Staying fit in the modern age requires determination, focus, and plenty of self-discipline. After all, has there ever been a time when we have had access to so many delicious and easily accessible temptations? Fortunately, the 21st century has also brought us some high-tech gadgets specifically designed to help us lead healthier lifestyles. Here are five such devices that could have a dramatic impact on the way you work out.
Chances are you already have a powerful device in your pocket with the ability to help you get fit. Most of us own smartphones these days, and while they are great for staying in touch with friends and family, not to mention putting a wealth of information at our fingertips, they can be useful for getting healthier too. Both iOS and Android devices now come with preinstalled health apps that can track all kinds of important data, including calories consumed, nutritional intake, and current prescription medications. Other apps such as MapMyFitness, Strava, or Runtastic can also accurately track our workouts and chart performance over time. Those tools will also set goals and challenges to overcome, ensuring we don’t get too complacent in our workouts. Most modern smartphones even act as basic fitness trackers, counting the number of steps you take each day.
Many of us like to listen to music or podcasts while at the gym, so why not wear a pair of earbuds that can help enhance your workout too? The Jabra Sports Coach earbuds feature built-in motion sensors that can track distance, pace, cadence, calories burned, and other stats. These are then analyzed by a custom smartphone app that provides smart coaching via audio cues, which can help enhance your performance. Perfect for both runners and cross fitters, these earbuds offer good sound and wireless Bluetooth connectivity too, making them pretty much the best gym partner ever. ($149)
Fitness-oriented GPS watches have been used by pro athletes and weekend warriors alike for a quite a while now, but what sets the latest fitness watch from Suunto apart from the crowd is its ability to accurately track elevation gains and descents. This makes it the perfect option for runners and cyclists in particular, as it will not only register distance and pace, it’ll also tell you how much you’ve climbed along the way. The Vertical can share data with many popular fitness apps, and can receive notifications and text messages from your smartphone too, which certainly comes in handy while out on the road. It will even plot your optimal recovery timeframe as well, helping you to perform at your very best over time. ($469)
Wearable fitness gadgets are all the rage at the moment, but not everyone likes to have a watch or activity monitor around their wrist during a workout. Others would prefer to have their fitness data available at a glance instead, particularly when they are in the middle of a long run or ride. For them, the Recon Jet just might be the answer. This high-tech gadget is a set of sunglasses that comes equipped with a digital heads-up display that lets you see your speed, distance, and pace at all times. The Jet features built-in GPS tracking and can also collect data from a smartphone or other wearable sensors. It can even display text messages, alerts, and maps for navigation, and also has a built-in camera that allows you to capture photos or video. ($499)
Designed to help you get the best yoga workout possible right in your own home, the SmartMat features embedded sensors that can automatically detect your posture and positioning and then suggest ways to correct any errors. The mat, which is scheduled to ship to customers in early 2016, connects to your smartphone or tablet to provide guided workouts complete with real-time feedback. Yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world, and this gadget looks to make it more accessible than ever. ($497)
These are just a few examples of tech gadgets that can improve our fitness routines and potentially lead to a healthier life. But as with most things, these devices are just tools to assist us on our journey. For them to be effective, you still need to be focused, disciplined, and ready to make a change. But if you are already committed to getting in better shape, technology can definitely be your friend.