Technology plays such a large role in our lives nowadays, and has revolutionised the way we carry out daily activities. It has also made a huge impact within the fitness industry.
Fitness technology has provided us with additional opportunities to enjoy and enhance our workouts. This article will go over some of the different ways technology has integrated into the fitness industry. We’ve provided suggestions on some of the best products you could use to improve your workouts.
There are lots of wearable devices out there that can track almost everything from your sleeping patterns to heart rate. Many have other features that also track your workouts, steps and calories.
Generally, most of them cover all the basic functions. So it comes down to your preferences and budget. In this article, we will list a few of the most popular ones and provide some tips on what they are best used for.
One of the most popular ones that has everyone talking about is the Fitbit. The latest version, the Fitbit Charge 2, is great for people who are more into fitness tracking as it has a larger screen to display your results. This version has a slightly thicker band for a more comfortable fit as well as a touch screen. It is a decently easy device to use, and is not as pricey as some of the other ones available.
The other commonly purchased Fitbit is the Flex. It is a light device and great for people who go swimming as it is waterproof. However, the battery life is not as good and is slow at charging. Unlike the Charge 2, it does not have a screen but instead is just a thin band with a removable device so it needs to by synced with your phone. This one only includes only the basic tracking skills.
The Samsung Gear Fit 2 is also another popular one and would be good for joggers as it has a built-in GPS. It also is great for storing music and Samsung apps. The nice thing about this device is that it is not necessary to set it up with your smartphone (which would have to be a Samsung). It pretty much mimics a smartwatch. It has all of the main features but also includes a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope and barometer that can also detect the types of activity you are doing.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is not as fancy as the Samsung, but essentially has the same features. It is much more affordable and it great for someone who wants a slim band but still has a small display screen. It is water-resistant, so it can be born in the rain but would not be advised to go swimming with it. It can track all of the basic metrics with slightly more accuracy than the Fitbit.
As fitness devices go, Garmin Vivosmart HR+ would be good for outdoor runners as it has a built in GPS and is water resistant. Special running features include personal records, a virtual pacer, auto pause, auto lap, and a walk/run mode. Although not the most stylish band around, it does the trick at a reasonable price.
Smartphone apps have become extremely popular as it is able to provide people with almost any fitness information they are looking for. Some can sync with wearable trackers to provide more details on how the body is functioning, but some also provide workout routines for people to do at home. Below is a list of a few apps that are good for each category and are absolutely free!
Some of the best IPhone apps for weight loss include Nike+ Training Club, Argus: Calorie Counter & Activity Tracker for Heart Health Living and Lose It! Weight Loss Program and Calorie Counter. The Nike app is purely focused on helping you reach your exercise goals and improve your fitness levels. The other two apps are not only trackers, but they also can help you build your own workout plan and recommend the calorie intake you need.
If all of those still are not enough motivation, go back to your childhood days and give Pokemon Go a try. Studies have actually found that it has helped people lose weight.
Map My Run: GPS Running and Zombies, Run! are useful apps for runners. The first one allows you to set goals and gives you time updates during your run which is mapped out by GPS. With this fitness technology app, you are also able to listen to your personal music and switch songs while in the app.
If just running in a park is not enough for you, Zombies, Run! is a story-based running app that gives you missions to accomplish while also tracking your distance.
GymBook: Strength Training Planner is a good app for tracking your workouts and also has GIFs of 50 exercises which shows you how they affect the muscle groups. You can also make your own routines with this one. If you are more of an experienced lifter, StrongLifts 5×5 would be good for you. It coaches you through three 45 minute workouts a week and is great for gaining muscle and losing fat.
Why wear extra accessories when clothing can provide the same tracking details those devices do? Smart clothing is becoming the new buzz in fitness technology and the next step beyond tracker bands. A lot of major companies such as Under Armour, OMsignal, and Hexoskin Smart, have already designed smart clothing to track a number of health and fitness metrics.
This is where fitness technology gets exciting. Under Armour has already teamed up with other companies to produce clothing with sensors that measures people’s performances. Some of the metrics included heart rate, metabolism, body movements and lung capacity. One example is the E39 shirt which has a thin disc that has sensors, a Bluetooth transmitter and memory storage. It has already been proven to be extremely useful for athletes as coaches and trainers can spot dehydration and any detrimental movement patterns.
Listen up ladies! OMsignal is known for its sports bra which has sensors to record your running distances, body movements, breathing rate, heart rate and also tells you when you have recovered enough to go back to the gym. They fit like any other sports bra where you can have a custom fit and superior support.
Laced with sensors, the Hexoskin shirt also is able to monitor your heart rate, breathing and movement patterns. It is also compatible through Bluetooth with the MapMyRun, RunKeeper, and Strava that provides real time data. With the combination with the shirt and apps, it can provide insight on activity intensity, your recovery, calories burned, fatigue level and sleep quality.
Since we have to wear clothing anyways, why not make it fitness technology clothing?
There are also many other pieces of technology that would be helpful with your workouts and exercises. Here are some other cool gadgets that could be useful for you.
These wireless sports headphones have the option of being completely customised to be the perfect fit for you. Not only does it have excellent sound, but can also but can be synced with the MySound app to focus on your personal playlist. One of the neat things about these headphones is that there is a charge clip which attaches to the remote which doubles the battery life while you are still using them.
Not only are these headphones wireless, but also acts as your “coach”. Taking fitness technology to a new level, it provides you with real-time feedback on your performance to help you adjust your pace based on the sensor inside. It is also waterproof so it would also be useful for swimmers.
For those of you who said they always need someone whispering in their ear to motivate them, now you have it!
Having trouble drinking enough water everyday? This water bottle has a screen that shows you the time, date, weather, current temperature of your water and how much you need to drink to meet your consumption goal. In addition, it also has vibrating alerts to remind you to drink more. If the cup needs cleaning or if your drink it too hot, it will also inform you on the screen.
Each category only covered a few of the available fitness technology gadgets and devices available. It can be quite overwhelming and difficult to choose which types of technology are best suited for yourself. Make sure you evaluate your overall fitness goals and areas you are struggling with first. This might be able to help narrow down which devices can help with these areas.
Whenever in doubt, there is no harm in asking specialists their opinions as well. Some of these devices can get a bit pricey, so if money is a concern, it is better to invest a little extra time in researching what best suits your needs.
*Disclaimer, we haven’t tried EVERY product linked in this article. These are just suggestions of the hottest fitness technology on the market today. Please see our affiliate disclaimer for more information.