The Fitbit Versa 3 Gave Me All the Goal-Tracking Features I Needed to Escape My Workout Rut

This smartwatch is the reason why I'm working out this winter, and it’s on sale for Black Friday.

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Photo: Fitbit

Somewhere between the fun of summer settling down and fall finally taking over, I all but stopped working out. It's no coincidence that my lessened motivation is tied to the calendar: I find myself less likely to grab my running shoes and more likely to pick up a book and a cozy blanket as soon as the clocks fall back (thanks, Daylight Saving).

But this year felt different. I didn't want to let all of the hard work I'd put into running faster and longer this year slip away just because it's colder and darker outside now. While searching for a bit of motivation, I received a Fitbit Versa 3 and decided to give it a go, not knowing that it would be exactly what both my mind and body were looking for.

Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS

Buy It: Fitbit Versa 3, $180, was $230,

Since I'm the type of person who reads the instructions, I skimmed through the booklet my new smartwatch came with and tapped through its features. Unlike other Fitbit models, the Versa 3 has an always-on display, so you can see the time without "waking up" the watch; a built-in GPS to track distance and steps, blood oxygen and temperature tracking (especially convenient for anyone wondering if it's allergies or COVID); battery life that lasts for up to six days; and calorie and workout tracking. Plus, it's waterproof for swimmers.

The watch is a little bulky on smaller wrists, but surprisingly lightweight. The Fitbit Versa 3 automatically adjusts its brightness in the sunlight, just like an iPhone, and has been easy for me to see and read at any time of day. Unlike my iPhone, however, the smartwatch's touch screen wasn't as completely reliable as I'd hoped, and there's no vibration back. But I got used to both of these small negatives and almost forgot they were issues. (

My favorite aspect of the watch has been the workout tracking, which can automatically figure out what type of exercise I'm doing (elliptical, treadmill, outside run, HIIT, and 16 more), even when I forget to prompt it myself. While working out, the Fitbit sends me heart rate zone notifications, so I know when and for how long I'm pushing myself at maximum intensity and can tone it down when I want to stay in a more mild training range.

The watch also gets used to your workouts, noting how often and how hard you go, and figures out your personalized activity goals each week, which can give anyone getting back into a routine, (like me) the flexibility of a few days on and a few days off. It celebrates your achievements with points after every workout (another motivator) and gives a detailed breakdown whenever you'd like, keeping me coming back for more.

If you need to get back into a workout routine or are looking for a great gift for someone who loves to track their fitness progress, order the Fitbit Versa 3 from Amazon while it's still on sale.

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