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The 411 on Today’s Popular Fitness Gadgets

The 411 on Today’s Popular Fitness Gadgets

Amy Salant

As every aspect of our lives becomes more automated, it’sno 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.