Technology

Health and Fitness Gadgets to keep you motivated

girl on cliff edge by water pointing to fitness tracker on wriist

Don’t let your New Year’s resolution fade away. Check out some of the new and innovative fitness gadgets to help keep your momentum going.

Say you set that infamous New Year’s resolution to improve your health this year, but now, two months into 2017, you’re still struggling to see results. Or maybe you are on track, and just want to amplify your latest health kick. Whatever you’re after, sometimes the best way to reboot your motivation is by treating yourself to a new piece of health and fitness tech. While the idea of keeping track of your steps or fitness with technology is not a new one (think circa 1965 and the pedometer craze that followed) these days there are thousands of products on the market that can do anything from take your pulse to control how fast you’re eating.

We’ve chosen fitness gadgets that we’ve found that can be a simple tool to keep your momentum going sans the need for a personal trainer blaring “Keep it up, don’t stop!” over, and over, and over again.

 

Garmin Vivosmart HR+

GarminVivosmartHR
The Vivosmart HR+ is currently one of the most popular fitness products on the market. It uses Garmin’s trademark ‘Elevate’ technology to monitor heart rate at the wrist 24/7. This is allows the tracker to generate information on the intensity of a workout as well as the calories that have been burned. It is also a significant upgrade on prior Garmin Activity Trackers which forced users to wear an additional heart rate strap. As well as monitoring heart rate Vivosmart HR+ also measures steps, distance travelled, calories, floors climbed and can distinguish between different activities such as running or riding a bike.

It uses a separate GPS tracking system, meaning that you don’t have to carry your phone with the app to determine the distance of your exercise. Vivosmart HR+ creates an achievable daily step goal based on a person’s current fitness level and adjusts this as fitness improves. It also reminds you to stay active with a ‘move bar’ which displays a red line on the screen every 15 minutes until you reach an hour of inactivity where it will gently vibrate to remind you to get up and move. Vivosmart HR+ can also be synced to a smart phone and receive notifications for text messages, e-mails, calls and social media alerts making it perfect for people with busy work schedules.

Best Feature: The ‘move bar’ which reminds you to move at least once and hour. This is perfect for people who are new to exercise or who are stuck in a sitting position for most of the day.
Worst Feature: The band itself is quite chunky, so it is a bit conspicuous on your wrist.
Price: $349.
Click here for more information or to purchase the Garmin Vivosmart HR+.

 

HAPIfork

HappiFork

If you struggle to control your portion sizes or always find yourself with indigestion after eating too quickly the HAPIfork might be the perfect solution. This gadget, which ultimately looks like a slightly thicker version of regular fork, was originally developed for clinical use in order to help people with digestive problems or postoperative complications. While the HAPIfork can still be used to alleviate these health problems it can also be used to quell weight gain by eating more slowly. It does s using ‘SlowControl’ technology which alerts you with the help of indicator lights and gentle vibrations when you are eating too quickly. It also measures ‘fork servings’ which is a tally of how many times you bring food from a plate to your mouth and the intervals between each time.

Information collected by the HAPIfork can be uploaded via Bluetooth or USB to HAPI.com or the HAPI.com app, which allows your eating behaviours  to be monitored and assessed in order to ensure continued eating progress.

Best Feature: Indicator lights and gentle vibrations to let you know to eat more slowly.
Worst Feature: Impractical for people who find themselves eating on the run, or eating out a lot.
Price: $99.
Click here for more information or to purchase the HAPIfork.

Fitbit Blaze

Fitbit Blaze
The Blaze is Fitbit’s first attempt at a fitness tracker which can also be worn as a smart watch. The Blaze tracks the amount of steps taken, heart rate, floors climbed and hours slept automatically. It also has a colour touch-screen and side buttons which let you pause and restart workouts, and boasts features such as receiving text message notifications, incoming phone calls, calendar reminders. The Blaze also allows you to control your music on the screen rather than through your phone. Like most activity trackers, the Blaze will set achievable goals for users and vary them according to a their activity level. However, unlike other activity trackers the Blaze also creates workouts that can be followed on-screen with step-by-step instructions and coaching as well as record how stationary you are throughout the day and remind you to try and move at least once and hour.

The Blaze is also one of the more attractive fitness trackers on the market and has a variety of clock faces to choose from if you just want it to appear as a regular watch. There are also a variety of interchangeable bands and frames to choose from making it more practical to wear with different outfits or at different events.

Best Feature: Battery life of up to five days.
Worst Feature: Whilst there are some smart functions, Blaze is more limited than products specifically designed to be used as smart watches.
Price: Staring from $249.95.
Click here for more information or to purchase the Fitbit Blaze.

 

Finis Duo

Finis Duo
When you think of listening to music and working out, swimming isn’t generally the first sport to come to mind. Well, the new Finis Duo changes this. Finis Duo is an underwater MP3 player which allows swimmers to workout to music without the hassle of ear buds. It uses bone conduction audio transmission technology to deliver high-quality audio through the cheekbones to the inner ear, and the sleek design clips on to goggle straps to rest comfortably on the cheek bone. The Finis Duo has a simple design with a four-buttoned interface so that you can easily navigate between songs. The device is compatible with iTunes and supports unprotected MP3 and WMA files. It stores approximately 1000 songs with a battery life of up to seven hours.

Best Feature: Being able to enjoy music underwater, while you swim.
Worst Feature: Can be difficult to adjust comfortably on the cheek for new users.
Price: $119.99.
Click here for more information or to purchase the Finnis Duo.

Hidrate Spark 2.0

Hidrate Spark
The Hidrate Spark 2.0 is a smart-bottle with the ability to track your water intake. A sensor inside automatically records how many millilitres you are drinking and syncs to the Spark App via Bluetooth. The app keeps a history of how much you are drinking and customises a hydration goal based on this information. You can also ‘Check In’ and pair your location on a map, allowing your friends to see when and where you are drinking the most water. The bottle glows when you need to be reminded to drink water  and has long-lasting replaceable batteries so you can take it anywhere rather than struggling to find a place to charge it.  Although this product might sound a bit gimmicky, people who struggle to drink enough water on a daily basis have reviewed it as life-changing product. Whether you’re into it or not, there’s no denying that it’s a clever piece of healthy tech.

Best Feature: Sleek, BPA-free design makes it look just like a regular water bottle.
Worst Feature: Pricey for a water bottle.
Price: $72.11.
Click here for more information or to purchase the Hidrate Spark 2.0.

iHealth Core

iHealth Core
The iHealth Core is a high-accuracy scale and provides detailed information on a person’s overall weight by analysing nine aspects of body composition. Designed to help people lose weight, this technological set of scales records weigh-ins to the iHealth app  so that progress can be monitored 24/7. The app generates charts and trends based on your weigh-ins so that you can see exactly how far you are from achieving your goal.

Up to ten people can use the iHealth Core to record their personalised weigh-in data. The scale recognises people based on their unique body composition with around two kilograms of variance. If two or more users weigh the same it’s important to make sure that their assigned user number appears on the screen. If it doesn’t, the list of users can be scrolled through on the screen until the right one is found.

Best Feature: Provides you with data on your full body composition rather than just your weight  allowing you to scrutinise and pinpoint your weight loss efforts.
Worst Feature: Can’t access the scale’s full potential without access to the ‘iHealth’ app.
Price: $168.
Click here for more information or to purchase the iHealth Core.

Muse: The Brain Sensing Headband

Muse headband
This brain-sensing headband is said to give you a full meditative experience in just three minutes. To use the headband you simply place it comfortably on your forehead, put in the ear buds, open the Muse app and listen as you are guided through a peaceful meditation based on the real-time state of your brain. While you meditate the headband uses electroencephalography technology to monitor how calm your brain is and adjusts your practice accordingly. If you’re calm you will hear the sound of peaceful, natural weather. If your mind begins to wander and you lose focus you will hear the weather sounds becoming stronger, gently pulling you back to your meditative state.

After each Muse session you can see how calm you stayed through a series of graphs and charts which monitor your progress while you meditate. To keep you on track Muse provides users with points and challenges depending on how focused and attentive they remain throughout a session.

Best Feature: The ability to gain a realistic insight into how focused your brain is.
Worst Feature: Can be difficult to find ear buds or headphones that are comfortable to wear with the band.
Price: $326.
Click here for more information or to purchase the Muse.

Lumo Lift

Lumo Lift
Anyone who spends a lot of time at their computer is guilty of slouching from. Over time poor posture can cause considerable discomfort and pain. That’s why Lumo invented the Lumo Lift, a tiny gadget that nudges you to correct your posture when you start to slouch. You simply use the magnetic clasp to attach the Lumo Lift inside your shirt. You then set a target posture by sitting or standing in your best possible posture (if you’re not sure what this is, the Lumo App has plenty of tips).

The device uses angle displacement technology to monitor  the target posture throughout the day and will gently vibrate whenever you slouch. The Lumo Lift also tracks steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned. This information is transferred to the free Lumo Lift app so that progress can be monitored and tracked.

Best Feature: Design is small and discreet.
Worst Feature: Only two-three days battery life.
Price: $105.
Click here for more information or to purchase the Lumo Lift.

Netatmo’s June

JuneBracelet


If you’re someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, Netatmo’s June might be the perfect gadget for you. The June is a bracelet designed to monitor UV absorption and keep you safe from the sun’s harmful rays. The June uses UVA and UVB sensors to measure sun exposure and computes this data back to the June App which provides you with the UV index anywhere in the world.

The June uses data on your skin type to estimate the amount of sun you need daily, as the app sends personalised notifications to keep track of your sun exposure letting you know when it’s time to apply sunscreen or put on a hat. The idea of the June is to ensure that you get enough exposure to UV rays but not so much that you end up with a sunburn. While the June is obviously handy if you’re at the beach or on a holiday in the Bahamas, it can also be a really handy gadget when you’re in a new city or outside on a cloudy day where it’s easy to forget about the damaging effects of UV rays.
Best Feature: Stylish design makes it look just like a bracelet.
Worst Feature: Not water proof.
Price:  $140.
Click here for more information or to purchase the Lumo Lift.

 

Michael Kors’ Activity Trackers

MichaelKors
If you are someone who has always been interested in trying out a fitness tracker but has been deterred by the futuristic and rubbery look of many of the products on the market then Michael Kors Activity Trackers might grab your attention. There is no doubt that Michael Kors’ range of activity trackers are by far the most stylish and discreet on the market.

There is a huge range to choose from for both men and women and although the bands might not look like your regular fitness gadget, they function just as seamlessly. Kors’ products monitor everything from steps taken to the quality of a person’s sleep and their fitness goals. All of the activity trackers also sync to the Access App to provide ongoing and continuous data about the users’ progress.

Best Feature: Attractive design with plenty of options to choose from.
Worst Feature: Batteries will need replacing approximately every four months.
Price: Starting from $125.
Click here for more information or to purchase one of the Michael Kors’ Activity Trackers.


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