Do You Really Need “Fitness Gear” to Keep Fit?
The fitness consumer market as we speak is being heavily bombarded with smart accessories, fitness trackers, and wearable computers intent on keeping you in the best shape of your life.
The honest truth is hidden away deep in your DNA is the ability to lose weight and stay toned without the aid of any fancy gadgets or uber-high tech fitness apps. Now here’s the million dollar question you need to ask yourself: despite doing it old-school, will these digital investments yield fruitful outcomes?
Before arriving at a simple yes or no, you need to consider a few factors that tie in: an active lifestyle, eating healthy, effective stress management, adequate sleep etc. The tendency to grab that pizza and soda while popping in your favorite movie is always there, given its ever present gravitational pull. Being said, do apps and technology compliment your goals so to speak? In a nutshell: yes.
After all, thanks to gadgets and advancements in mobile apps you know exactly when you’re shedding body fat, gaining muscle or what your nutritional regimen, for example, should be for next week. Besides, the extra motivation never hurts.
What’s really exciting though is how fitness gadgets and software are starting to shift to wearable tech. We look at a few interesting fitness aids that help you go the distance when it comes to living strong and healthy.
As long as you’re willing to dish out $150, you can get a ‘connected’ scale. Why should you get this? It’s well known that weighing yourself even once a week is one of the keys to preventing the lard from finding you again.
A smart scale wirelessly transmits weigh-ins to your smartphone, so there’s no need to find a hiding spot just to weigh yourself. What’s even better is this scale will also take body composition measurements. Why is this important?
We’ve all hit plateaus in our weight loss or muscle gain crusade at some point: you just can’t get your muscles to grow past a certain point or those last few shreds of body fat still clinging on like a bunch of smurfs. It can be disheartening as well as demotivating.
On the other hand, your body fat might be shrinking while your muscle tone is improving, or the other way around. You might also be a few pounds heavier than the previous day, simply because you’re better hydrated.
Track Your Nutrients
Just like burger and fries, you need to compliment your exercise with a planned nutritional regimen. MyFitnessPal is a potent tool running on multiple platforms, which shares and collects data from apps like Apple Health and FitBit.
Whichever app you prefer using to track calories, MyFitnessPal has the most accurate information available. The app also boasts a huge selection of foods which can be logged into your food diary. For example, you get to select the brand and amount of honey you just spread over your peanut butter sandwich, or the exact configuration of that triple-decker salami and cheese sandwich you’re about to down. Hey, we all need our reward meals, right?
If you happen to have a favorite recipe or food you love cooking every now and then, you can enter that into the app and pull it up quickly in future. In addition, it remembers all your recent items, so let’s say you’re surviving on wheat, yogurt and bananas alone for the week; you can add it with a mere tap.
Your daily meals are segmented into an easy-to-understand carb/fat/protein pie chart that can be referred to, just to make sure you’re not straying too far from your goals. That’s an amazing feature in its own, I must say. I’m a bit of a fitness buff myself, and some meals I thought were ideal for post-workout nutrition were in fact, rather high in saturated fats and refined carbs.
More exciting news for fitness buffs all over: Smart Body Analyzer syncs with MyFitnessPal while Qardio has plans to integrate its smart scale with the app as well.
Fitness Trackers Are Good Within Reason
Fitness trackers aren’t designed to literally measure how many times you get up off your butt on a daily basis, or how many calories you burn off while doing so. However, calling in on the benefits of an activity tracker to some degree, really helps. Be it your phone, or ideally a wearable, here are some key benefits you can expect.
First off, it’s a great tool for measuring intensity. Even if you don’t have 45 mins or more to enjoy a nice weight training session, you can ensure you’re getting an efficient workout.
By tracking any activity you’re committed to, you can build on your past fitness accomplishments; “Man, I actually jogged 3 miles in under 30 minutes today, unbelievable!”
It motivates you see, and once you find motivation, anything’s possible.
And, several fitness tracking apps have community support – digitally communicating with others who have similar fitness goals can only boost your motivation and drive to achieve fitness goals.
Getting the Most Out of Tracking
To keep things simple, use your phone. Practically every smartphone made today comes with in accelerometer capable of counting your steps. Besides, you only need an app which syncs with MyFitnessPal, that’s 60 you can choose from.
If the choices seem overwhelming, Runkeeper is a good start – robust community support, goal-setting options and helps you track several different types of workouts.
Looking to graduate a step up? Rely on the $100 Ticker X by Wahoo – a heart rate and workout tracker. The company plans to release an accompanying app soon and when combined, you can strap Ticker X across your chest to track your heart rate and even how many reps you’re doing in a brief but intense exercise bout. Or let’s say you want to do a little machine-based cardio and it displays heart rate over Bluetooth LE in real time.
Looking for a steady stream of motivation or simply looking to go all out nerd? 24-hour trackers such as the $130 Garmin Vivofit 2 or the $150 Fitbit Charge HR fit the bill nicely. Need we say more? Decide for yourself.
Once again, keep in mind, to really take advantage of all these fitness aids, you need to have your house in order first.
Leave your thoughts and comments below on how fitness trackers have helped folks stay healthier and more active. Don’t hesitate to contact our devs to discuss anything at all on developing iOS and Android mobile apps.