June 14, 2024

Best fitness Tracker

a Healthy Lifestyle for a Better Future

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Whether you are starting a new workout practice or are already hitting the gym three times a week, having the right exercise essentials can add variety to your routine and help keep you motivated. Exercising regularly is important to prevent and manage health issues such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and arthritis, and can help boost energy levels and improve your mood, according to the Mayo Clinic. Experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly (or a combination of both), along with strength training twice a week.

Fortunately, Amazon has hundreds of accessories to help you get the most out of your sweat sessions. Below, we’ve rounded up top-rated items for a variety of skill levels to level up your workout game.

SKIP AHEAD Best Amazon fitness accessories

Our Top Picks

How we picked the best fitness products

We selected gear that is not only designed to help you build strength and stay healthy, but will also motivate you to stick with your exercise routine. The products below are all highly rated on Amazon, and many are items that Select editors tried and picked as Select Wellness Awards winners for their overall quality and effectiveness.

Best Amazon fitness accessories in 2023

Below, we rounded up 15 items on Amazon that will help you level up your fitness routine. Every item is highly rated with at least 4.3 stars based on thousands of reviews.

FitbitCharge 5

4.3-star average rating from over 41,000 Amazon reviews

The Charge 5 is the latest iteration in Fitbit’s Charge lineup, offering a brighter display than its predecessor, along with heart-rate notifications and additional workout recommendations. With this fitness tracker, you can go phone-free on outdoor hikes and runs, and see your pace and distance traveled in real time. The Charge 5 comes with a six-month premium membership that gives you a daily readiness score that reveals if you are ready to exercise or should instead focus on recovery. The membership also includes personalized insights, advanced analytics and guided programs. Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin, who’s an avid runner, has used Fitbit products for over a decade. “They are so easy to use, pair seamlessly with the app and accurately record my workouts, as well as steps, calories burned, heart rate and more,” she says.

URBNFit Exercise Ball

4.6-star average rating from over 43,000 Amazon reviews

Exercise balls offer a low-impact way to improve stability and work out your abs, glutes, core and more. This anti-burst pilates option, which won a Select Wellness Award for best overall exercise ball, is made of PVC that has a textured matte surface with an anti-slip coating. The ball comes in five sizes (18cm, 22cm, 26cm, 30cm and 34 cm) to accommodate different heights and uses and comes with a hand pump, two air plugs and a workout guide. Plus, it can hold up to 600 pounds of weight, according to the brand.

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Stephen Hughes/The Globe and Mail

Jordyn Hewer had a plan: Go to veterinary school, get a decade of experience under his belt and then buy his own practice.

The first two steps went off without a hitch. He graduated from the University of Montreal’s veterinary school in 2011. He spent the next 10 years working as a small-animal veterinarian in private practices and shelters in Quebec and Ontario.

But it’s when he got to the third step – buying his own practice – that he ran into a serious problem. In the intervening years, the whole industry had changed.

Major corporate players had entered Canada’s veterinary industry, including VetStrategy – backed by U.S. private-equity firm Berkshire Partners, and recently merged with European pet-care chain IVC Evidensia – and VCA Canada, owned by international confectionery giant Mars Inc. The corporate chains were buying up independent veterinary practices, sparking bidding wars that saw the price of vet practices balloon from three or four times annual gross earnings to 10, 20, even 30 times that at the beginning of this year.

The buyouts meant multimillion-dollar paydays for veterinarians who already owned a practice. But for ambitious young professionals like Dr. Hewer, there was no way to compete. Even if he could somehow secure the funding to buy a practice at the prices they were now going for, he would be saddled with a mountain of debt he would struggle to pay off.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Dr. Hewer, who chose to leave the industry to work for a pet-food manufacturer. “When you translate that to how much debt that represents and how much you would need to pay that back in, let’s say, a five- to 10-year period, the numbers never add up.”

Fuelled by international private equity funds, consolidating firms have been on a tear in other health-professional fields as well, buying up practices in fields such as veterinary medicine, dental care, optometry and pharmacies and assembling them into chains. Practitioners who sell to corporate owners typically get back-office support through the firm’s technology and staff, help with marketing, and reduced management responsibilities. The buyers, meanwhile, get businesses with steady streams of revenue, and profits that can be boosted by centralizing equipment and administrative functions, and ordering supplies in bulk. In the vast majority of cases, the old branding remains intact after a purchase happens, so patients and customers have no idea their once-independent practice has been taken over by corporate ownership.

Consolidation within these fields is still relatively low in Canada, but it is building fast – in less than a decade, nearly a quarter of vet practices have been bought by corporate owners.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Douglas Jack, a leading veterinary lawyer at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. “I’ve been practicing law for 37 years. It just became a frenzy among the consolidators.”

The recent acquisitions are part of a wave of increased activity from private-equity firms across the globe, as they search for new fields to generate

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2 min read

The first two years of the 2020s has been all about COVID-19, and the pandemic has affected healthcare stocks in ways that will likely carry on for years to come.

By mid-November 2021, roughly 254 million coronavirus cases had been identified worldwide causing more than 5.1 million deaths. However, nearly 7.6 billion people around the world had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, equating to 52.4% of the global population, according to research firm Our World in Data.

Given how the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is more than twice as contagious as the original virus, wreaked havoc in mid-2021, scientists are now worried that there will be more offshoots of the coronavirus that are even more transmissible.

As a result, new vaccines will continue to be developed to fight these new virus strains – keeping COVID-19 and vaccine news front and center in 2022 and putting some healthcare stocks in the driver’s seat when it comes to growth.

Here, we explore 13 of the best healthcare stocks to buy for 2022. Some of these picks are at the forefront of developing COVID-19 products and vaccines, while others have business models that are designed to do well in most market conditions.

Data is as of Nov. 17. Analysts’ ratings courtesy of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent payout and dividing by the share price.

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UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group sign
  • Market value: $422.8 billion 
  • Dividend yield: 1.3%
  • Analysts’ ratings: 17 Strong Buy, 5 Buy, 3 Hold, 1 Sell, 0 Strong Sell

In October, UnitedHealth Group (UNH, $448.95) announced that it would launch NavigateNOW, a new health plan focused on virtual healthcare. It is available to select employers in nine U.S. markets, including Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and Houston. It will be 15% cheaper than traditional benefit plans while still providing in-person visits in addition to virtual care.

These efforts at expanded virtual care will likely help boost UnitedHealth’s top line, though it’s already seeing impressive growth. UNH’s most recent quarterly report included an 11% increase in revenues to $72.3 billion. Its UnitedHealthcare (healthcare benefits) and Optum (healthcare services) units both experienced year-over-year double-digit percentage sales growth during the quarter. UnitedHealthcare accounts for 58% of total revenues, with Optum generating the other 42%.

The insurance giant had adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $4.52 during the third quarter, up 28.8% from the year earlier. It generated $7.6 billion in cash flow from operations, a healthy 180% of net income. UnitedHealth Group’s net margin in the quarter was 5.6%, 70 basis points (a basis point is one-one hundredth of a percentage point) higher than a year ago.

The health insurer’s medical care ratio (MCR) – the medical expenses paid out divided by total collected premiums – in the third quarter was 83.0%, 110 basis points less than a year ago. The lower the MCR ratio, the better.

UNH also paid out $1.4 billion in dividends to shareholders during the third quarter while buying back $1.1

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