Top 10 Fitness Gadgets to Help Keep Your New Year Resolution
Now that the hang-over has subsided and the realisation that your waistband is more than a little snug is starting to hit home; it’s time for that annual promise to yourself to become fitter, healthier and perhaps a tad lighter. Here’s some ideas to keep you in step with the 2012 Olympic vibe
The ideal solution would be to get a personal trainer, but they’re expensive. You could always sign up to a gym (again) and attend about 6 sessions for that annual membership that you paid for.
Thankfully, for the gadgety minded, there’s plenty of tech out there that may help you reduce your weight and become fitter (when used as part of a calorie controlled diet). Best of all is that some are FREE or pretty cheap 🙂
Let’s get physical
Adidas miCoach for Android
The Adidas Android rival to Nike’s iPhone app (below) does much the same job but does it for FREE! miCoach has celebrity athletes telling you how well you’re doing and links up with your Android phone’s music player – this allows you to select your workout playlist (Rocky soundtrack anyone?) direct from the app. It also lets you upload and track your runs on your Mac or PC. Get the FREE Adidas miCoach for Android app here.
Nike+ iPhone app
Nike’s iPhone app is a must-have for Apple mobile owners. Nike+ uses GPS to triangulate your position and then maps your run whilst tracking your pace and distance. You can get checks on your pace at regular intervals, while Facebook and Twitter access mean you can share your runs and even get cheers or challenges from your buddies. The Nike+ app is £1.49 from iTunes.
Nike Training Club
Alternatively, you can get 85 workouts for free if you download the Nike Training Club iPhone app. This app includes full body workouts that take 30 or 45 minutes as well as targeted 15 minute workouts.
Wii Fit Plus
This could almost be classed as a classic now but Wii Fit Plus is still a great way of getting a gadgety workout without having to go out in the cold. The balance board calibrates your size and shape and the bundled game puts you through ‘Strength’, ‘Aerobics’, ‘Yoga’, ‘Balance’ and the fun ‘Training Plus’. It’s an oldy but definitely a goody. You can get the Wii Fit Plus and Balance Board Bundle for £72.99 here
The Xbox 360 has generally been a favourite amongst ‘serious gamers’ but that also means that hours are spent sat in a chair killing zombies, etc. The Xbox Kinect gets the user moving around but without the need for the Balance Board found with the Wii Fit Plus above. Kinect has stacks of fitness games, from the basic Kinect Sports to EA Sports Active and, should you want some martial arts action, UFC Personal Trainer. There’s plenty of choice for whatever level you fancy but, if you’re using these just make sure you have plenty of room 😉 You can grab the Kinect Sensor with Kinect Adventures for around £80 here.
This Nike/TomTom mash up builds on the Nike+ GPS iPhone app I mentioned earlier (£1.49 iTunes) but this allows you to leave your iPhone at home. The SportWatch comes bundled with a Nike+ shoe sensor which gives you more accurate tracking of distance, pace and calories lost which are all stored. Upload your stats details to the Nike+ website via the USB and share your routes or download the favoured routes of other users – you can even take on challenges and get coaching tips. Get the TomTom powered Nike+ SportsWatch for £180 direct from Nike.
The Jawbone Up looks like a wristband that you’d get by going to a very swish festival but it’s my favourite on the list. Stick it on, hook it up to the free compatible iPhone app and you can track runs, seeing pace and distance on screen. But it’s not only useful when you’re pounding pavements. The sleep mode lets you check out how deep and lightly you’ve slept, while a food mode prompts you to keep a diary of what you’re eating and how it makes you feel. The iPhone app’s challenges also add a competitive element if you are so inclined. Buy the Jawbone Up direct from Jawbone for £80.
The FitBit Ultra is a tiny (55 x 19.5 x 14mm and 11.34g) high-tech digital pedometer with a small OLED display. It tracks your walks, runs and stair-climbs without your intervention. In fact, once you clip the small plastic device to a belt or even stash one in your laptop bag, you never have to think about it again really. FitBit recommends that women place it on their bra in between their cleavage to get the most accurate read-out. When you charge the device using a USB adapter after a few days, the device automatically uploads your stats to FitBit.com and shares the data on Facebook and Twitter. Better yet, you get e-mails when you achieve “badges” like your longest walk or climbing up 50 flights in one day. You can also check how you’re doing by scrolling through the data from the device itself using that OLED screen. FitBit Ultra is £80.
Check your progress
Withings Wi-Fi scales
I wrote about these web connected scales back in 2009 and they are still a great idea as well as being a darned sight better than the public ones you might see at Boots. The Withings scales play nicely with iPhone, Android and PC via a free application and squirts over your weight, body mass index and even calculates your lean and fat mass. You can then use all this personal data to track your progress online – if you’re particularly proud of what you’ve acheived then you can share your details online. Buy Withings Wi-Fi Scales for £119
Weightbot iPhone app
If you’d rather have a cheaper way of tracking your progress then the Weightbot app is a good start. Just check your weight on some regular, boring scales each day and then punch in your details. From this info Weightbot will hand you your BMI, set weight-loss goals and look at graphs of your progress. If you do have the Withings scales as well you can even set Weightbot up to automatically retrieve data from them. Buy the Weightbot iPhone app from iTunes for £1.49.
Good luck for the year ahead and if you have any other techy fitness solutions please let me know 🙂