloads of meditation apps went up by 25 per cent as people sought motivational messages and new coping mechanisms.
Brands also responded to the high prevalence of stress. Apple, for example, added a series of guided mindfulness sessions to its fitness+ app.
But, now the company has taken its offering one step further, adding guided meditation classes from world-famous wellness leader Deepak Chopra to its premium subscription service.
Members will be able to benefit from this exclusive content, which will eventually feature more than 30 recorded meditation sessions. Ten audio and video sessions are currently available alongside Fitbit’s preexisting mindfulness content.
While this sounds similar to other apps that work to keep you calm, these sessions can be tracked with Fitbit devices, so you can monitor changes in your heart rate to understand how the meditations are affecting your physiology.
If you’re interested in subscribing, read on for everything there is to know, along with reviews of some of the very best Fitbit devices. Prepare to release your inner guru.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
According to Fitbit, its premium subscription service offers you a personalised resource that helps you to keep you active, sleep well and manage your stress. You can expect a range of workouts, including with celebrity trainer Ayesha Curry, as well as guided mindfulness sessions.
With the launch of Deepak Copra’s mindful method, you can also benefit from guided meditation sessions from the wellness leader himself. The sessions are suitable for all levels and focus on Copra’s four pillars – mind, body, emotions and spirit. They aim to help you incorporate mindfulness into your day, be that through setting the tone in the morning, resetting your headspace during a stressful day or winding down in the evening.
While we can’t personally recommend the service, here at IndyBest we have previously raved about Fitbit’s products, so expect big things from this new addition to its premium service. There are two plans to choose from: either pay a monthly fee of £7.99, or benefit from 30 per cent off and by paying £79.99 for the whole year.
Buy now £7.99, Fitbit.com
Launched in 2020, this watch has a whole host of useful features, including an ECG sensor (a heart rate monitor), an EDA scanner (said to measure the body’s response to stress) and a blood oxygen tracker, as well as sleep and menstrual-health tracking capabilities. When comparing the Fitbit sense to the Fitbit versa 3, our writer noted the sense was “more health-focused” and has a more “holistic feel”.
“The EDA scanning app tracks your electrodermal activity: that is, a way of noting stress through small electrical changes in the sweat level of your skin,” said our writer. As stress-management is the primary concern here, the newly released guided meditation sessions will work in tandem with it, and you’ll be able to discover in more detail how Chopra’s classes reduce your stress levels. What’s more, you can benefit from a free six-month subscription to Fitbit premium when you buy the device.
It’s “sleek, subtle and chock-full of useful features to help anyone improve their approach to health”, said our writer. Adding that its “base fitness tracker capabilities have been improved by layers and layers of features until the result is a premium smartwatch”.
Buy now £275.00, Amazon.co.uk
Fitbit versa 3
“Originally marketed as the ‘mass appeal smartwatch’, the third edition of Fitbit’s wildly successful versa model still offers more than enough to hold the title,” noted our writer in our Fitbit versa 3 vs Fitbit sense guide. Although it lacks the Fitbit sense’s stress-tracking capabilities, this Fitbit is still a great option for fitness-focused folk as it also has an ECG sensor and plenty of other features. Our writer praised the battery life for being phenomenal: “Almost a week off one charge, and a full day of use from 12 minutes of charge,” he noted. Similarly to the Fitbit sense, you’ll get a free six-month subscription to Fitbit premium, so you can make use of Deepak Chopra’s guided meditations before committing.
Buy now £199.00, Johnlewis.com
Fitbit charge 3
Featuring in our guide to the best fitness trackers (we told you we were a fan of Fitbit devices), The Independent’s technology critic David Phelan noted that, like its more expensive Fitbit siblings, this tracker continuously monitors your heart rate throughout the day, rather than just during workouts. As well as looking out for trends, it also gives information while you’re working out, which helps you to understand the metrics better, noted Phelan. He added that the “sleep tracking is excellent, measuring REM sleep as well as deep and light”. And three exercises: running, swimming and elliptical training, are recognised automatically. It doesn’t have in-built GPS, but it connects to your phone to record your routes. It’s a great device for measuring your fitness.
Buy now £119.00, Johnlewis.com
Want to discover more great wearables? Read our guide to the best fitness trackers