As every aspect of our lives becomes more automated, it’s no surprise that the variety
and options of fitness gadgets on the market are growing at an exponential rate.
Whether you’re interested in tracking heart rate, calories, miles, steps or blood
pressure, there’s a fitness gadget out there to meet your needs. If you’re in the
market to digitally and automatically track your fitness journey, Matthew Gagliano,
Fitness Together Barrington and Lincoln personal trainer and studio owner, has
shared some personal and industry guidelines to help you decipher what’s what in
today’s fitness gadget world.
“It’s an exciting time for fitness gadgets right now,” explains Gagliano. “There are a
lot of great products out there today and I can’t wait to see what’s going to become
available over the next couple months and years. Fitness gadgets can be great tools
for helping increase people’s workout regimens and keeping them accountable.”
Identify Your Favorite Activity, Fitness Goals to Find the Best Device
Gagliano sees about 25-30 percent of clients in his Fitness Together studios using
some sort of fitness gadget to track and monitor activity levels or workouts. The most
popular fitness gadgets that he sees people using today include:
- Nike Fuel Band: Keeps your calories in check, tracks your steps throughout the day and allows you to compete with other people by uploading your daily data via a docking system or the cloud. (http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pw/fuelband/90w?cp=usns_kw_AL!1778!3!43364128382!e!!g!nike%20fuel%20band!c)
- JawBone UP: Tracks food and drink consumption, steps and activity levels and sleep patterns. It also helps you commit to personalized goals, as well as share them with your friends. (https://jawbone.com/up?gclid=CJ6l57v4ocACFQamaQod9i8A4w&gclsrc=aw.ds)
- Strava: This running and cycling online GPS tracking and performance program allows you to track your runs, rides and cross training activities from your Garmin, Android or iPhone. You can view distance maps of your activities, see your time splits from one mile to the next, monitor personal bests and compete with your friends. (www.strava.com)
- Fitness Video Games: Individuals and families alike can increase their fitness levels with various fitness-orientated video games for the Xbox, Wii or PS3. These devices can provide personalized workouts in the privacy of your own home and can be great ways for parents and kids to work out together.
- Smart Scales: These wireless scales not only track weight, body fat percentage and BMI, but they also automatically sync your statistics to online graphs and tools that can help you see the bigger picture as you progress toward your weight loss goals.
Devices Collect Data, Not Solve Problems
Fitness gadgets can be great tools for helping guide you through your fitness journey
and motivate you to maintain a consistent level of activity, but you still have to put in
the work to meet your health and fitness goals. Buying a fitness gadget won’t solve
your internal struggles to live a healthy and fit lifestyle, but it can help you be
accountable to yourself and any people you choose to share your fitness information
with. Gagliano also stresses the importance of understanding the numbers and
information that your gadget is tracking so that you can use it effectively to meet your
goals. If you don’t know what the appropriate range is for your specific heart rate or if
you get caught up in comparing numbers with other people who may have different goals and body
types, then you may not be using your fitness gadget in the most effective manner.
“You need to understand what maximum heart rate is and what all of the numbers
you’re monitoring mean specifically to you,” explains Gagliano. “Our Fitness Together
trainers help our clients understand what their heart rate and other levels should be
during different activities so they can effectively use their fitness gadgets while training
and throughout their everyday life.”
It’s All About the Cloud
As fitness gadgets continue to provide ease of use for people to track, store and
share their health and fitness levels, the fitness band wearable market will continue
increasing in popularity. As technology continues to evolve, such as the ability to
automatically upload and store data in the cloud, the possibilities for advancing the
functionality of fitness gadgets will evolve as well. Looking forward, Apple will soon
be releasing their much anticipated health and fitness gadget, the iWatch, which may
be a game changer in the industry as it will track more than just activity levels and basic
heart rate information. This comprehensive health tracker is anticipated to detect more
in-depth body and health functionality, as well as detailed fitness activity levels.
“The new technology that Apple is planning to release soon is going to be a game
changer because it’s going to track health markers like blood pressure and glucose
levels,” explains Gagliano. “I don’t know the full extent of it because they really haven’t
given out a lot of information yet, but what I’ve seen looks pretty cool. It’s going to
show us a lot of different things that we never thought were possible.”
It’s definitely an exciting time for the fitness gadget market and time will only tell
what’s in store for the future of tracking, monitoring, storing and sharing your health
and fitness information.