Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Retail experts say it's cheapest to buy in December—and it'll help your health get off to a running start in 2019.

Zee Krstic
December 04, 2018
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December is here, and you'll be inundated with fliers and emails from retailers this month promising you the best deals on everything they sell—but the team of retail experts over at Consumer Reports are cutting through all the clutter to find the real deals this holiday season.

In fact, the consumer advocacy group puts together an annual buying calendar to make recommendations for all major purchases over the year—you can visit CR's buying calendar right here in the new year to see the best time for sales all 2019 long. (September is the best month to shop for kitchen appliances, if you were wondering.)

Consumer Reports regularly tracks the advertised prices of all products that pass through their rigorous testing criteria, and every month they release a report on which products are most likely to be on the steepest sale of the year. This month, just in time for the holidays, all sorts of electronics are on sale, including major gadgets like tablets and wireless headphones—but the one item you'll want to snag is a fitness tracker or smartwatch, which is expected to be sold at the lowest prices you'll see all year long.

Fitness trackers can be extremely helpful for those looking for extra reminders to get up and move during the day—even the most basic models monitor your movements in all forms of metrics and seamlessly connect to your computer or smartphone to store data on how much activity you're getting in daily. More advanced models can do more than just track your movement—they can monitor heart rates, sleep time, and could include analytics like GPS location and barometers for those who are exercising more frequently than not.

The team at Consumer Reports tested many different models on the market and compiled a "best of" list—one oftheir best models of 2018 is currently on sale via Amazon. The Garmin Forerunner 35 contains heart rate-monitoring features, step counting and distance tracking, as well as a user interface that is simple to use. It can keep track of calories burned throughout the day, and can track the quality and quantity of sleep throughout the week. An added bonus: you can sync the gadget with most smartphones for call and text push notifications.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Buy Now: Garmin Forerunner 35, Amazon.com.

Smartwatches and most fitness trackers are becoming more alike than ever, but if you're in the market for a smartwatch, Apple's newest Watch is a very popular option. The brand-new gadget can make tracking your health easier than ever, with some life-changing features—like the ability to take an EKG instantaneously, and automatically share the results with your healthcare provider.

Photos courtesy of Apple.

Buy Now: Apple Watch Series 4, Amazon.com.

The main difference between smartwatches and fitness trackers is the ability to respond directly to messages and calls as well as social network updates—and Apple's new Watch comes with a few different bells and whistles, like the ability to use Apple Pay at checkout even if you don't have your phone nearby.  

Consumer Reports also published a buying guide for smartwatches—but the advanced health features of an Apple Watch, plus the ability to host other health mobile apps on the gadget directly, might make it the best holiday gift to give to a health fiend in training.