7 of the best fitness trackers for aquacise and water aerobics

Apple Watch swimming and water workouts

With summer in full swing, many of us have taken to water sports or activities to burn a few extra calories. You may be curious to find out the best fitness trackers for aquacise or water aerobics.

A handful of products on the market are advertised as water-resistant or waterproof, but some are built more for the water than others.

This article lists some of our top picks for the best fitness trackers for aquacise on the market this year. 

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Quick list: best fitness trackers for aquacise and water aerobics 

in a hurry graphic

If you’re short on time, look at our quick list here.

But read through our full review below to learn about the best details and helpful information for each product.

  1. Apple Watch Series 7: Best overall option
  2. Garmin Instinct Solar: Best high-end option
  3. Fitbit Inspire 2 or 3: Best budget option
  4. Huawei Band 6: The best choice for water aerobics
  5. Garmin Swim 2: The best choice for swimmers
  6. FORM Smart Swim Goggles: the best option for diving
  7. Polar Ignite: Best choice for hardcore triathletes

People often forget that you also need to wear a band or strap that’s waterproof or water-resistant! So stick with silicone straps when in the water and steer clear of leather, metal, and fabric bands. 

7 of the best fitness trackers for aquacise and water aerobics

If you are into water sports, activities, aerobics, or other forms of aquacise, you should seriously consider investing in a good-quality, waterproof fitness wearable.

Take a look at our favorite picks below.

1. Apple Watch Series 7

It’s no surprise that the Apple Watch is listed here. It has been a leading health and fitness wearable for many years.

It’s important to know that Apple Watch Series 2 and newer are water resistant but not waterproof.

You can absolutely use it for shallow water activities, like surfing or swimming in either fresh or salt water. It shouldn’t be used for scuba diving or high-velocity water sports like water skiing. 

Different companies and brands use different ratings for water resistance. The Apple Watch Series 7 has a water resistance of up to 50 meters and uses the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) ingress protection (IP) rating standards

  • Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch (1st generation) have a water-resistance rating of IPX7 under IEC standard 60529.
  • Apple Watch Series 2 and newer have a water-resistance rating of 50 meters under ISO standard 22810:2010.
  • Apple Watch Series 7+ is also rated IP6X dust resistant.

This means the Apple watch can withstand pressures equivalent to what you would feel at a depth of 50 meters. It’s important to know that this is the rating of a new watch when it’s shipped from the factory. 

A product’s water-resistant rating likely decreases from normal wear and tear with time. 

Just note that your watch’s band may not be water resistant! Classic Buckle, Leather Loop, Modern Buckle, Milanese, and Link Bracelet Bands are NOT water resistant.

The good thing is that Apple tends to cover water damage for their watches when within its warranty period (Appel Care+) because it’s hard to prove if there was or was not a defect in its original water seal. Apple may charge a service fee.

Learn more about Apple Watch’s water resistance in this Apple white paper, “About Apple Watch water resistance.”

Water lock mode

water lock feature on Apple Watch

If you’re concerned about getting water damage to your phone, you have the option to turn on Water Lock.

When Water Lock is on, your watch won’t respond to touch in the hopes of preventing any water input.

Once you turn this off after your water activity, touch screen functions usually resume, and your watch ejects any water in its speaker.

To turn on or off Water Lock:
  1. On your watch, go to the Control Center > swipe up > tap the Water Lock icon (a drop of water)
  2. You see that icon appear at the top of the watch face.
  3. Turn this off. Simply press or turn the Digital Crown on the side of the watch until the display says Unlocked.

It’s also good to note that your watch automatically turns on Water Lock mode if it detects that it is being submerged in water.

How to use this watch to track water activities:
  1. Open the Workout app > scroll to Pool Swim or Open Water Swim
  2. You can tap the More button (three dots) to customize calorie, distance, or time goals)

Apple Watch water workout

  1. Tap Start

Of course, in addition to the Apple Watch’s ability to support water activities, you can engage in countless types of workouts.

This is why we think this is one of the best fitness trackers for aquacise and its other fitness perks. 

Apple Watch Series 7 [GPS + Cellular 41mm] Smart watch w/Blue Aluminum Case with Abyss Blue Sport Band. Fitness Tracker, Blood Oxygen & ECG Apps, Always-On Retina Display, Water Resistant
  • WHY APPLE WATCH SERIES 7 — The most advanced Apple Watch features powerful health innovations like...
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2. Garmin Instinct Solar and Instinct Solar 2

Garmin solar instinct watch

Garmin is known for its high-end intelligent devices, and the Instinct Solar watch is no exception. This watch can take a beating and keep on ticking!

The watch offers impressive battery life with its solar charging capabilities, and its military-grade design ensures you can play (and work) hard without concern.

It also boasts excellent GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo if you’re going off-grid. You’ll also find an array of built-in sports apps within the watch.

Its fiber-reinforced polymer case and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass help with the Instinct Solar’s amazing water resistance!

The Garmin Instinct Solar’s military standard provides water resistance rated at a staggering 100 meters and thermal and shock resistance, rated to the United States Military Standard MIL-STD-810.

The device can sustain pressures that are experienced at that depth, so it affords you the ability to not only swim but to snorkel, surf, dive, and participate in high-speed water sports. 

To view Garmin’s comprehensive water rating list, click here.

To start a swimming workout:

  1. Press the GPS button on the side of the watch > scroll through the list of activities until you reach the desired one

Garmin workout selection

  1. You have the option to do open water swimming, pool swimming, kayaking, and rowing, among other water sports.
  2. Select Training > My Workouts > Press the GPS button again to start the activity timer

Remember, you can always customize workout distances, drills, etc., before you begin the activity timer.

It’s important to note that if you experience water damage to your Garmin, it may not be covered under an extended warranty

Garmin states that any accidental damage or abuse of the unit is not covered, including water damage. So we suggest you use your device only at the water resistance rating it is designed for.

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3. Fitbit Inspire 2 and Inspire 3Fitbit Inspire 2 screen resolutions and size

The Inspire 2 and 3 are sleekly designed fitness wearables that covers all your basic health metrics that you can wear in almost any body of water, including the ocean, pool, shower, rivers, and lakes!

In addition to the basics (e.g., heart rate monitoring, step counting), the Inspire 2 and 3 also offer these features:

  • Irregular heart rhythm notifications
  • Skin temperature tracking
  • Stress management score
  • Menstrual health tracking
  • Food logging
  • Active zone minutes
  • Cardio fitness level
  • Sleep stages and score
  • Track blood oxygen saturation (Inspire 3 only)
  • Plus many more!

On top of everything else, Fitbit advertises that the Inspire is swim-proof and offers swim tracking.

Fitbit Inspire swim tracking

It has a water-resistant score of up to 50 meters, so you’re safe to do open water or pool swimming, but take it off for deep dives or action water sports.

Fitbit also makes a note of how water resistance can diminish over time. This can be influenced by dropping the device, exposing it to soaps, sunscreens, repellents, or lotions, or participating in high-velocity water sports.

How to track your swimming on the Fitbit Inspire:
  1. From your watch’s home screen, swipe down until you reach Exercise > tap Exercise > scroll again to find Swim and select this
  2. If you would like to adjust your settings (e.g., change the length of the pool, set a time goal, etc.), swipe up before hitting start
  3. Once your parameters are set, tap the Start icon

You can view your swimming statistics on the device itself or scroll through them on the companion app.

How to turn on and off Water Lock: water lock on FitBit Inspire 2

The Inspire also offers a water-lock feature that prevents the watch from accidental screen taps when it’s in the water and prevents the buttons from activating.

  1. Press and hold the two main buttons on your Fitbit > tap Water Lock (with the drop of water symbol) > double tap the center of your screen to turn on
  2. To turn the water lock off, firmly double tap the icon on the screen again and wait for Unlocked to appear. If you don’t see Unlocked appear, tap twice with more force

When the water lock is on, your Inspire’s screen and buttons lock, but you still see any notifications or alarms on the screen. To interact with them, you must first unlock your screen.

You do not have to turn on the water lock when you are in the water. However, if you start a swim workout in the accompanying Fitbit app, your tracker automatically enables Water Lock mode.

If you do find that your watch has endured some water damage, Fitbit’s warranty typically does not cover water-damaged devices.

However, contact Fitbit Support if you were using your device within its water-resistant rating and experienced damage. 

The Fitbit Inspire is budget-friendly at less than $100 and the Inspire 2 currently includes a free one-year subscription to Fitbit Premium. For its value, we think it’s one of the best fitness trackers for aquacise.

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4. Huawei Band 6 and 7Huawei Band 6

The smartwatches from Huawei are sleek, creative, and colorful.

The Band 6 model boasts an impressive two weeks of battery life while offering solid health and fitness metrics, including a water resistance of 5 ATM. 

These features include O2 monitoring, stress level check-ins, and sleep tracking (plus many more!).

You’ve also got access to 96 different exercise modes, including swimming. 

Because of the Huawei 6’s advanced multi-axial sensor can seamlessly and quickly identify different movements and strokes in the water, making it an excellent tracker for water aerobics!

It is water-resistant, rated at 5 ATM (withstand an atmospheric pressure of 50 meters), so you’re safe to wear it for all types of swimming and other shallow-water activities. 

Devices complying with the 5ATM-rated water have a water resistance rating of 50 meters under ISO standard 22810:2010 for water-resistant watches.

While this tracker can withstand pressures equivalent to 50 meters or 164 ft underwater, this is a measure of pressure, NOT depth. You should not use this watch for diving to a depth of 50 meters or for scuba diving, waterskiing, or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depths.

Learn more about Huawei’s water-resistant and dust-resistant levels.

Starting a swim workout:

Before starting swimming, enter the pool length in the Pool swim section. And check that your profile information is correct in the Huawei Health app, including gender, height, weight, and date of birth.)

  1. From your app list, select Workout > swipe until you find Pool swim or Open water > tap the icon for that workout to start it
    1. Swimming style is based on your arm movement
  2. If you want to customize a training before starting it, tap Settings (gauge icon).

Huawei swim workout

  1. You can set pool length, time, distance, or swim stroke rate goals. 

The device’s screen automatically enters a Water Lock mode when you are swimming. It also automatically disables when out of the water, or the swimming workout has ended.

To date, there is no voluntary way to turn this on or off. 

As with other brands, water damage to the device is not covered under their warranty. Huawei attributes this to a natural decrease in water resistance from regular wear and tear over time. 

The Huawei Band 6 is one of the lowest-cost fitness trackers that you can swim with! 

This lesser-known brand is one of our favorite picks for the best fitness trackers for aquacise and water aerobics.

5. Garmin Swim 2

Garmin Swim 2

If you want to see your metrics like your heart rate as you swim, the Garmin Swim 2 is for you!

The Garmin Swim 2 is the ultimate fitness tracker for avid swimmers. It offers serious swimming data and tracks your swimming distance, pace, stroke count, and SWOLF (a metric to measure swimming efficiency by calculating your strokes per length and the time for the length.)

In addition, it tracks your location using its built-in GPS sensor for open swims and also has no problem tracking and showing your heart rate in real-time as you swim with its always-on and full-color screen, even when you are underwater.

Additional swimming features and perks:

  • The open water swim feature uses built-in GPS so you can be safe and conquer everything from lakes to oceans
  • Pool swim mode allows you to create distances based on pool length and records all metrics previously mentioned
  • Critical swim speed is calculated based on your anaerobic threshold speed to maximize your training and track your progress and performance over time.
  • The drill logging feature allows you to work on specific skills such as kicking, one-arm swimming, or sculling. 

You get all this data in Garmin Connect! swim data in Garmin Connect

It’s also important to know that the Garmin Swim 2 has a water-resistant rating of 50 meters, so you’re safe to use it for all swimming activities. Just avoid scuba diving or high-pressure water sports.

In addition to these swimming-specific features, you can create and engage in other standard workouts on your watch or within the Garmin Connect app.

Garmin Swim 2, GPS Swimming Smartwatch for Pool and Open Water, Underwater Heart Rate, Records Distance, Pace, Stroke Count and Type, Slate Gray
  • GPS swimming smartwatch for the pool and open water
  • o Battery life: up to 7 days in smartwatch mode, 13 hours in GPS and optical heart rate (OHR) mode...

We love this smartwatch and think it’s one of the best fitness trackers for aquacise and swimming!

6. FORM Smart Swim Goggles 

FORM smart swim goggles

These smart goggles, along with a Form membership, are a super-cool alternative to the traditional smartwatch or wrist-based fitness tracker.

These goggles do everything a smartwatch can, plus more! It is also equipped to work for both pool or open water swimming.

With these smart goggles, you won’t lose track of your distance and can track all your workout metrics, making your training informative and fun!

FORM Smart Swim Goggle tracked metrics:

  • Time
  • Distance
  • Pace
  • Calories burned
  • Heart rate
  • Split times
  • Stroke rate
  • Stroke count
  • Distance per stroke (DPS)

After you’re done with your swim, you can review your performance metrics in detail with its companion app.

These goggles are also compatible with tracking performance with a range of smartwatches, including Apple and Garmin.

Another excellent feature of these goggles is their ability to display real-time performance metrics on the goggles themselves, like your precise pace, calories burned, time spent, or distance completed as you swim.Metrics on screen FORM Smart Swim Goggles 

This high-tech feature won’t obstruct your view, but it’ll provide you with your current performance metrics, giving you encouragement and motivation to finish strong.

You must select a workout within the app, sync it to your goggles, and follow the real-time prompts on the goggles’ lens. 

Form goggle workout app

The FORM goggles have also been praised for their 16 hours of rechargeable battery life, so you’ll be able to spend more time swimming and less time charging. 

These goggles are safe for up to 32 feet (10 meters) below water

It’s important to know that you are covered under warranty for one year of the original purchase date for any normal wear and tear defects. 

FORM now requires either monthly or annual memberships that give you access to their app, all the smart goggle features, workouts, and an entire swim community. Without a membership, swimmers have access to just a variety of sample workouts–no other features.

Membership includes:

  1. One pair of smart swim goggles with real-time metrics while you swim and a swim analysis post-swim
  2. 1,000+ Guided Workouts (with new workouts added weekly) and 20+ fitness & training plans
  3. Access to FORM swim app

Memberships currently cost $24/month, or $228/year if you opt for the annual subscription. A pair of FORM smart goggles are included in this price.

7. Polar Ignite and Ignite 2

Polar ignite

Polar’s products have been industry leaders for many years. Many athletes have favored their rugged build and excellent performance tracking.

The Polar Ignite gives you the option of many different workouts. If you’re a triathlete, this is an excellent watch for you due to its running, cycling, and swimming metrics!

Use the Ignite or Ignite 2 for aqua aerobics, lap swimming, or open water swimming (no diving) with its water resistance rating of 30 meters!

The Ignite has both pool and open water swimming options, and they both offer a few different features depending on which one you choose.

Pool swimming

While in a pool, the watch records your swim distance, time, pace, stroke rate, rest times, and SWOLF score (a measure of efficiency).

In addition to those features, the pool swim option also detects your swimming styles: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.

Open water swimming

When out in a lake or ocean, Ignite records your swim distance, time, pace, stroke rate, and route via GPS.

It’s important to note that the open water swimming option can only recognize the freestyle stroke. 

To view a map of your swim route after your workout, open it up in the Flow app.

To start a swimming session:

  • From the main menu of your watch, select Start training > Swimming > Pool swimming or Open water swimming
  • You can customize anything from here (e.g., set pool length, time goals, etc.)
  • Press START to begin recording 

Afterward, you can scroll through your swimming data to view time, distance, average heart rate zones, calories burned, and more!

polar ignite swim data

Water lock mode

Polar advises you to refrain from pushing buttons on your watch while underwater. To avoid this, you can lock your screen:

  • Swipe down from the top screen to reach your Quick settings menu
  • Swipe to find the screen lock icon > tap this to turn the lock on

polar ignite screen lock

  • You can press the side button twice to unlock the screen when finished swimming

Polar states that most of its devices, including Ignite, have a water-resistant rating of up to 100 meters. So you can swim and even snorkel/skin dive with it. You still should not SCUBA dive with this watch.

As with other brands, water damage from normal wear and tear, or accidental misuse, may not be covered under warranty. If you are experiencing issues, you should contact their support directly. 

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Final thoughts on best fitness trackers for aquacise and water sports

We hope you found this list of seven products helpful when selecting your next fitness wearable.

If you are particularly looking for something that can handle the water – whether in the pool or open water – we think you’ll find your perfect match with one of our recommendations. 

We sometimes use affiliate links in our content from Amazon and others. It doesn’t cost you anything but helps us pay our expenses. Thank you for the support! Last update on 2024-07-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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