Best gadgets to track your fitness, activity level

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It's no secret, Americans love technology and fitness trackers are a hot new item on the market.

Consumer Reports took six popular trackers for a whirl and found some are better than others for reaching your exercise goals.

Joseph Jose never leaves home without his activity tracker and says the results have been eye-opening.

Jose said, "What I found out is that I was actually moving a lot less than I thought I was."

An activity tracker uses sensors to gather information about the steps you take and the calories you burn.

Jose's tracker syncs to his phone or computer when he is ready to crunch the numbers.

However, many people question whether these types of trackers are actually accurate.

In Consumer Reports' labs, a panel of volunteers wore them on their wrists, arms and clothing to find out.

They walked on a treadmill, used an elliptical exerciser, climbed the stairs and cleaned up a room while testers kept track of every step.

Nicole Sarrubbo, with Consumer Reports, said, "We compared our step-count against the trackers and all of the devices did well at counting steps."

Next, the metabolic analyzer was used to measure the calories each panelist burned.

Some of the activity trackers proved better than others at counting calories and giving feedback during a workout.

Sarrubbo said, "Three of the trackers show how you're doing while you're exercising and most of the panelist said they really like that feature."

One that gives instant encouragement is the Fitbit One.

It earned top ratings and costs $100.

It also lets you track the calories you eat and how well you sleep.

As for Joseph Jose, his tracker helped him shed 40 pounds.

Experts warn that not all these gadgets sync with every type of smart phone or computer, so check it out before you buy it.