The following guest post is written by Sara Upton, and focuses on some new options in terms of technology devices for runners and other fitness enthusiasts. If you’re at all like me, you’ve got your Garmin (or whatever you use) from 5+ years ago, and you haven’t thought about upgrading/buying something new in years. It may be time to reconsider, because these options sound really interesting. Enjoy!
Are you always asking yourself: Is there something that I can do to better prepare myself for my next marathon? For that matter, is there anything I can do to help myself be a better, healthier runner in general?
With health technology and the dual-purpose nature of mobile technology on the rise, the simple answer is: of course there is!
The success of the wearables market is booming.
Many people already sport a wearable technology device that supports fitness and/or sleep tracking, much to the benefit of their personal training and overall health efforts. While wearable tech devices aren’t necessarily everyday occurrences just yet, Verizon Wireless notes the following: “Technology market intelligence company ABI Research says wearable computing devices will be the norm within five years.”
With the recent drop of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the upcoming delivery on the health interests of Apple, the takeaway is that industry giants are interested in health. They are planning to provide viable solutions for individuals with health issues and a heavy want for a more healthy lifestyle than they currently maintain.
On the point of current maintenance, your workout doesn’t necessarily need to go digital, that’s not the point.
What’s important is your ability to now use your smartphone in concurrence with wearable devices to check up on your progress and, in some cases, to gain readily relevant diet information.
Check out these popular wearable devices to see which may work best for you in your struggle to go above and beyond in your training or workout routines.
The Jawbone Up24 is, in design of the actual wearable hardware, a very bare-bones fitness device at first glance.
The device itself pairs with a neat app just for the hardware, and it communicates with iOS- or Android-powered devices via Bluetooth.
The device tracks all of the vitals, of course, including steps taken, calories burned, etc., but what makes this device and its accompanying app most useful are its abilities to track sleep in addition to activity.
There are two impressive new features available to the Up24. First, the “Today I Will” feature puts you in control of your own goals. The other notable feature is Milestones. Milestones take the form of the longer-term goal, helping you reach goals like walking a million steps or burning a certain amount of calories two weeks in a row.
At the same time, the Recent Activity and Lifeline views will organize all of your expected and actual data into graphs for you to clearly monitor your progress.
Withings Pulse O2
The Withings Pulse O2 is a nifty device whose dual screen offers very useful statistics for individuals who suffer from health issues like asthma but still like to exercise.
The device has an onboard heart rate monitor and a blood-oxygen level indicator that may be really beneficial when used correctly. This is an especially useful feature for climbers.
Overall, this is still one of the best pedometers on the market if you’re nit-picky about how accurate your readings are. In addition, the ease of syncing with your phone and the data-rich accompanying app have all the necessities in one space.
The LED screen on the Pulse O2 shows all of the following: steps taken, distance traveled, elevation climbed, estimated calories burned, and the time.
It also has the ability to track your sleep and read your heart rate.
If you’re into the screen-less and minimalistic side of life, the Misfit Shine may be just what you’re looking for. The self-proclaimed “world’s most elegant physical activity tracker,” the Misfit Shine delivers in that department.
With no screen and the ability to wear the device almost anywhere (meaning on your person and physically anywhere, even underwater), the Misfit Shine has all the makings of a silent tracker that will help to enhance your training and workout routines.
The Misfit Shine is a more barebones tracker than others mentioned here, but even the small amounts of data it does provide are more than enough to ensure that you’re on track with your training or workout schedule for the week. It even counts swimming as an activity and is the only one of these three that allow underwater use.
Tracking walking, cycling, swimming, sleeping, and running, the minimal aesthetic inherent to the device’s design also extends to the data.
All data tracked by the Misfit Shine is pitted against a daily goal that you set for yourself, which you can change at any time.
The device tracks both how quickly and intensely you move based on your personal information to give a reading on the amount of steps you’ve taken, the distance you’ve covered, and the amount of calories you’ve burned. It’s a great way to reach any goal you may have for yourself while keeping the device tucked neatly out of sight if you prefer.
Truly a device for all sensibilities!
If these just aren’t what you’re looking for, you can always check out what CNET has to say about some other options.
Seriously, wearable technology is everywhere, and if you look you’re sure to find something that fits the bill for your workout or training routine!
***Legal mumbo-jumbo/disclaimer: Some, but not all, of the links for the products that are mentioned in this post are affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission if you click the link to make a purchase.***