There has been a boom of new fitness wearables over the last few years and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Mordor Intelligence has predicted the fitness wearables market will be worth $13.1 billion by 2020. That means a lot more of us will be tracking our squats in the coming years. Clearly we’ve moved past the novelty phase and are living in a world where using tech to get fit is the norm.
But which tech device should you choose? In the consumer market, the options can seem endless. There are watches and clip-ons, wrist bands and smart clothes, apps that turn smartphones into complete fitness monitoring devices and even wearables disguised as jewelry. Fitness fanatics can even measure posture and make sure their form is spot on when they lift.
If you’re still not on the fitness tech bandwagon, it’s a great time to see what’s out there as there are so many wearables and apps to choose from. What follows is a short list of high-tech apps and gadgets that may be just what you need to take your workouts to the next level.
First, there are the apps. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, walk more or make it through a brutal workout, there’s an app designed to help you adopt and maintain positive lifestyle changes. MyFitnessPal is old news at this point but still a worthwhile download for anyone looking to slim down. Want new workouts? Try FitStar. And S Health is a great all-around fitness app that goes a step further than most with SpO₂ and ultraviolet exposure tracking using the built-in sensors in Samsung smartphones and wearables.
For more specific goals, do some digging to find the app that has what you need. Now on to the gadgets!
There are dozens of options available when it comes to deciding which device to invest in. The one thing to keep in mind is that this is not an area to skimp on quality. Workout wearables that feature mobile processors from Snapdragon are the ones that will be able to keep up as your fitness goals evolve – which means you might spend more money upfront but you won’t you have to replace them with every new New Year’s resolution.
Timex’s Ironman One
Live tracking with no phone required? The Ironman One is a water resistant standalone smartwatch that live tracks all the standard fitness data (which is wirelessly uploaded to your fitness apps) and has 4GB storage for up to 1,000 of your favorite songs. Wearers can even send and receive email messages – a huge improvement over most smart watches.
For private tracking try Misfit’s Ray, an unassuming swim-proof aluminum bead that can be worn on your wrist or as a pendant, or carried in a pocket. It tracks steps, distance and calories, along with sleep. Ray can also help you stay connected by alerting you to calls and emails, and it lets you control smart appliances with a tap.
Smarter shorts is a giggle-worthy phrase but there’s nothing funny about these fitness-focused wearables. Lumo Run shorts track all the data you need to become a better runner: cadence, bounce, ground contact time, stride length and pelvic rotation.
The Fitbit Blaze
This first to market brand continues to roll out trackers people love. Their take on the smartwatch features everything that Fitbit does best (plus heart rate monitoring and GPS tracking) along with a color touch screen and music control.
KuaiWear Coaching Headphones
Wireless, waterproof headphones are a workout must-have. And KuaiWear offers not only music and a full menu of life tracking options, but also coaching. The built-in biometric sensor gives real-time vocal feedback that helps you adjust your form and pace.
Remember that the best fitness gadgets and apps will always be the ones you’ll actually use. High-tech options abound but if a basic band meets your needs, don’t feel like you need to buy something more exciting. There really are no perfect choices when it comes to fitness gadgets.