Everyone wants to be fit and healthy. As you probably know, most New Year’s Resolutions center around these types of goals. But our busy lifestyles are making it harder and harder for us to find time to make it happen. However, one of the many great things that new technology has brought us is gadgets that make all this a little bit easier. We do, of course, still have to put in the work, but these gadgets and the data they provide can help take away some of the guess work, do the tracking, and even give you tips and hints on how you can improve your efforts.
What follows are brief descriptions of some of the main kinds of fitness gadgets that are currently available.
Activity trackers, such as the popular Fitbit or Jawbone, are a convenient and easy way to track the amount of activity you get each day. With these devices, you can track the distance you walked/ran, the amount of time you were active for, how many calories were burned, and more. With these trackers, you can monitor your progress over time, making it a lot easier to track and see your progression.
Smartwatches are mobile and connected watches that are changing the way we interact with the world and get important news and alerts. With a smart watch, you literally have a smartphone on your wrist. You can get email alerts, write messages, and even use apps. Fitness apps for smartwatches, or even fitness specific smart watches make it easier than ever before to track your activity level, calories burned, dietary information and more. Smartwatches essentially combine the functionality of smartphones and activity trackers into one device.
Smart Weight Scales
Smart scales are the next generation of digital bathroom scales. They not only measure your weight, but can send the data directly to your fitness apps. With a smart scale, there are also models where you can measure much more than just weight. You can find out about your body fat percentage, your muscle mass and bone density, as well as your BMI and how much water weight you are holding. Smart scales can be programmed to recognize different users so it can help you track your weight over time as well as to get vital information that could be indicative of your overall health status.
Heart Rate Monitors
There are many positive benefits of physical activity, but the most important benefits are to keep your muscles strong and healthy, and this includes your heart. In fact, one of the most important parts of physical activity is to get your heart rate up, as this is what will help you to burn calories and build muscle. With a heart rate monitor, you can keep track of your heart rate for any number of reasons, whether it be to ensure that you stay within a safe range, or to help adjust your pace or intensity. Heart rate monitors are typically either built into the smartwatch or available as a chest strap on. We’ve even read about headphones that have a built in heart rate monitor!
We thought we’d mention apps in this list as they are what ultimately bring together the benefits of all of these gadgets. Data can be stored and tracked on your favorite apps to help you monitor your fitness levels and goals over time. There are indeed hundreds of health and fitness apps these days, many specializing in different things. You have apps like MyFitnessPal with a focus on nutrition and calorie counting, and apps like Endomondo, Runkeeper and a myriad of others that focus on activities of all sorts. Apps like Samsung Health and Apple Health serve as central hubs trying to consolidate all your data into one place. So a key consideration when thinking about what fitness gadgets you want is to also consider what apps you want them to work with.
Thanks to technology, it is easier than ever before to get in shape and live a healthier and more active lifestyle. This whole eco-system of smart products and apps helps us track our exercise efforts, set our goals and give us a clear look at how we are progressing. It can be a confusing journey sometimes to map out what you need and how you want everything to work together. But once you are set up, getting fit and healthy, and staying that way, is that much more achievable.
Guest article written by: Stephen L loves gadgets, especially those with health and fitness applications. He currently writes for the blog Pimp My Bathroom, where he talks about smart bathrooms and accessories.