Getting advice on your health in the past usually entailed setting up an appointment with your doctor. But, with the advent of technology, ensuring health advice can be received on the go. Presently, the fitness industry is experiencing a series of massive developments. From the Consumer Electronics Show this year, The Guardian reported that there was an explosion in wearable gadgets and fitness essentials, such as the heart-monitoring headphones and the connected toothbrushes.
Most of these devices resort to mobile applications to track your progress. They come in a form of smart watches, sending notifications straight to your Smartphone. In this article, we'll feature some of these gadgets, and how you can use them to live a healthier life.
Smart Scale: FitBit Aria
The FitBit Aria is a Wi-Fi-enabled bathroom scale that records your weight, body fat percentage, and your body mass index (BMI). To measure your BMI, the device sends an electrical signal to your entire body, including your muscles and fat tissue. Similar to the FitBit Ultra pedometer, the Aria relies on its Web-based software, which automatically transfers data into the FitBit servers through the Wi-Fi radio.
Reinforcing the smart scale is a mobile app that updates on your current activity and track your calorie intake. It provides a unique logging method, indicating your meals, snacks, and workouts. Once you met your goals, Aria will reward you with badges which you can share on social media.
Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S5
Of all the Smartphones available, perhaps the Samsung Galaxy S5 is the best companion of a fitness enthusiast. Aside from its rugged element that allows it to be submerged in water by up to 1.5 meters, the source we got from O2 revealed that the S5 is the first Smartphone to feature a built-in Heart Rate Sensor, which allows users to check their heart rate every after workout.
With the help of the built-in S Health 3.0 app, all you have to do is rest your index finger at the center module to the right of the flash. It analyzes your finger for seconds, while also checking for your blood pressure. Meanwhile, the same S Health app lets you track sleep patters, fitness routines, count calories.
Armbands: BodyMedia Fit Core
The BodyMedia Fit Core armband calculates the amount of burned fats, while tracking your exercise level. There are two silver plates strategically placed against your skin, tasked to measure galvanic skin responses and body temperature. These sensors work seamlessly with a three-axis accelerometer, yielding one of the most accurate fitness information.
Through the Activity Manager, you can enter personal information such as age, gender, weight, height, typical activity levels, and food and beverage intake. BodyMedia combines all of these statistics to present your current situation. Notwithstanding its bulkiness, the only disadvantage is that access to data requires extra costs.
Heart-rate Monitor Headphones: Valencell
A company specializing in wearables, Valencell has been making an online buzz with its headphones tasked to measure your heart rate. The earphones employ a technology called PerformTek Precision, which has an oximeter (measures blood's oxygenated hemoglobin proportion). Overall, it measures your heart rate through changes in your skin color, coinciding with your pulse.
The earphones are also tasked to measure burned calories, cadence, distance, and speed. Remarkably, Gizmodo reported it will also be able to measure VO2 max or your efficiency as you exercise. The company's representative told Gizmodo that the device would produce a 7% margin of error, which would be pretty impressive if it bears out.
Smart Pedometers: Striiv Play
The Striiv Play is all about the fun factor of staying fit. It operates similarly with other fitness tracking essentials, measuring burned calories, steps taken, and stairs climbed. But, it has its own style of providing incentives by giving mini games and personal challenges.
These challenges are similar to real-life situations such as reaching a required number of steps. PCMag notes that it also has real-life context challenges, wherein the software will instruct you to Burn a Soda. You'll have to burn 150 calories, and after which you'll be rewarded with a virtual trophy. There are also social challenges wherein you can invite your friends in a weight-losing battle. All the participants must have the Striiv device, synced to their iPhone or iPod through Bluetooth for interactive play.
While these devices differ through the mechanics they employ, all of them are geared towards a singular path to being fit and healthy. Which of these devices sounds like a good investment to you?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sookie Lioncourt is a fitness enthusiast. Every morning, she jogs around the neighborhood with her sister, in preparation for a 10K marathon she signed up for. Contact Sookie on LinkedIn for more fitness tips.