We’re halfway through January – and for some that may mean you have stopped shouting ‘New Year, new me’ from the rooftops! We get it; New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep! But they don’t have to be! January brings a range of hot new fitness tech to help keep you on track. From biometric measurements for an enhanced workout, to self-regulating materials that adapt to temperature, the boundaries of smart fitness tech are seemingly endless.
As the ‘what’s hot, what’s not’ in the Australian fitness industry changes as quickly as the weather down here in Melbourne, we’ve done some investigating to find the most useful fitness gadgets of 2019 and beyond!
Fitness Trackers / Wearables –
The road to curbing those holiday kilos is a long, hard slog – and sorry folks – there are no shortcuts! It’s easy to get lost in the numbers of repetitions, sets and weights, but the introduction of smart fitness technology can help provide that extra motivation to get you up and moving again.
Fitness trackers have come a long way from the simple stopwatch or pedometers. They can now track heart-rate, GPS locations and even give feedback on your quality of sleep. Like other ‘smart’ devices, being connected means that they are also inherently social devices – giving us ways of measuring, tracking and comparing our progress against our friends and family for a little friendly competition. Think of apps like Strava and Nike+ Run Club – but more on that later.
Fitness Fanatic –
Garmin Fenix – it’s not cheap, but for the serious outdoor or fitness enthusiast it’s hard to beat. The Fenix range from Garmin ticks all the boxes, offering onboard mapping, multi-sport tracking and smartphone notifications so you can plan your weekend while you’re on the go.
If you want to use it as a daily activity tracker – opt for the Fenix 5S. If you prefer a longer battery life then choose the Fenix 5. However, if you’re an avid adventurer then you can’t beat the map toting Fenix 5X.
Samsung Galaxy Watch – With a four day battery life and the looks to pass as a proper Swiss made timepiece, the Samsung Galaxy Watch blends sportiness and style seamlessly. Offering customisable screens and a collection of health and fitness features you can tailor the watch to suit your lifestyle.
Samsung has integrated a great feature for the coffee addicts out there. The ‘Caffeine’ mode allows you to record and track how many cups of coffee you drink throughout the day. You can combine this information with your Sleep tracker in the Samsung Health app to see how your coffee consumption might be affecting your sleep.
Being a more affordable option than the Garmin Fenix range, the Samsung Galaxy Watch is a great option, however be aware as it is not compatible with Apple iOS devices.
Every day –
Garmin Vivosmart 4 – Unlike most of the products from Garmin, the Vivosmart 4 has been designed for everyday users who are interested in tracking the odd bits of exercise throughout the day. The Vivosmart 4 packs a bunch of useful features for those who are interested in their general health and wellbeing including a new ‘body battery’ feature which tells you the best time to exercise based on how much energy you have.
So if you’re interested in tracking your general health on a day to day basis, the Vivosmart 4 is a great value option.
Fitbit Charge 3 – The new iteration of the Fitbit Charge line-up is a great everyday activity tracker for those who want just a little bit more out of their fitness endeavours. You can even connect the watch to your phone to enable the GPS tracking feature.
Additionally, if you opt for the Special Edition you can use ‘Fitbit Pay’ allowing you to pay-on-the-go without hauling your wallet around on your workouts. With a larger screen than previous models and a better navigation function, the Fitbit Charge 3 is a great choice for everyday use.
Measurement / Tracking Tech –
Think of these devices as the old-school bathroom scales on steroids. Utilising electro-what-cha-ma-call-it technologies to accurately measure body composition (body fat, muscle mass, bone density and more) previously only available with specialist technology such as DEXA scans. A good set of scales is the perfect addition to your wellness journey, allowing you to actually measure your progress.
Beurer BF800 – A standard looking set of bathroom scales which have unlocked new metrics that allow you to get a more comprehensive understanding of your general health. With smart technology you can sync your scales to the Beurer Health Manager app to track and manage all of your measurements.
Sanitas Digital Glass Scales – As a more affordable set of bathroom scales, the Sanitas Digital scales offers fewer features and won’t be able to sync to a mobile app. However, these provide a great option for measuring your progress, and are a good choice if you’re on a budget.
Fitness and Diet Apps –
From A to Z in fitness, there is an App for almost anything you can imagine. Whether you want to simply experience different fitness classes or track your daily fitness goals, there are so many options out there! It is easy to get lost in the crowd. That’s why we’ve narrowed down the top fitness apps that will help you achieve your fitness goals this year.
Strava – Whether you run or cycle, Strava has the tools for you. Offering an array of different features and options, you can track and manage your previous activities and compare these against your friends. This app is great for all levels of fitness, across both running and cycling. You can even break down your run or cycle into segments, perfect for those who want to see exactly where it was that they lost those extra few seconds.
Nike + Run Club – Being one of the most used running apps on the market, the Nike+ Run Club app offers a variety of cool features. These include personalised training programs, training analysis and motivational boosters such as messages of encouragement while you run, and live feedback of your run! It’s a must-try for anyone looking to get serious about their wellness goals.
My Fitness Pal – It takes all the pain out of calculating and monitoring calories due to its extensive, and constantly updating, database of foods. You are even able to scan barcodes for packet-to-phone nutritional information, perfect for keeping an accurate record of your diet. The best part about My Fitness Pal is that you can use it to stay in touch with friends for the additional support through your wellness journey.
Weight Watchers – Similar to the Weight Watchers community, the app allows you to still access everything that Weight Watchers offer. If you’re up for a little friendly competition, you can also sync the app with a fitness tracker to convert your daily steps into FitPoints, the Weight Watchers way of measuring activity. Similar to My Fitness Pal, you can track both food and physical activity in one spot, making it easy to manage your progress.
On the horizon…
As these technologies progress, we can expect to see further innovation in the fitness market, particularly in the wearable tech area. We may see GPS become standard in your everyday activity tracker, or we may even see another run towards a ‘true’ smartwatch trying to replace our mobiles.
There is an exciting year ahead, with new gadgets and gizmos that are sure to keep you motivated and excited for your wellness adventure.
As always, please let me know if there are any particular topics you would love us to look into or if you would like to feature in an upcoming issue of Wellness Matters.
Make sure to drop me a line or call me on 03 9963 4804.